With rockets and mortars streaming towards Israeli cities for the tenth day in a row, a US congresswoman has repeatedly blamed Israel, not Arab attackers, rioters, and terrorists for the violence. Rashida Tlaib, who represents voters in Detroit, Michigan, says Israeli is waging an aggressive war.
The video evidence tells the opposite story. And so do the casualty numbers. Even following direct attacks on Hamas leadership and facilities there have so far been far fewer Palestinian terrorist deaths in Israel than homicides in Ms. Tlaib’s hometown of Detroit.
There, 327 people were slain and 1,173 injured just last year.
In contrast to the offensive use of force by criminals in Detroit and terrorists in Gaza, let’s focus instead on Israel’s specific weapons systems and innovations engaged right now.
I think these help us make the case for self-defense even more clear. Israel is a country that spends billions annually to protect, not take, human life. It typically pursues defensive, pre-emptive, and retaliatory warfare only.
Iron Dome is a household name. I could almost leave it out.
You probably don’t know, however, that Iron Dome was invented by Chanoch Levin and his team at Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. Levin is also credited with developing a way to quickly mass-produce replacement interceptors from modular parts. They are certainly working three shifts a day doing just that right now.
Iron Dome has just seconds to intercept rockets. The Israeli Defense Force says that 1,050 rockets were fired over the first 38 hours of the war alone.
The system, which is only one part of Israeli’s missile defense, is not perfect. Iron Dome is about 85% accurate. Several rockets got through each night. There were fatalities. One was a 16-year old girl and her father, both Arabs killed by Hamas rockets. One was a 5-year-old.
In modern warfare, missile defense is exponentially more expensive than offense.
Israeli taxpayers spend about $50,000 per Iron Dome interception. Compare that to Hamas’ $800 for a Quassam rocket.
Returning to Ms. Tlaib, a Democrat, exactly why would an “apartheid state,” as she labels Israel, outspend its adversaries to protect Israeli Arab lives in Israeli Arab neighborhoods – and from Arab rockets?
Let’s move on to Israeli body armor which is also world-renown. Among the products one was developed by a team at the Technion. It is light, thin, cheap to make, and is modeled after fish scales. It can even be produced by a 3D printer. It is designed to withstand the most powerful knife strike. This became an issue after Arab leaders and imams asked Palestinians to conceal knives and randomly attack Jews. The “Knife Intifada” has been going on for years now.
My follow-up question for Ms. Tlaib is simple: does an aggressor nation wield the knife or wear the blade-resistant fish scale body armor?
The now well-known Israeli Bandage is also noteworthy. It was invented by Israeli combat medic Bernard Bar-Natan. It uses a high-tech pressure applicator woven in the fabric to stop bleeding and increase the odds of survival, especially in the case of trauma caused by gunshots and explosions. Israel shared this technology with paramedics, soldiers and rescue personnel around the world, beginning with the United States.
Ms. Tliab, do these bandages and Israel’s world-class triage methods not confirm its focus on victims of aggression, not on aggression itself?
Vehicle Armor. Israel leads the world in defensive armor for vehicles. Israeli armor is so good that it saved the lives of tens of thousands of American servicemen and women in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Ms. Tlaib may not be aware, but Israel shares its technology with America. We are allies. Some of the armor is made on a Kibbutz by the Plasan Armor factor, recognized in 2012 by the U.S. Ambassador to Israel. He was there to thank them for their work helping to save American lives from roadside bombs and IEDs.
Tempered glass also protects Israeli Jews and Arabs from bombs, rockets, suicide vests, and other explosives. Shattered tempered glass is not nearly as deadly thanks to chemist and Zionist, Rudolph Seiden, who invented it. It disintegrates into small chunks, not deadly shards. Israeli building codes require it. Seiden was an American, but he’s an honorary Israeli. He spent years of his life and most of his fortune helping Polish and Russian Jews settle in Israel.
Let’s look at fences next. In Israel, Jewish communities and towns near Arab population centers generally just fence themselves in or wall themselves off. Not so for Palestinian Arab communities. They do not lose much sleep worrying about random attacks by Tel Aviv surfers, tech entrepreneurs, and yeshiva students.
Israel pioneered smart perimeters. It can electronically detect underground tunneling activity and intrusion attempts from the sea.
Ms. Tlaib: Is Israel an aggressor when it stops Hamas commandos from entering with explosives, machine guns, and grenades?
Krav Maga is another interesting example. The world-famous Israeli martial arts system focuses on self-defense, especially for women. The method was honed following years or experience with sudden and unprovoked surprise attacks against Israeli civilians, including against unarmed women and children.
Israel’s Light blade laser system intercepts helium balloons. They seem innocent until they are attached to a small payload like a bomb or incendiary device. The Israeli Trophy system protects against RPGs and anti-tank missiles.
Bomb shelters and safe rooms are another case-in-point. Israelis spend billions on them. Their building codes require them. More is spent on bomb shelters and safe rooms in Israel than on televisions.
How would that go over in Detroit, Ms. Tlaib? Do you believe that the civilians taking shelter right now, not the Palestinian Arab terrorists launching the rockets, are the aggressors?
The Israel Defense Force is the most moral army in history. No other military organization has been responsible for fewer civilian casualties in protracted urban conflict situations like this. The IDF has the admiration of many military and civilian leaders of other democracies around the world. They often study IDF tactics.
While there’s no question that Israel has retaliated and had every right to do so, the existence of these defensive weapons systems and innovations paints a compelling picture of a country dedicated to defensive, pre-emptive, and retaliatory warfare. These are policies that attempt to protect both Jewish and Arab lives.
Ms. Tlaib ignores the evidence. Just as she ignores the carnage on the streets of her hometown, Detroit.
There, her response was equally illogical: to recommend that the police department be disbanded.
As Lod Mayor Yair Revivo said following the deaths of the Arab father and his 16-year-old daughter: “Hamas missiles do not differentiate between Jews and Arabs.”