Iron Dome in action
By Larry Brook, editor
For the Squad, what the world needs is more dead Jews. And Palestinians, for that matter.
Harsh, perhaps. But in their quest to remain passionately anti-Israel, they have let logic fly out the door and taken a position that would lead to putting more lives at risk and increase the possibility of war. Hardly a stance for a committed lover of peace.
The story began on Sept. 21 as the U.S. House tried to pass a Continuing Resolution to authorize stopgap spending and avoid a governmental shutdown. Among the items in the resolution was $1 billion to replenish the Iron Dome supplies that were used by Israel during the May conflict with Hamas, where the terrorist group launched around 4,000 rockets from Gaza toward Israeli population centers.
Members of the Squad, part of the progressive wing of the Democratic party, refused to vote for the resolution as long as the Iron Dome funding — all of which, incidentally, has to be spent in the United States — remained. To get enough votes to pass, House Democratic leadership had to pull the Iron Dome funds from the resolution.
Naturally, Republicans crowed about how this demonstrates that the Democrats are descending further into becoming the anti-Israel party. But the Republicans enabled this bit of political theater, as none of them were voting for the resolution no matter what was in it, as they are trying to pin U.S. budgetary concerns entirely on the Democrats. Since no Republican votes were to be had, this enabled the Squad to make their demands, knowing that with the very slim Democratic majority in the House, their votes were crucial for passage.
Two days later, when the Iron Dome funding came up on its own, it passed — 420 to 9, and two abstentions.
Rep. Rashida Tlaib railed against the bill, saying it enables “war crimes and human rights abuses and violence.” She added that the funding would be for “weapons apartheid Israel used in a crisis it manufactured when it attacked worshippers at one of the most holiest Islamic locations, the al-Aqsa Mosque, committing again numerous war crimes.”
That “attack,” of course, has been thoroughly debunked, as Israeli police were responding to rioting on the Temple Mount, and to coordinated Palestinian attacks on Israelis.
She also completely mischaracterized the purpose of Iron Dome.
Developed in partnership with the U.S., Iron Dome is a defense system. It has no offensive capabilities. Its sole purpose is to shoot down missiles that have been fired toward civilian population centers (because of the expense of Iron Dome interceptors, if an incoming missile is projected to hit an open field, the system doesn’t bother shooting it down).
Because of Iron Dome and its 90-plus percent success rate, there were just 13 deaths in Israel attributed to the fighting. In Gaza, about 260 deaths were reported, the majority of which were enemy combatants.
People like Tlaib also forget that Hamas missiles aren’t just aimed at Israeli Jews. Once the rockets go up, who knows where they will land — and about 700 of them actually landed in Gaza, resulting in many of the civilian deaths that were blamed on Israel.
And once the rockets enter Israel, they can’t identify who is an Israeli Jew, an Israeli Arab or a foreigner. Among the death toll in Israel were a woman from India and two men from Thailand. Arab homes were shelled, the same as Jewish homes.
Anti-Israel groups point to the low number of casualties in Israel versus among the Palestinians as a sign of immorality by Israel. Disproportionate, they say.
Well, the Nazis lost roughly 5 million soldiers in World War II, while the U.S. and Britain each had around 400,000 military deaths. Guess that gives the Nazis the moral high ground.
But, one may protest, there are so many civilians killed in Gaza by Israel, so the analogy doesn’t work. Actually, it makes the case even stronger. First, Israel takes great pains to avoid civilian casualties, so the percentage who are civilians that are tragically killed is far lower than in almost every other conflict on the planet. In places like Syria, those numbers make barely a ripple in comparison.
Yet Tlaib and her cohorts wail about a non-existent Israeli “genocide” against the Palestinians, while anti-Israel groups like Human Rights Watch say it is Israel that is committing war crimes.
Second, Hamas and Fatah fighters aren’t in uniform. Israel isn’t fighting a conventional army. So many who are reported to be civilian casualties by the Western media are then identified by various terrorist factions as their people — not innocents.
And third, if the argument is against the targeting of civilians, the rockets fired from Gaza are specifically to kill civilians. There is no targeting of Israel’s military capabilities.
Israel seeks to minimize civilian casualties — on both sides — while Hamas seeks the largest civilian death toll possible, to grab headlines and sympathy. Israel isn’t going to simply play along.
It cannot be overemphasized that while Israel builds systems to protect civilians, Hamas not only targets civilians but uses their own civilians as human shields to protect their armaments. The more who get killed by Israeli airstrikes, the better it is for their propaganda.
For all the talk about crowded, open-air prison of Gaza, there are a lot of open areas in the Strip. There is no true need to place rocket launchers next to apartment buildings, unless the goal is to create more propaganda deaths of civilians.
A strong Iron Dome actually prevents deaths in Gaza. Imagine that there were no Iron Dome, and the over 1500 rockets that actually were headed toward populated areas in Israel reached their targets.
The casualty count would have been much higher, as would the pressure on the Israeli government to take much stronger measures to protect its citizens and stop the barrage. Perhaps a much broader campaign of air strikes to take out the launchers. Perhaps even a ground invasion of Gaza to clean up the situation. No matter which option was chosen, the result would be a far higher death toll — on both sides. Iron Dome gives Israel the luxury of absorbing a few punches and being able to surgically and deliberately eliminate the threat.
Iron Dome may not be deployed in Gaza, but it sure helps save lives of Gazans.
A similar illogical effort was made by Rep. Ilhan Omar in her quest to keep Israel from being able to procure precision-guided munitions. Those munitions enable Israel to take out immediate threats without harming bystanders — such as being able to target a particular office in a building, rather than having to take out the entire building.
Anyone doubting Israel’s commitment to precise targeting need only look at the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh in November 2020 while he was driving in Iran, with his wife seated next to him. A non-precision strike would mean taking out his car, also killing his wife, and possibly bodyguards in other cars around him. The Mossad used a remote control machine gun to fire 15 shots, killing him — and not even hitting anyone else.
While Hamas targets Israeli civilians of all backgrounds and continues its vow to eliminate the world’s only Jewish state, Israel tries to minimize civilian casualties on both sides. The Squad’s blind hatred of Israel causes them to take positions that can only result in more death and destruction. All in the name of peace and justice, of course.
They don’t like the fact that Iron Dome means Israel can protect itself and make Hamas’ weapons mostly ineffective. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was even in tears after the Iron Dome funding passed and, feeling the dynamics of a possible Senate run next year, she voted “present” instead of “no.” How tragic, Israel will be able to defend itself!
Though they may not articulate it this way, their actions are clear: The Squad would rather see more dead Jews — and dead Palestinians. And that is just one of the great tragedies of the anti-Israel crowd, whose policies would only make life worse for everyone in the region, especially the Palestinians that they profess to care so much about.