By Harry Ben-Zvi and Gidon Ben-Zvi
Summer is nearly upon us. In Israel, this is traditionally a time for blasting the AC, heading to the beach…and rocket fire from Gaza. On Monday, the IDF deployed an Iron Dome anti-missile battery beside the southern Israeli city of Beersheba, in response to multiple rocket salvos that had been launched at Israel from the Gaza Strip over the past few weeks.
Iron Dome. The Israeli engineered, U.S. funded, mobile air defensive system is frequently cited by President Barack Obama as an example of his enduring commitment to Israel’s security. Indeed, POTUS signed a bill in 2014 granting an additional $225 million in funding for Israel’s missile defense system.
In fact, Israel’s growing reliance on Iron Dome is enabling POTUS to degrade Israel’s military advantage.
For one thing, the proliferation of over a hundred thousand missiles in Gaza, Lebanon and Iran, has increased Israeli dependency on U.S. military aid to feed a growing demand for anti-rocket batteries.
Parrying Hezbollah and Hamas and, increasingly, ISIS is not cheap. The operational expense of the Iron Dome is $70,000-$100,000 per missile.
In addition, Iron Dome’s very effectiveness has allowed Israel’s harshest critics around the world to marginalize the threat of terrorist missile blitzes.
Conveniently white washed by the Obama administration and its acolytes in the mainstream media are the tens of thousands of flying bombs that have been hurled at innocent Israeli citizens. Missiles shot down by the Iron Dome are not counted. Nor are rockets that either land in “open” areas or do not explode. Similarly, missiles that do explode and cause damage but do not inflict casualties were, based on the dearth of international reportage, never launched.
In this Looking-Glass world, the Gaza terrorists’ unsuccessful missile attacks, aimed at Israeli population centers, are seen by many useful idiots as a noble expression of a disenfranchised Arab people’s struggle against overwhelming, disproportionate Zionist aggression.
The sneaking suspicion that Obama believes that a good Israel is a perpetually vulnerable Israel was confirmed in 2014, when his administration placed an arms embargo against the Jewish state. What caused Israel’s enduring ally to respond in such a grotesque manner? It was Israel’s retaliatory military action against an incessant barrage of rocket fire from Gaza that provoked POTUS’s ire.
Apparently, the American President missed the briefing about impending massive Hamas terror attacks against southern Israel via tunnels from Gaza, which would have resulted in the murder and kidnapping of hundreds of Israeli civilians.
If POTUS views Israeli retaliation as disproportionate and unacceptable, then Israeli preemption cannot even be whispered about. Invalidating Israel’s pre-preemptive military doctrine and strangling Israeli retaliatory capabilities have emboldened Hamas, Hezbollah and Tehran to expand their local and wider conflicts.
These thuggish regimes, emboldened by an incredibly shrinking US President, have stepped up their separate efforts at regional hegemony and the wider, common war aimed at the Jewish State’s eradication.
To divert the over 70 percent of Americans who are openly pro-Israel, Obama will continue to provide just enough military aid for Israel to defend itself, but not nearly enough to enable the country’s defense forces to win in absolute terms.
However, let’s give POTUS credit for sincerely and diligently working on behalf of peace in the Middle East. Disdainful of American foreign adventures and comfortable with Islamist absolutism, Obama is operating based on a disturbingly rosy assessment that a juiced up Iran will allow the United States to shrink its presence in the Middle East.
Even though traditional Sunni allies – along with Israel – may capitulate, this is a tolerable price to pay for outsourcing the security of the most volatile region on earth to a pack of mad Mullahs with grand nuclear ambitions.
With Obama firmly fixed on bringing Israel to heal, the government in Jerusalem would be wise to consider exploring, developing and strengthening relationships with such rising powers as China, Russia and India.
After all, the third Jewish commonwealth wasn’t established to merely exist as a vassal of a faraway superpower, but to thrive as a sovereign nation.