For your perusal, my latest INTO THE FRAY column
On domes and drones
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Will the growing use of drones by the Gaza-based terror groups make the billion dollar Iron Dome and anti-tunnel barrier useless—or at least irrelevant?
It appears this week on the following sites (in alphabetical order):
ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/24443
JERUSALEM HERALD: https://www.jerusalem-herald.com/single-post/2019/09/18/Drones-Versus-Domes
JEWISH PRESS https://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/into-the-fray-martin-sherman/into-the-fray-domes-and-drones/2019/09/16/
JEWS DOWN UNDER: https://jewsdownunder.com/2019/09/13/into-the-fray-on-domes-and-drones/
Several short excerpts:
Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose (The more things change, the more they are the same.) – Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr, French novelist (1849).
Departing briefly from the upcoming elections, Sunday’s media headlines conveyed the news that a drone, launched from the Gaza Strip, had attacked an IDF position near the border, with an explosive charge. This incident follows a similar one, several months ago, when a Gazan-based terror group, Islamic Jihad, attempted to drop an explosive device on an IDF tank…
Although fortunately, the damage caused in these attacks was negligible, it would be a grave error to dismiss the scope and scale of the prospective threat that drones could present…Of course, compared to the menace of massive barrages of rockets/ missiles on the one hand, and infiltration by bands of heavily armed commandoes via underground tunnels, on the other, the danger posed currently by drones may seem relatively minor…However, we should recall that this was much the case for those very perils back in 2005…
Aggressive measures & defensive countermeasures
I have long been at pains to underscore that no matter how successful Israel’s defensive countermeasures may prove to be, there is little doubt that the Palestinian-Arab terror groups will eventually devise some offensive measure to circumvent it…Indeed, six years ago I cautioned: “Defensive weapon systems, however, sophisticated and effective, inflict no cost on determined adversaries and hence can never deter them from attempting to devise methods to circumvent or overwhelm those defenses.”…
The danger of drones
In this context, I issued repeated warnings as to the use of drones to thwart existing missile defenses and anti-tunnel barriers—see for example here , here and here–and pointed to the danger they may entail: “…it takes little imagination to envisage the deployment of future modes of Judeocidal assault on the Jewish state and its citizens—such as a possible drone swarm carrying explosive—perhaps even some non-conventional—charges, to be detonated on, or over, some luckless Jewish community .” …
“Eliminate Hamas; re-garrison Gaza”?
Under the headline “Israel must launch a campaign in Gaza to counter dangerous drone threat”, another leading pundit expressed similar sentiments: “UAVs operated from Gaza that can drop explosives endanger not only IDF troops but Israeli communities bordering the Strip as well.” …Sadly, none of these generic endorsements of assertiveness actually provided a prescription, even in broad outline, of actionable policy that could break the deadly cycle of aggressive measures and defensive countermeasures.
The harsh dilemma
It is, of course, quite plausible that Israel will eventually find some (probably very expensive) measure to counter the drone threat. But it is no less plausible, that the Gaza-based terror groups will develop some measure to overcome, or by-pass it—until the Jewish residents, who live in the South, find they no longer can—or wish to—continue to subject themselves and their families to the ongoing trauma of unending terror attacks. Then Israel will find itself confronted with a harsh dilemma: There will either be Arabs in Gaza or Jews in the Negev, but in the long run, there will not be both!
To avert the specter of the depopulation of the South by Jews, Israel must come to terms with the grim realities that prevail in Gaza—and realize:
(a) The population of Gaza is not the victim of its leadership, but the crucible in which that leadership was formed and from which it emerged.
(b) The only long-term solution for Gaza is not its reconstruction, but its deconstruction.
(c) The only way Israel can ensure who rules Gaza is to rule it itself.
(d) The only way Israel can rule over Gaza without ruling over “another people” is to remove that “people” from the area over which it is imperative for it to rule.
(e) The only way Israel can remove the Gazan population from Gaza without forcible expulsion is by a largescale initiative for the incentivized emigration of the non-belligerent population and afford them an opportunity of a more secure and prosperous life elsewhere.
Could anything be more compelling?