Friday, April 8, 2011
An Israeli military success that Palestinians should cheer
An Israeli Iron Dome missile defence battery like this one destroyed two Palestinian missiles fired at Israeli civilians on Thursday.
Over the last several days, violence has flared up once again along Israel’s border with the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. On Thursday, an anti-tank missile was fired into Israel, where it destroyed a school bus, critically injuring an Israeli boy and wounding the bus driver. The nature of such missiles make it highly unlikely that the school bus was simply collateral damage — anti-tank missiles are designed to hit moving targets, meaning this was almost certainly an intentional attack against children. The fact that such things fail to shock is proof of the revolting evil of Israel’s enemies.
The Israeli military immediately retaliated, killing five inside Gaza with air strikes and tank shells. Israeli civilians along the border have been ordered to take cover as Israeli military operations continue. Later that day, terrorists inside the Gaza Strip fired missiles at the Israeli city of Ashkelon. The missiles never made it. They were intercepted by Israel’s brand new missile defence system, Iron Dome, which tracked the incoming projectiles and destroyed them both with defensive missiles. This is the first successful battlefield use of a system that’s been in development for four years, and marks the first occasion in history that a short-range missile has been successfully negated before reaching its target during actual combat. Most importantly, it is good news not only to the beleaguered Israeli citizens in the south of that country, but also for the Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip.
Though few Gaza denizens are likely to applaud yet another triumph of Israeli arms, that is short sighted. To this point, Israel’s only way of of defending itself against rocket and missile fire from the Gaza Strip was through a strong military offence, with all the attendant bad publicity, diplomatic backlash and the constant risk of collateral damage among Palestinian civilians. For this reason, Israel would often refrain from retaliation if the attacks were minor or inflicted no damage. But every so often, the pressure would either become too much for the Israelis, who have an obligation to defend their civilians, or Palestinian terrorists would get “lucky” and hit something (a school bus, for example) that Israel felt compelled to respond to.
Such exchanges always result in a crushing Israeli military victory, but only at the cost of being demonized by the useful idiots among the world’s diplomatic and media elite. Such battles bring to mind the words of the ancient King Pyrrhus of Epirus, who after defeating a Roman invasion at the cost of virtually his entire army, was said to have commented, “One more such victory, and I shall be undone.”
Iron Dome presents an alternative to the broken model of peace through deterrence backed by the threat of enormous destruction. The Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip, who realized long ago that there was no international consequence for attacking Israelis, have cynically used human shields to generate international outrage whenever Israel responds to a provocation. By fielding Iron Dome, Israel will reduce (but sadly not eliminate) the number of attacks its citizens must contend with, and most importantly, the frequency of Israeli citizens paying a price that demands retaliation. In short, Iron Dome, by making armed conflict less likely, protects not only the citizens of Israel, but the residents of Gaza, as well.
The deployment of this weapon system should be cheered by civilians on both sides and will only frustrate the murderous agenda of Hezbollah and Hamas terrorists. Something to celebrate, indeed.