A social worker friend of mine used to talk about the ways dysfunctional families adapt and adjust to the craziness of an abnormal family member. Typically, they are so used to making allowances for the neediest family member, that they stop noticing his or her deficiencies. Only a visiting social worker, dropping in unannounced on a home visit, is able to recognize that the fact that Moishe’le is sitting naked under the dinner table eating the scraps his siblings hand him from above the table is crazy.
Israel and the world have become one such a dysfunctional family, with the crazy member being the Gaza Palestinians, most notably the Hamas and its sub groups of various degrees of terrorist and Islamist zeal.
Israel has invented a magnificent tool that allows those truly horrible people to continue fire lengthy cylinders full of explosives at civilian men, women and children, without having to confront too often the fact that those are horrible criminals who should be either dead or in prison. We call it the Iron Dome.
To be perfectly frank, Israel would have been much better off if the Iron Dome had proven to be a flop, like the U.S. made Patriot system, which is notorious for causing as much damage as it attempts to prevent.
The Iron Dome is a great technical device which cuts in half and even better than that the number of terrorist missiles entering Israel. So far it has failed only once, in Kiryat Malachi, this week, resulting in the killing of three civilians. But it has saved countless lives.
Iron Dome is the best terror-containing system known to mankind. The only problem is, containing terrorism is morally corrupt, and a society that dedicates its resources to continuing to live next-door to a community run by terrorists is inherently insane.
Amir Peretz, former defense minister in Ehud Olmert’s government, architect of the national fiasco which is also known as the 2006 Second Lebanon War, has had a resurgence in popularity in the past couple of weeks. Not because he’s won the primaries to lead his Labor party – he lost; and not because experts have reconsidered his prowess as a military leader and picked up on some hidden competence—the video of him observing the front with capped binoculars has remained viral-huge for half a decade, having made the entire late-night circuit.
Former Defense Minister Amir Peretz’s claim to fame is that against heavy resistance from the military experts both inside and outside the IDF, he pushed the idea of a defensive rocket system that would shoot down incoming short- and mid-range missiles. He fought, he overcame ridicule and derision, all alone, a mere civilian—one of the few Israeli defense ministers without a prior military career—and he won.
To understand the context of Peretz’s achievement: During the Second Lebanon War, more than 4,000 Hezbollah rockets landed in northern Israel, hitting major cities like Haifa and Safed, and killing 44 Israeli civilians. An estimated 250,000 Israelis were relocated, and a million more lived much of their daily lives in bomb shelters.
Along the Gaza border, where Jewish settlements had just been dismantled for the sake of peace, thousands of primitive, home-made Kassam rockets and mortar shells were fired into Israel by the Hamas, and another million Israelis were living in bomb shelters there.
In February, 2007, Defense Minister Peretz announced his choice of the Iron Dome as Israel’s defensive solution to this short- and mid-range rocket threat. The U.S. paid Rafael, Israel’s military industrial giant, upwards of $300 million to make it happen, and it is a marvel of technology. If you had a chance to watch the Iron Dome rockets meeting the oncoming Gaza rockets over the past week or so, it’s absolutely astonishing.
Except, here’s a true story: Back in mid-June, during the great Paris weapons show, the Rafael pavilion was absolutely the busiest around, and everybody wanted to look at the new, exciting, Iron Dome system, the greatest achievement in rocket defense ever. But by the end of the show, Rafael hadn’t made a single sale. The Arrow sold well, other systems did great – Iron Dome wasn’t moving. So they contacted their big clients, the serious ones, and asked what gives. And those clients told them no one except Israel has any use for these things. Because in any normal, sane country, if some hooligans were to start targeting civilians with rockets – the army would go and kill them.
Like it or not, there is only one solution to the Hamas tyranny of terror in Gaza: they need to be rounded up and killed, and their terrified subjects need to be permitted to pursue their lives with dignity and liberty and happiness.
The state of Israel did just that in 2002, with Operation Defensive Shield, following a suicide bombing in the Park Hotel in Netanya, that killed 30 on the Seder night. It took several weeks and enormous resources, and then a lot of follow up procedures. But today the terror infrastructure in the PA is not operational. And the result is a much better life for the civilian population, a touch of prosperity, new construction – and a significant drop in the birth rate, for your information, demographic doomsayers.
This is the only viable solution to the Gaza predicament: round up the bad guys, take them in, take out absolutely every last shred of a firearm, and free up Gaza’s civilian population.
In a briefing with an IDF official this week, I asked what’s the end goal of the current operation, and the answer was: to bring the rocket attacks down to a reasonable number. It wasn’t this officer’s fault, it’s what the political echelon has been dictating.
This kind of talk, about there being an acceptable level of rocket attacks, a tolerable number of injured and killed Israelis, a manageable number of nights a million Israelis will spend in bomb shelters and cement pipes – it is only made possible by the existence of the Iron Dome.
Because we deploy this wretched thing, the other side can continue to thrive, and young men can continue to pull a paycheck for killing—or trying to kill—Israelis. They rule their brethren and they invite regular IAF destruction on themselves and on their neighbors.
Blame our national hero, the relentless Amir Peretz, the man who made the devil an offer he himself didn’t understand.