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Woe to Those Who Call Darkness Light

Israel Harel
Israel Harel
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The Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepts rockets from Gaza as seen from Ashkelon, in May.
The Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepts rockets from Gaza as seen from Ashkelon, in May.Credit: Amir Cohen / Reuters
Israel Harel
Israel Harel

Even though it is forbidden to mourn during the holiday, many in Israel, especially in the defense establishment (whose motto is “the best offense is a good defense”), are this week mourning the failure to approve funds to continue producing Iron Dome interceptors. Immediately, we were told who was to blame: Benjamin Netanyahu. He was the one who had put Israel’s security in the hands of the Republican Party.

There is lots of blame to legitimately place on Netanyahu, but not in this case. The progressive wing of the Democratic Party, led by the Jewish-American Bernie Sanders, boycotts Israel because it is Israel. Iron Dome is a defensive weapon, only defensive. When you speak about indiscriminate attacks against a civilian population, progressive ethics and the progressive heart should be in favor of the allocation. But when it comes to even the most elementary moral position, Israel turns out to be an exception.

This is nothing new: Jews have always been subject to special treatment from the peoples they live among (or, in Israel’s case, live apart from). What’s new here?

Here in Israel, an upside down world has been created, too. Time-tested security doctrines, which have served Israel well, were abandoned, to be replaced by foreign doctrines, the product of pagan theories floating around in the postmodern world. That has brought us to a situation in which we need to stand at the doorstep of the United States like a beggar. The Iron Dome allocation is the clear symbol of this idol worship.

After thousands of rockets landed in Israel’s south following the Gaza evacuation, Israel’s decision-makers faced two alternatives: to return temporarily to Gaza – in other words, attack it – in order to destroy the Palestinians’ rocket-making capability, or to develop defensive weapons.

A decision was made (and not only regarding the rockets from Gaza) that negated the time-tested doctrine of war that had been adopted even by Israel – that the best defense is a good offense. Instead, came the revolutionary innovation of Iron Dome and that the best offense is a good defense.

Although we continue to reap its bitter fruit on all fronts, but especially in the south, Israeli governments continue to adhere to it (remember Naftali Bennett’s vociferous, ongoing struggle against this distorted concept?). We see it with our own eyes.

It’s true that Iron Dome is a technological breakthrough. The system that Israeli governments have boasted of, has saved thousands of lives. But for that very reason, the boast is tantamount to an indictment. Because Iron Dome has saved so many lives, it has become Israel’s main weapon and obviated the need to put an end to the incessant wars that endanger thousands of lives to begin with.

The fact is that after Hamas (and it’s always Hamas) stops launching rockets, the Israel Defense Forces allows it to continue to manufacture and smuggle in more and more rockets and to launch the next round of destruction and bloodshed at the time of its own choosing. Iron Dome will save us – woe to our savior.

We, the Israel public, are too submissive (see our weakness in the face of other critical omissions, first and foremost the failure to address the delta variant of COVID). This submissiveness prevents us from challenging the decision-makers, in defense as well as in politics (in that order), and to stop them from calling evil good and darkness light.

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