Reagan promoted missile defense and Biden opposed it in the Senate. But it’s what is defending Israel.

Iran fired more than 320 warheads at Israel on Saturday. The explosives were carried by about 170 propeller-driven drones of the kind Iran has sold Russia for use against Ukraine, more than 30 cruise missiles, and more than 120 ballistic missiles — mostly fired from Iranian territory at least 1,100 miles away to the east with a few launched from more distant Houthi-controlled Yemen to the south.

The attack failed to deliver any meaningful damage, though a 10-year-old girl was injured, as 99% of the drones and missiles were intercepted by Israel, the U.S., and likely Jordan and Saudi Arabia as well.

What Iran’s large-scale attack on Israel — more than twice as large as any Russian attack on Ukraine — did was show the value of a layered anti-missile defense championed by former Presidents Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump — and opposed by President Joe Biden, when he served in the U.S. Senate.

Iran’s triple threat attack was defeated by fighter jets, Israel’s short-range Iron Dome system, David’s Sling, a kinetic hit-to-kill interceptor system with a range out to 186 miles away, and Israel’s Arrow 2 and Arrow 3 systems, developed with the United States beginning in the late 1980s. The U.S. Navy also fired anti-ballistic missile rockets from warships nearby.

But, had Biden had his way in 1987, Israel wouldn’t have had the sophisticated and highly effective missile defense system.

At the time, I was a young special assistant for foreign affairs in the Pentagon. Shortly after the Republicans lost their U.S. Senate majority in the 1986 election, Democrats redoubled their efforts to terminate Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative.

It was a destabilizing waste of money, they claimed. They argued on one hand that it cost too much, and it wouldn’t work anyway, and on the other hand, if it did work, it would increase the likelihood of a life-ending nuclear war.

But with Israel’s advances in defense technology, combined with its location in a dangerous neighborhood, a bipartisan argument could be made that Israel would benefit from the development of anti-missile technology while America would benefit from Israel’s testing data and lessons learned. Thus was born Israel’s Arrow anti-ballistic missile system.

It’s important to note at the time that Arrow had its critics in both America and Israel. Aside from Biden and the largely anti-defense left, the Israeli Air Force was skeptical, fearing a diversion of resources from its ability to deter attacks on Israel through what was euphemistically called “preemptive diplomacy” — the threat of first strikes to destroy emerging dangers.

But Israel’s Ministry of Defense believed that an effective anti-missile defense would blunt the destruction of an enemy surprise attack, allowing Israel the luxury of not having to conduct diplomatically costly preemptive strikes. That has now been borne out.

In the wake Iran’s foiled attack on Israel, Biden told Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “take the win” and not strike back. Further driving the point home — likely to appeal to the Democrats’ growing problem with their anti-Semitic, left-wing base — Biden said he wouldn’t support an Israeli counterattack.

But just because a would-be murderer failed doesn’t mean that a criminal should escape justice.

Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio called out Biden, accusing him of leaking his call transcript with Netanyahu to appease the “pro-terrorist” mob. Rubio further condemned the Biden administration for playing a “public game” that “encourages Iran and Hezbollah … and the Houthis” and other anti-Israel elements that make the Middle East an even more dangerous region.

In the meantime, domestic pressure is mounting to force Israel to relent in its efforts to defend itself by eliminating the threat from adjacent terrorist groups. Terrorist sympathizers in Chicago shut down the road to the city’s airport and increasing chants of “Death to America” and “Death to Israel,” aiming to change U.S. policy towards Israel.

This brings to mind the Cold War-era revelations from high level Soviet defector Col. Stanislav Lunev, a military intelligence officer, that the Soviet Union’s clandestine agencies provided more resources for “antiwar propaganda in the United States than it did for economic and military support of the Vietnamese.”

The People’s Republic of China has a simple doctrine with regards American interests: Whatever the U.S. supports, it opposes; whatever the U.S. opposes, it supports. With China openly opposing Israel’s efforts to defend itself and in possession of an economy several times larger than the Soviet Union’s at its peak, as well as having powerful propaganda tools such as TikTok, one can only guess at the extent to which China is involved in whipping up anti-Israel, pro-terror hysteria in America.

Biden’s policy of appeasing Iran and its terror proxies has failed spectacularly.

Israel may soon do what it must, using its strength to make up for Biden’s fecklessness.