David Bernstein and the Argument about Israel He Wishes He Hadn’t Won

For years, the law professor and blog author David Bernstein had an ongoing debate with some of his commenters. They asked him “why I focused my attention on what I saw as unfair attacks on Israel, rather than on Israeli policies I disagreed with that might be obstacles to a future peace deal.” He argued in response that

Israel’s harshest critics simply wanted Israel to cease to exist, and given that this goal could likely be achieved only via genocide, I chose to focus my attention on that. My commenters were also pretty consistent, arguing that I was being paranoid, that the vast majority of critics, even the harshest ones, wanted a two-state solution, not to eliminate Israel.

Now, since October 7, the score has come in, and Bernstein thinks, rightly, that he won the argument: Hamas does not want a two-state solution, and neither do Israel’s most fervent critics. But he’s not happy about winning, he says.

I have to admit that I underestimated the mendacity of these people. As much as I knew that they hated Israel much more than they were concerned with the well-being of Palestinians, I didn’t imagine that they would be willing to run interference for, if not outright support, Hamas, certainly not after Hamas put its brutality and genocidal intentions on display for all the world to see. I would have expected something more like “immediate ceasefire, but the world has to work on replacing Hamas with something else.”

Read more at The Volokh Conspiracy

More about: Gaza War 2023, Israel & Zionism, Politics & Current Affairs

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