In France, a Formerly Anti-Semitic Party Stands with Israel

Much will be clarified in the coming weeks about how various political leaders, groups, and institutions respond to war between Israel and Hamas. In France, Marine Le Pen, the leader of the hard-right National Rally party, along with her number-two, issued strong statements of support for the Jewish state last week. Michel Gurfinkiel explains:

These are the most pro-Israel pronouncements both leaders have ever made. Marine’s father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, who founded and led the National Front—the National Rally’s forerunner—managed to be at the same time an old-fashioned anti-Semite, a critic of Arab and Islamic immigration to France, and a close friend and supporter of Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi regime.

When Marine Le Pen took over the National Front from him in 2011 and turned it into a more mainstream populist party, she repudiated anti-Semitism and ventured to express some sympathy for Israel, albeit in vague and ambivalent terms.

Clearly, the National Rally is now stepping up the tone. For one thing, its base is increasingly convinced that Israel and France have a single common enemy—radical Islam—and that what happens now in Israel, or what national defense policies Israel must resort to, is a blueprint for France’s short-term future.

Read more at New York Sun

More about: Europe and Israel, France, Marine Le Pen

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