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September 25, 2016 / 22 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Iron Dome’

GOP SubCommittee Endorses Groundbreaking Pro-Israel Platform

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016

On Monday, July 11, a GOP Platform subcommittee overwhelmingly passed an historically powerful position in support of Israel.

The language of the proposed plank compares Israel’s vision to that of America’s, rejects dictating terms of any peace agreement by those not living in the region and calls for the termination of funding for any entity which attempts to do so.

The language was hammered out over the past several months by the Iron Dome Alliance and several like-minded groups, and introduced and shepherded through the subcommittee by member delegate Alan Clemmons, South Carolina State Representative.

Jeff Ballabon, chairman of Iron Dome Alliance, spoke with the JewishPress.com Monday evening.

When asked how the strikingly strong pro-Israel language was adopted so easily (in a 14 – 2 vote) by the subcommittee, Ballabon explained that “this is where the GOP base is” and that, combined with “the force of the truth from Alan Clemmons” won the day.

Reached early Tuesday morning in Cleveland, Clemmons explained that the strongly pro-Israel platform language which includes respect for Israeli sovereignty and endorses an undivided Jerusalem as Israel’s eternal capital express American support for Israel.

“I believe the full Platform Committee will adopt this strong statement of support of Israel and her citizens this morning to give Republicans a platform that truly reflects their opinions about America’s greatest ally,” Clemmons told the JewishPress.com.

Ballabon also credited the simplicity of the proposed language, which is “spare, direct, and is what every conservative I know believes in,” with paving its way to passage.

The three-paragraph long plank is entitled: “Our Unequivocal Support of Israel and Jerusalem.”

The first paragraph lays out the common values shared by Israel and the U.S. building to a crescendo which calls support for Israel “an expression of Americanism” and the strong desire of Americans for a relationship with “no daylight between America and Israel.” It also recognizes Jerusalem as the eternal and indivisible capital of the Jewish state” and calls for the American embassy to be moved to the capital “in fulfillment of U.S. law.”

The second paragraph commits America to ensuring Israel maintains a qualitative military edge over all adversaries, and supports Israel’s right to defend itself in conventional warfare as well as against legal, economic and cultural warfare. It labels the BDS movement anti-Semitic and calls for “effective legislation to thwart actions intended to limit commercial relations with Israel.”

The final paragraph addresses the establishment of a “comprehensive and lasting peace int he Middle East, “to be negotiated among those living in the region.” It opposes “any measures intended to impose an agreement or to dictate borders or other terms, and call for the immediate termination of all U.S. funding of any entity that attempts to do so.”

For those who despaired of liberation from the tried and failed “Two State” mantra which seemed to have an impenetrable lock on “pro-Israel” American organizations, the proposed plank is a breath of rarefied air.

And for those who believed that the idea of Two States is the official policy of the Israeli government, you were wrong. There is no such language in the official government guidelines, as reinforced in the prime minister’s statement of inauguration.

As Ballabon put it, the organization which most Americans think of as most firmly pro-Israel, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, is amongst the most firmly pro-Two States. But the newly-proposed plank has not “dropped” the Two State idea, it simply hands the decision making over to Israel.

Rather than weaken the more committed, pro-Israel party to line up with uniform but mediocre support, the idea was to dump the idea of the lowest common denominator and instead have a “race to the top.”

Further, Ballabon explained, Republican pro-Israel legislators have grown increasingly less enthusiastic about AIPAC. Iran Sanctions and then the aftermath of the Iran Deal contributed to what was already a growing disenchantment with AIPAC. Ballabon’s distaste for the Israel Lobby is not hidden. He says it has “lots of money but its ideas are bankrupt.”

And while Ballabon was not a confirmed Trump supporter before this GOP Israel plank effort, he said the New York businessman’s Israel policy advisers have been “totally on board” with this effort in a way that was extraordinary.

Ballabon, who has long been a political and media strategist and Jewish community activist, said he has “never seen such a strong Israel policy team as is Trump’s.” He was, he says, “underwhelmed by both Romney and McCain’s Israel policy advisers.”

Tuesday, July 12, the full GOP Plank committee will meet to decide on all the language agreed to by its various subcommittees, including the new Israel Support language proposed by the GOP Platform’s National Security and Defense Subcommittee.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

AIPAC ‘Deeply Disappointed’ Obama Won’t Up Israel’s Missile Defense by $445 Million

Wednesday, June 15th, 2016

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) issued a statement criticizing the White House Office of Management and Budget’s “Statement of Administration Policy” which threatened to veto the Senates $576 billion defense spending bill, among other reasons because the statement of policy “opposes the addition of $455 million above the FY 2017 Budget request for Israeli missile defense procurement and cooperative development programs.”

