Why No F-15s for Israel?

Feb. 15 2016

Last fall, seeking to make good on a pledge of supplemental military aid from the U.S., Israel requested a new squadron of F-15s. The Pentagon reportedly has rejected the request, insisting that Israel spend the funds on the newer F-35s instead. While these are in many ways superior aircraft, Caroline Glick notes an important distinction: Israel expressly wished to install its own computer systems on the F-15s, but no such option is available for the F-35s, which depend entirely on a system ultimately controlled from the U.S. She writes:

By giving Israel no option other than purchasing more F-35s, which the Americans control—to the point of being able to ground—even after they are deployed by the Israel Air Force (IAF), and defensive systems jointly developed with the U.S. and built in the U.S., the Americans are hollowing out Israel’s ability to operate independently.

Clearly, by waiting for the next president to conclude Israel’s military-assistance package, Netanyahu is hoping that President Obama’s successor will give Israel a better deal. But the fact is that even if a pro-Israel president is elected, Israel cannot assume that American efforts to erode Israel’s strategic independence will end once Obama leaves office. . . .

This week India and Israel were poised to finalize a series of arms deals totaling $3 billion. The final package is set to be signed during India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Israel later this year. The deal includes various missile- and electronic-warfare systems. . . . Netanyahu should view India’s enthusiasm for Israeli systems as an opportunity to end the IAF’s utter dependence on . . . U.S. systems.

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More about: Barack Obama, IDF, Israel & Zionism, Israel-India relations, U.S. military, US-Israel relations

 

No, Israel Hasn’t Used Disproportionate Force against Hamas

Aug. 15 2018

Last week, Hamas and other terrorist organizations in Gaza launched nearly 200 rockets and mortars into Israel, in addition to the ongoing makeshift incendiary devices and sporadic sniper fire. Israel responded with an intensive round of airstrikes, which stopped the rockets. Typically, condemnations of the Jewish state’s use of “disproportionate force” followed; and typically, as Peter Lerner, a former IDF spokesman, explains, these were wholly inaccurate:

The IDF conducted, by its own admission, approximately 180 precision strikes. In the aftermath of those strikes the Hamas Ministry of Health announced that three people had been killed. One of the dead was [identified] as a Hamas terrorist. The two others were reported as civilians: Inas Abu Khmash, a twenty-three-year-old pregnant woman, and her eighteen-month daughter, Bayan. While their deaths are tragic, they are not an indication of a disproportionate response to Hamas’s bombardment of Israel’s southern communities. With . . . 28 Israelis who required medical assistance [and] 30 Iron Dome interceptions, I would argue the heart-rending Palestinian deaths indicate the exact opposite.

The precision strikes on Hamas’s assets with so few deaths show how deep and thorough is the planning process the IDF has put in place. . . . Proportionality in warfare, [however], is not a numbers game, as so many of the journalists I’ve worked with maintain. . . . Proportionality weighs the necessity of a military action against the anguish that the action might cause to civilians in the vicinity. . . . In the case of the last few days, it appears that even intended combatant deaths were [deemed] undesirable, due to their potential to increase the chances of war. . . .

The question that should be repeated is why indiscriminate rocket fire against Israeli civilians from behind Gazan civilians is accepted, underreported, and not condemned.

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More about: Gaza Strip, Hamas, IDF, Israel & Zionism, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict