Photo Credit: Tsafrir Abayov/Flash90
U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, left, and Israel's Defense Minister Ehud Barak, earlier this year celebrated this mad, mad system known as Iron Dome, which all but guarantees many more years of Hamas terror.

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.

A picture is worth a thousand words: former defense minister Amir Peretz looking through a capped binoculars. The video became a huge hit.

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.


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Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth,,, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.


  1. There is one very, very big problem with this hypothesis.
    The author would like to believe that there are two alternatives:
    1) Use the iron dome, and "accept" this "new way of life" (the position he disagrees with).
    2) Not accept it, and instead go in there and decimate the enemy the way the United States marched into Iraq and overthrew their dictator (the path the author would choose).
    The problem is that there IS a third alternative.
    Not only is it another alternative, it is the alternative, the reality that Israel has been living for the past decade, and would continue.
    It is the only alternative that the world has allowed Israel to choose.
    the third alternative is not acceptable anymore, but if not for the iron dome, it will be the only alternative the world would tolerate.
    It is alternative 3) "sit back and take it".
    Remember Jenin?
    Remember what happens anytime Israel tries to defend itself?
    Do you think the world would just sit back and accept it if Israel marched into Gaza and decimated the Palestinians?
    Yes, it is very noble, and maybe naively cute to sit back and say "they are terrorists, kill them, don't just cower behind an iron dome".
    But it is not reality.
    "Kill 'em all" is not going to be accepted by the world.
    Therefore it is NOT a viable alternative.
    Therefore, the ONLY two alternatives are:
    1) sit back and take it,
    2) Use the iron dome and protect from at least some of the rockets.
    When presented with only the two alternatives, one would be very foolish to not use it.

  2. Chaim, you are both saying essentially the same thing. Humans are arguably TOO adaptable. With the end result being horrific acceptance and perpetration of abuse. Millgram's experiments revealed its methods, but the concept is well illustrated by the children's fable of the emperor with no clothes. Time for the world to wake up and open their eyes to what is REALLY going on under their noses. Or do we fawn to a world that prefers a poignant memory of proud jews singing on their way to the gas chambers rather than preventing the atrocities from happening at all. Do not sit quietly in the 'cooking pot' whilst the temperature is slowly raised to boiling Israel! Never again! Lift the veil from your eyes world!

  3. Dianne, it would be wonderful if we could just flatten our enemies. However the world we are in IS a different world, and not just for the Jews.
    For example, with the political climate in the United States today, do you think America would be able to get away with pulling another Hiroshima and Nagasaki again?
    I daresay that America would suffer an internal revolt, if they killed an entire city, men women and children – even if it meant ending a world war!!
    It is foolish to pretend that there are certain alternatives available when they just aren't.
    As long as Israel depends on America for military aid, financial aid, etc. there are certain constraints that they are in.

  4. Yori. I am a big fan of yours, and I respect your work – and your opinion – tremendously.
    but, do you think, realistically, that the elimination of Hamas – while it is what we wish for – is a realistic alternative?
    To the point that we should NOT defend ourselves with an "iron dome"?
    Or, asked another way, if there WAS no Iron dome, do you really think Israel would eliminate Hamas?
    If so, then why didn't they for the past decade?

  5. the essence of this article which is brilliant is that the Iron Dome is only a bandaid- is just containment, and it doesn't get rid of our problem, Hamas. It buys them time efficient rockets. It is to their advantage, as we refuse to do what needs to be done> destroy our enemy before he destroys Israel, G-d forbid.

  6. Additionally, and rather ironically, all this money that Israel spends on defensive techniques like iron dome and even building more shelters hurts it in the arena of public opinon. When the numbers are reported, ignorant people can support their claims of "disproportionate force" by showing how so many more Gaza civilians have died than Israelis. What they don't factor in is that the main 2 reasons for this is 1)Hamas's little habit of hiding terrorists and missiles among civilians 2) Israel spending millions trying to protect its citizens while Hamas goes out of its way to allow its citizens to be killed for the sake of a good PR story.

