The Iron Dome Saves Lives, but It Is No Solution to Hamas’s Attacks

Nov. 21 2018

The intense rocket bombardment that Israeli civilians suffered last week was a reminder that the technologically sophisticated missile-defense system known as the Iron Dome does not provide absolute protection: several houses were destroyed, and one person was killed. Moshe Arens argues that Jerusalem’s strategic calculations must take this fact into account. (Free registration may be required.)

Some rockets get through [the defenses], while others send residents of the country’s south scurrying into bomb shelters. That spells the end of normal life for those who live there, and can be achieved by the launching of a few hundred simple, cheap rockets. The last few weeks have demonstrated this conclusively. Also, the Iron Dome system can be saturated by the launching of a number of rockets at the same target, some of which get through. The bombardment overwhelms the interception system. . . . The tremendous difference in the cost of the simple rocket and the expensive system operated to intercept it also makes it financially unsustainable in the long run.

It is true [that] the Iron Dome saves lives. It has been argued that it provides the government with the time needed to discuss a response to an initial attack. But it does not solve the basic problem: protection of the civilian population in southern Israel. . . .

The only way to stop the launching of rockets at Israel’s civilian population is by physically eliminating the enemy’s capability of doing so. That can be achieved only by troops on the ground—through the entry of the Israel Defense Forces into the launching areas and the destruction of the manufacturing and storage facilities. The belief that terrorist organizations dedicated to destroying the state of Israel can be inveigled to abstain from attacking Israel has proven to be false and is not likely to be borne out in the long run. . . . So long as these organizations continue to rule there, nothing will change.

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Read more at Haaretz

More about: Gaza Strip, Hamas, Iron Dome, Israel & Zionism, Israeli Security


What to Expect from the Israeli Election

Sept. 16 2019

Tomorrow Israelis go to the polls for the second election of 2019, in which the two main contenders will be the Likud, led by Benjamin Netanyahu, and the centrist Blue and White, led by Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid. Neither party is likely to have an easy path to forming the 61-seat Knesset majority needed to form a government, a reality that has affected both parties’ campaigns. Haviv Rettig Gur explains how the anomalous political situation has led to something very different from the contest between left-wing and right-wing “blocs” of parties predicted by most analysts, and examines the various possible outcomes:

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Avigdor Liberman, Benjamin Netanyahu, Benny Gantz, Israeli Election 2019, Israeli politics