Instead of fighting terror through offensives, State of Israel increasingly fortifying itself
by: Hagai Segal
History has a thin sense of humor. Last Thursday, where the Iron Dome system passed its first test, was also the day where a Kornet anti-tank rocket hit a civilian bus around here for the first time. Seemingly, it was a random coincidence of two combat-related events, yet it provided us with some food for thought: By the time we solved one fortification problem, assuming we indeed resolved it, a new fortification problem emerged.
Will we now start to fortify every school bus near Gaza? The Kornet’s range is some five kilometers, so this is not a problem that can be resolved by slightly modifying bus routes near the border. If another missile or two hit a school bus, heaven forbid, parents in the western Negev may raise a hue and cry similar in scope to the one that demanded the Iron Dome until authorities caved in.
The authorities always cave in. Only a month ago, the State objected to the deployment of an Iron Dome battery near Beersheba, and now officials are already preparing to position a battery in every municipal region south of Palmahim. It’s hard to see the State rejecting a firm parental demand for the fortification of school buses against missiles.
In this case there is even no need to develop a new system; we have one ready: Windbreaker. RAFAEL engineers developed it in order to protect tanks, and there is no problem to modify it for civilian protection purposes. It will cost us a fortune, about NIS 1 million per Windbreaker (roughly $300,000), yet the Iron Dome case proves that money is no object under such circumstances.
A solution for every citizen
If the residents yell loud enough and our political leadership in any case prefers to fortify instead of taking over Gaza, the Treasury eventually signs the check. Hence, soon we shall be reaching the day where the State equips every southern bus with the Windbreaker system, just as in the past it fortified Judea and Samaria buses against stones and later against gunfire.
The terrorists will then convene an emergency session with all their engineers and come up with a more advanced system to kill Jews. Next, RAFAEL’s engineers will again be urged to develop a winning Israeli response to the advanced Palestinian tactic, and so on and so forth.
The State, which once upon a time promised a solution for every settler, will one day have to fortify every citizen. Perhaps they will implant some kind of genius chip into our ears that will warn us of approaching stabbing attacks and explosive devices. It will cost us a fortune, but we are willing to do anything here to fight Hamas.
In the past, we argued that the best defense is offence. Today, we put our trust in Iron Domes. Indeed, while the enemy charges, the people of Israel go into the trenches.
More Quotes About "Palestine"
"There is no such country as Palestine. 'Palestine' is a term the Zionists invented. There is no Palestine in the Bible. Our country was for centuries part of Syria. 'Palestine' is alien to us. It is the Zionists who introduced it".
- Auni Bey Abdul-Hadi, Syrian Arab leader to British Peel Commission, 1937 -
"There is no such thing as Palestine in history, absolutely not".
- Professor Philip Hitti, Arab historian, 1946 -
"It is common knowledge that Palestine is nothing but Southern Syria".
- Representant of Saudi Arabia at the United Nations, 1956 -
Concerning the Holy Land, the chairman of the Syrian Delegation at the Paris Peace Conference in February 1919 stated:
"The only Arab domination since the Conquest in 635 c.e. hardly lasted, as such, 22 years".
"There is not a solitary village throughout its whole extent (valley of Jezreel, Galilea); not for thirty miles in either direction... One may ride ten miles hereabouts and not see ten human beings. For the sort of solitude to make one dreary, come to Galilee... Nazareth is forlorn... Jericho lies a mouldering ruin... Bethlehem and Bethany, in their poverty and humiliation... untenanted by any living creature... A desolate country whose soil is rich enough, but is given over wholly to weeds... a silent, mournful expanse... a desolation... We never saw a human being on the whole route... Hardly a tree or shrub anywhere. Even the olive tree and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil had almost deserted the country... Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes... desolate and unlovely...".
- Mark Twain, "The Innocents Abroad", 1867 -
"In 1590 a 'simple English visitor' to Jerusalem wrote: 'Nothing there is to bescene but a little of the old walls, which is yet remayning and all the rest is grasse, mosse and weedes much like to a piece of rank or moist grounde'.".
- Gunner Edward Webbe, Palestine Exploration Fund,
Quarterly Statement, p. 86; de Haas, History, p. 338 -
"The land in Palestine is lacking in people to till its fertile soil".
- British archaeologist Thomas Shaw, mid-1700s -
"Palestine is a ruined and desolate land".
- Count Constantine François Volney, XVIII century French author and historian -
"The Arabs themselves cannot be considered but temporary residents. They pitched their tents in its grazing fields or built their places of refuge in its ruined cities. They created nothing in it. Since they were strangers to the land, they never became its masters. The desert wind that brought them hither could one day carry them away without their leaving behind them any sign of their passage through it".
- Comments by Christians concerning the Arabs in Palestine in the 1800s -
"Then we entered the hill district, and our path lay through the clattering bed of an ancient stream, whose brawling waters have rolled away into the past, along with the fierce and turbulent race who once inhabited these savage hills. There may have been cultivation here two thousand years ago. The mountains, or huge stony mounds environing this rough path, have level ridges all the way up to their summits; on these parallel ledges there is still some verdure and soil: when water flowed here, and the country was thronged with that extraordinary population, which, according to the Sacred Histories, was crowded into the region, these mountain steps may have been gardens and vineyards, such as we see now thriving along the hills of the Rhine. Now the district is quite deserted, and you ride among what seem to be so many petrified waterfalls. We saw no animals moving among the stony brakes; scarcely even a dozen little birds in the whole course of the ride".
- William Thackeray in "From Jaffa To Jerusalem", 1844 -
"The country is in a considerable degree empty of inhabitants and therefore its greatest need is of a body of population".
- James Finn, British Consul in 1857 -
"The area was underpopulated and remained economically stagnant until the arrival of the first Zionist pioneers in the 1880's, who came to rebuild the Jewish land. The country had remained "The Holy Land" in the religious and historic consciousness of mankind, which associated it with the Bible and the history of the Jewish people. Jewish development of the country also attracted large numbers of other immigrants - both Jewish and Arab. The road leading from Gaza to the north was only a summer track suitable for transport by camels and carts... Houses were all of mud. No windows were anywhere to be seen... The plows used were of wood... The yields were very poor... The sanitary conditions in the village [Yabna] were horrible... Schools did not exist... The rate of infant mortality was very high... The western part, toward the sea, was almost a desert... The villages in this area were few and thinly populated. Many ruins of villages were scattered over the area, as owing to the prevalence of malaria, many villages were deserted by their inhabitants".
- The report of the British Royal Commission, 1913 -