  7. Chaim — the short answer is yes. I think Israel can realistically eliminate Hamas. It won't be easy, and we will suffer heavy consequences in the short run. But a bully must be faced. If you don't face him in 1936, you'll end up facing him in 1945, at far, far higher price in blood and treasure.

  8. I am an American Christian who supports Israel and I agree wholeheartedly with Yori Yanover. I pray for the Jewish people to realize where their real strenght comes from, 14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land 2 Chron 7:14 (NIV) If the unbelievers in Israel will turn to G-d, He will give the political leaders in Israel the wisdom and power to defeat her enemies. I am praying the same thing for America. The lack of support for Israel and the terrible treatment of Bibi until yesterday has saddened me greatly.

  9. Miriam Webster says:
    a : to reduce drastically especially in number <cholera decimated the population>
    b : to cause great destruction or harm to <firebombs decimated the city> <an industry decimated by recession>

  10. Yori. My question was not so much CAN they eliminate Hamas, the question was WOULD they, if not for the Iron dome?
    You seem to think that if not for the Iron Dome, Israel would have both the fortitude and the support to just go in there.
    I seem to think that if not for the Iron Dome, more Israelis would be dead, since either way, Israel has its hands tied.
    But, history shows that even without the Iron Dome, for ten years they are shooting rockets and Israel has not eliminated them.
    In theory, I agree. Eliminate the enemy. Forget about the dome.
    In real life, though, the only change the dome has brought is that it is saving lives.

  11. Chaim Saperstein — It is saving many lives, but it also introduces the concept of cost effectiveness into the value of Jewish life. You may recall that two weeks ago some in government expressed hesitation about reacting to the still dripping rockets, saying that if we did they might expand the range and fire on tel Aviv.

    I live in a democracy, and I believe in persuading people through debate and argument. In the end we will have to invade Gaza and reverse Oslo. No sane person would propose at this stage of the game that the 2-state solution has a chance in hell. Not after so many rivers of blood have been spilled over it. So we have to reverse Oslo, for the sake of Arab civilians as much as our own sake.

  12. "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."

    Oh, I can think of a few more solutions. Israel can offer to buy the Dodecanese Islands from Greece in return for paying off the Greek debt. Then move the entire population of Gaza to those islands a few miles off the coast of Turkey. Israel can then bulldoze all of Gaza, build Mediterranean front vacation condos and sell or rent them to Germans and Scandinavians in order to pay off the debt taken on from Greece.

    While on the subject of Greece, they are retiring their US made 8 inch (200 mm) artillery. These guns are still in use in Israel and can probably be purchased for bargain prices. They have greater range than the 155 mm artillery and if sub caliber sabots were developed, they could probably throw cheap Warsaw Pact surplus 152 mm and 120 mm artillery shells nearly as far as the Kassam rockets. If these artillery pieces were issued to reserve units within range of Gaza, the residents of towns being hit by rocket attacks could hit back.

  13. The author probably was against the security fence as well. To say the Iron Dome is waste of time because it is defensive is like saying that a policeman’s bullet proof vest is a waste of time as well. Iron Dome has saved countless lives just like the security fence. However a defensive/offensive posture is the best way to end terror. By the way many nations are interested in buying Iron Dome.

  14. Actually the origin of the word is Latin, as there is no and never was a language called Roman. While it originates from a punishment meted out to mutinous Roman cohorts, the definition of the word, in modern usage "means to eliminate the majority of." Unless of course you know better than Webster's Dictionary the meanings of words in the English language, as you obviously believe you know more than the Israeli Defense establishment.

  15. That is not the point, at least the way I understand it. Israel has allowed Hamas to shoot rockets on us for years. an operation here, an operation there.. the longer we wait, the more powerful will our response have to be, ultimately. way more bloodshed.

    To use a bad example, Its like pulling off a bandage. Slowly is more painful..

  16. This article is essentially saying that we would be better off without Iron Dome saving Israeli lives because then the world see how horrible Hamas truly is. How is that any different than Hamas being willing to sacrifice their citizens in order to garner public sympathy?

  17. There are only two solutions to a perennial enemy; you can kill him, or you can make him your friend. As far as the "Palestinian problem" goes, the former isn't practical (it creates more, and more resolute, enemies), and the latter has never been tried.