Last month, the Senate Appropriations Committee recommended $600 million in funding for 2017, which represents an increase of $455 million over the president’s original request.

The statement of administration policy released Tuesday by the Office of Management and Budget reads: “The bill is inconsistent with the [Bipartisan Budget Act], and the administration strongly objects to the inclusion of problematic ideological provisions that are beyond the scope of funding legislation. … If the president were presented with H.R. 5293, the President’s senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.”

One of those “problematic ideological provisions” is the increased allocation for Israel’s missile defense research and development.

The White House used the same tactic against the House version of the National Defense Authorization Act, which the president also threatened to veto.

AIPAC said in a statement that it was “deeply disappointed” with the White House’s choosing to include the increase in defense spending on Israel’s missile programs in the components of the budget to which it objected. “On a bipartisan basis, Congress has increased funding above administration requests this year, as it has done for well over a decade,” AIPAC said. “These cooperative programs—including the Arrow, David’s Sling, and Iron Dome—are critical for Israel’s defense against a growing array of missile threats and make an important contribution to US missile defense programs. We applaud Congress for consistently supporting these key programs, and urge their full funding in both the FY 2017 National Defense Authorization and Appropriations Acts.”

Incidentally, on the same day the White House announced it would not increase the funding for Iron Dome, among other programs, DefenseNews reported that after five years of a stellar performance in which Iron Dome has been credited with more than 1,500 operational intercepts—a 90% success rate, and despite a reported widespread global interest, government and industry sources say Israel’s Iron Dome anti-rocket intercepting system, developed by state-owned Rafael Ltd., has not yet been sold to a single customer.

“Who else in the world is constantly threatened by rockets?” former head of Israel’s Missile Defense Organization Uzi Rubin asked DN, noting: “It’s essentially only us and perhaps sheikhdoms in the Persian Gulf, where for obvious reasons, we do not yet export.”

Rubin did not mention that in other, saner parts of the world, persistent rocket attacks from, say, Mexico, against, say, the US, would result in a one-time search and destroy response, rather than with a technological solution such as Iron Dome that contains those unceasing rocket attacks. You don’t have to be Donald Trump to figure that one out.

David Israel

Comprehensive Anti-BDS Campaign Launched at UN

Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

Over 1500 Anti-BDS activists bridged political, geographic, religious and generational divides to pack the UN General Assembly Hall for an anti-BDS summit hosted on Tuesday by Israel’s Mission to the UN. The event kicked off a larger initiative aimed at consolidating efforts to contend with the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement, fittingly entitled “Build Bridges, Not Boycotts”.

The day-long event grew out of a dawning realization that the State of Israel, world Jewish communities, and the numerous groups attempting to mount a response to BDS on their own, must join forces if inroads are to be made against the organization that has been attempting to pressure businesses, artists, and academics to blackball Israel for eleven years.

“YOU are the Iron Dome of the State of Israel,” Danon announced from the podium. “If we stand together, we can do this. One day you will tell your children – I was there when they stopped BDS.”

The call for unity was echoed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a pre-recorded message and reiterated by a roster of keynote and workshop speakers that included Israeli Supreme Court VP Justice Elyakim Rubenstein; World Jewish Congress president Ronald S. Lauder; ACLJ chief counsel Jay Sekulow; Son of Hamas author Mosab Hassan Yousef; CEO and vice president of World Jewish Congress Robert Singer and Soda Stream’s Daniel Birnbaum, as well as Frank Luntz; David Suissa; Emily Neilson-Winkler; David Sable; Alan Johnson of Bicom UK; actress Noa Tishby, and founder of Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group, Bassam Eid.

“I’m here today to get informed”, said Flo, president of student government at Brooklyn College, “we’ve had some issues on campus”. The 22 year old related the divisive effect that BDS can have on university life, “We have students who get riled up, and students who feel unsafe”.

For many of the students present the highlight – and the hero – of the day was reggae artist Matisyahu. The Jewish American singer had his own run-in with BDS last summer when was abruptly uninvited from Spain’s Sun Splash music festival following his refusal to discuss his views on Israel. After an ensuing uproar where the World Jewish Congress reached out to Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, the festival apologized, reinstated Matisyahu, and revealed that BDS strong-arming had been behind the decision to drop him.

