The Dangers of Comparing Israeli Judicial Reform to the Greatest Catastrophes in Jewish History

On July 24—the sixth day of Av, on the Jewish calendar—the Knesset passed a law limiting the ability of the Supreme Court to interfere with ministerial appointments and decisions. Opponents of the reform immediately drew parallels to the upcoming fast day of Tisha b’Av, the ninth of Av, which commemorates the destruction of the two Temples and various other national catastrophes. Meir Soloveichik comments:

[T]he rabbis of the Talmud connected the Ninth of Av to one other day in Jewish history—one that was not a moment for weeping, but in which Jews wept all the same. It was around the Ninth of Av, they tell us, that scouts sent by Moses returned from the Holy Land to Israel’s desert encampment and described the challenges facing the people in conquering and settling the site promised to Abraham.

The Israelites wept as they heard the testimony of the spies, unable to see the incredible opportunity awaiting them. According to the Talmud, God told Moses that though Israel now was engaged in an unreasonable act of mourning in failing to see the gift that the Holy Land embodied, in the future the Ninth of Av would be a day on which true tragedies would be remembered.

If those who suffered in the events marked on the Ninth of Av would have been shown images of our own age—a united Jerusalem featuring a Jewish government, a Judean desert in bloom, and Jewish homes rebuilt throughout the Holy Land—they would have rejoiced at this vindication of Jewish yearnings. And if they would have been told that during all this, the parliament of the Jewish state would then vote to limit the ability of a Supreme Court to pronounce administrative decisions as “unreasonable,” their awe would not be diminished by an iota, no matter the flaws or virtues of this vote.

Read more at Commentary

More about: Israeli Judicial Reform, Israeli politics, Talmud, Tisha b'Av


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