  18. I disagree with the premise. You are thinking of a system like Iron Dome as protecting only against Palestine. But Israel has many more enemies in the region, including it would seem now Egypt. What the Iron Dome system does is to make it more unlikely for all neighbors, not just Palestine, to attack Israel because Israel would suffer almost no damage but could counter attack with impunity. It means the large stockpiles of rockets in Lebanon have suddenly been rendered nearly worthless. It means that a nuclear Iran is far less likely to get a nuclear weapon through via missile. In the same way that the U.S. forced the soviet union to dissolution by making them overspend on the military, an Iron Dome Israel forces all attackers to try and obtain ever more expensive weaponry to have any effect on Israel… and that cannot continue forever. In the end claiming Iron Dome is a bad thing is like claiming bullet proof vests are bad for law enforcement.

  19. Iron Dome is far from 100%. Israelli TV shows destroyed home after another, where the people survived only because they heard the alarm and ran to hide in the protected zone (every apartment in Israel must, by law, have a fortified room. does the logic sound familiar?).
    Should Hezbolla start firing its Lebanon stocks, it will easily saturate Iron Dome's ability to cope. It is no wonder that we didnt sell this (expensive) solution.. it IS stupid.
    Yanover is right – the price we will have to impose on Hamas will cost, eventually, more lives. it is immoral.

  20. This is just a small part of a much larger problem. These conflicts keep popping up because they are never finished! The last conflict that was FINISHED was WW2. No more issues with the aggressors because they were soundly defeated without worrying about the costs in innocent lives and pussy footing around with the enemy. They are now model states in the world community. Since WW2 we have gotten soft. We can't stand that some innocents got killed in a war – BOO HOO! Either go in and soundly defeat the enemy until he begs for peace or suffer the endless cycle of violence that comes with not WINNING a war.
    In general either go in and decimate the enemy so he can no longer cause you harm or stop crying when he does! Grow a pair and take care of business!

  21. I love this writer. I wish he'd run for public office in the U.S. Civilized people have become to cowardly… IN A WAR, YOU'RE SUPPOSE TO KILL THE ENEMY…. i.e. anyone who is trying to kill you is the enemy. The Israeili's need to get tough. Americans support you. mensunion org

  22. Wait a second. To contain terror is a bad thing? I take it you like it when your enemies kill your neighbors. It gives you a purpose in life. Jews love anti-semitism like dentist like tooth decay. You people are completely insane. Go ahead and worship your god moloch.

  23. Asher — not sympathy — we must reverse the ravages of Oslo, which we created with our own hands. It has zero to do with getting sympathy. Think like a free Jew, for heaven's sake. We installed gangs of thugs in the disputed territories, thinking they'd do the job of repressing their own for us. Turned out they much preferred using the new base to kill Jews. So now we must get it together and remove them, putting them in jail where they belong. I need your world sympathy like I need a hole in the head.

  24. I do believe that they should us the iron dome for protection. BUT I believe Israel needs to gain every kind of ground of land they in the past has lost since 1948 and after 1967. So I believe Bibi is doing just that with out telling the media in america, since their media is Anti-semetic like cnn, msnbc, nbc, etc….. So mazal Tov to Israel and Bibi!

  25. Amber, sadly I don't believe that Hamas would ever become friends with Israel. Their stated goal is to wipe Israel off the map. I believe any effort to make friends with them would be viewed as weakness and exploited to kill more Jews. There is too much hate among Hamas and all extreme Islamists.They are consumed with it, teaching even young children to hate Jews. In a perfect world, I would agree. Turn the other cheek. In this world, turning the other cheek would be a terrible mistake.

  26. Kol hakavod to the writer and Jewish Press. I think this is the best commentary I have seen on this entire campaign. There is no question, without Iron Dome Hamas would no longer exist at this time.

  27. Kendall — The Iron Dome only stops short- and mid-range incoming missiles. Israel is developing The Magic Wand, which is meant to deal with what you described. But any system can be overwhelmed, and a reliance on robots and drones and other fun technology to do your defending for you is a fatal mistake. Check out the Maginot Line.

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