When Matisyahu finally took the stage in Spain in front of a decidedly unwelcoming crowd, he belted out the song Jerusalem. The performer, who did an encore of Jerusalem at the UN on Tuesday, has since become a vocal anti-BDS activist.

“When you see someone like Matisyahu, who is so much bigger than you, and he’s standing up for what you believe in, it makes you feel like there’s someone behind you. You’re not alone”, said Rambam Mesifta student Naftali, at the UN for the day with friends from his Lawrence, New York high school.

Although so far the teens have so only encountered anti-Semitism on social media, they say are preparing for the day it will become face-to-face, which they consider all but inevitable. The boys are also fans of their host for the day. “I admire Ambassador Danon because he uses his power to take a stand and make a difference, instead of just having power for the sake of it”, explained Eli, another Rambam Mesifta student. Along with the rest of the participants, each of the friends left with a copy of A Guide for Combating Modern Day Anti-Semitism.

After a moving speech by Justice Rubenstein, who closed his remarks by proclaiming Am Yisroel Chai, several attendees were overheard expressing doubt that the BDS situation would ever improve. 62 year old New Yorker Sol was more optimistic. “Don’t give up, even miracles can happen,” he reminded those nearby.

As if to help Sol make his point, not 10 minutes later in the UN General Assembly – not normally the most embracing environment for Israel – 1500 voices could be heard singing the Israeli national anthem, HaTikva.

Stephanie Granot

Iron Dome Batteries Moved Near Gaza

Friday, March 25th, 2016

It has just been released for publication that the Iron Dome missile defense system has been re-deployed to southern Israel. Several interceptor batteries have been stationed in various locations in the south, including near Sderot and Netivot, which are near the border with Gaza.

It is unclear whether this action was taken following a determination that there is a credible threat or if it was merely a routine decision.

 

 

 

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

David’s Sling Air Defense System Passes Final Test

Monday, December 21st, 2015

Israel’s ‘David’s Sling’ air defense system passed its final round of testing Monday and is on course for deployment in 2016, the Defense Ministry announced.

The system is being jointly developed and produced by Israeli state-owned Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd and top U.S. weapons manufacturer Raytheon Co.

David’s Sling was put through its paces in a test field in southern Israel in advance of delivery to the Air Force by April 2016. The IAF is to receive two batteries in the first stage of deployment, although a total of four are to be delivered to the military. The system can be deployed in both mobile and permanent environments, which allows for flexible maneuvers in accordance with military requirements, similar to that of the Iron Dome.

Likewise, David’s Sling can operate independently or integrated with the Iron Dome and Arrow air defense systems, based on Israel’s security needs at time of deployment.

The system, also known as the “Magic Wand,” is designed to shoot down medium-range rockets fired at Israel, with ranges of 100 km to 200 km (63 to 125 miles). The anti-missile system can also shoot down hostile aircraft and low-flying cruise missiles when necessary.

Although the Defense Ministry gave no specific details about the targets that were identified and shot down on Monday, officials said that in general, the system can identify and intercept missiles capable of bearing a warhead carrying hundreds of kilograms of explosives.

David’s Sling is intended to fill the operational gap between the currently operating Iron Dome short-range rocket interceptor and the longest-range Arrow ballistic missile interceptor. Both are already deployed.

“This series of tests completes the first chapter in development and will allow us to bring the system to the Air Force soon,” a senior Defense Ministry weapons development specialist said.

The head of the project from Israeli defense firm Rafael, Shlomo S., added, “This feels like a dream come true, as the goals and targets we had were achieved in full, and that is a rare thing in the development of systems of this kind.”

Hana Levi Julian

Iron Dome Launch Following Rocket Alert (But No Rocket?)

Tuesday, November 17th, 2015

A rocket alert went off just after 2:30 PM on Tuesday, from rockets launched from Gaza at Israel.

The Iron Dome anti-missile system successfully launched, but apparently at nothing.

The IDF now reports that there was a false alarm and the Iron Dome launched, but there was no rocket launched that set it off.

No injuries or damage were reported.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Personal Iron Dome

Friday, October 16th, 2015

During these “Days of Rage”, the Israeli genius that makes us the start-up nation has come up with a new defense system against the “lone wolf” terrorist.

Meet the personal Iron Dome. Available at Rami Levy supermarkets and felafel stands everywhere.

Photo of the Day

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/photos/personal-iron-dome/2015/10/16/

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