Israel Can, and Will, Outlive Its Third-Generation Crisis

As Israel approaches the 75th anniversary of its creation while riven by domestic controversy, David Hazony compares it to other regimes that have suffered crises in what he terms their third generation. The United States fought a civil war 74 years after the ratification of the constitution; the USSR collapsed 74 years after the Bolshevik revolution. And the ancient kingdom of Israel, after its golden age under David and Solomon, was split in two during the reign of Solomon’s son. Yet, despite the deep divisions revealed by the question of judicial reform, Hazony is optimistic about the future of the present Jewish state:

The clash, if we are to be honest, is between two contradictory patriotic Israeli movements. Two different Jewish nationalisms, two forms of Zionism, relying on two different understandings of the word “democracy.” One seeks redress of injustice and counterrevolution, and to create an authentically Jewish state. The other wants to preserve the liberal order and the “light unto nations.” One sees the Jewish state as a “democracy” whose just powers of government derive from the consent of the governed; the other sees “democracy”—as expressed in rights, freedom, and equality—as inherent and non-negotiable elements of any Jewish state.

The Soviet Union crashed and burned because its citizens had long given up on the national dream of a beautiful future of equality through Communism. The United States fought a brutal Civil War that sacrificed the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans and required more than a decade of military occupation of the South, but which ultimately yielded a Second Founding, a national rebirth.

Israel can afford neither, and for this reason I am optimistic. Israel’s leaders, both government and opposition, have for the first time begun negotiating the contours of an “alternative reform”—which may actually be nothing less than a constitution for the Jewish state.

To me it is clear: Israel, the glorious miracle of Jewish rebirth, now celebrating its 75th independence day, is not nearing its end. On the contrary, it is just getting started.

Read more at Jewish Journal

More about: American Civil War, Israeli Judicial Reform, Israeli society

Hizballah Is Learning Israel’s Weak Spots

On Tuesday, a Hizballah drone attack injured three people in northern Israel. The next day, another attack, targeting an IDF base, injured eighteen people, six of them seriously, in Arab al-Amshe, also in the north. This second attack involved the simultaneous use of drones carrying explosives and guided antitank missiles. In both cases, the defensive systems that performed so successfully last weekend failed to stop the drones and missiles. Ron Ben-Yishai has a straightforward explanation as to why: the Lebanon-backed terrorist group is getting better at evading Israel defenses. He explains the three basis systems used to pilot these unmanned aircraft, and their practical effects:

These systems allow drones to act similarly to fighter jets, using “dead zones”—areas not visible to radar or other optical detection—to approach targets. They fly low initially, then ascend just before crashing and detonating on the target. The terrain of southern Lebanon is particularly conducive to such attacks.

But this requires skills that the terror group has honed over months of fighting against Israel. The latest attacks involved a large drone capable of carrying over 50 kg (110 lbs.) of explosives. The terrorists have likely analyzed Israel’s alert and interception systems, recognizing that shooting down their drones requires early detection to allow sufficient time for launching interceptors.

The IDF tries to detect any incoming drones on its radar, as it had done prior to the war. Despite Hizballah’s learning curve, the IDF’s technological edge offers an advantage. However, the military must recognize that any measure it takes is quickly observed and analyzed, and even the most effective defenses can be incomplete. The terrain near the Lebanon-Israel border continues to pose a challenge, necessitating technological solutions and significant financial investment.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Hizballah, Iron Dome, Israeli Security