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.