News this week of Democrats withdrawing the funding of the Iron Dome from the US budget in order to accommodate left wing extremists within the party is nothing other than a capitulation to terror in the halls of Congress. It represents another case of people claiming to support Palestinian Arabs doing something anti-Israel (and in this case also antisemitic), but in fact harming the wellbeing of the Palestinian Arabs on whose behalf they fraudulently claim to advocate.
Israel's Iron Dome defends Israelis of all backgrounds, including Israeli Arabs, from the deliberate targeting of Israel's citizens from the firing of thousands of rockets to inflict the most damage and death. millions of Israelis are protected by this defensive technology that tracks rockets from the moment they are launched, calculates the trajectory and where the rockets will land, and fire a countermeasure in seconds to destroy the rockets in mid air before being able to do harm. It's reported that each countermeasure costs at least $50,000. Here's a video of the Iron Dome at work, filmed from my bedroom window with my children commenting as we watched from dozens of miles away this past May.
However, the Iron Dome protects millions of Palestinian Arabs as well. You see, the Palestinian Arab terrorist leaders store and fire their weapons in civilian areas knowing that Israel resists attacking these targets and risks collateral damage and death of Palestinian Arab civilians. Yet if one terrorist rocket were to get through the Iron Dome, and were to hit a kindergarten, a school, a mall, an apartment building, an old age home, or a synagogue or a mosque, and there were to be lots of casualties, Israel would be left with little choice but to strike back at the very terrorist targets which they hide behind, and under, Palestinian Arab civilians.
Israel has a steadfast rule to strike back at terrorists each time the terrorists fire rockets at Israel. Typically, this involves hitting "soft targets" which don't involve taking out major physical infrastructure nor the terrorist leaders, but to make sure that the terrorists know that under no circumstances will the firing of a single rocket at Israeli civilian populations be acceptable, ever. And typically, these targets are chosen in places and times at which risk to the Palestinian Arab civilians that the terrorists use as human shields will be as limited as possible.
However, were the Iron Dome not able to do its job to take out rockets aimed at civilian populations, and Israel suffer large casualties from a single rocket, Israel would be left with no choice but to hit the targets that would inevitably risk greater loss of civilian life.
The fact is that Israel's Iron Dome protects more Palestinian Arabs than their own terrorist leaders do. With the radical left wing of the Democratic Party trying to punish and discriminate against Israel by defunding the Iron Dome, they calculatedly put the lives of millions of Israelis of all backgrounds and millions of Palestinian Arabs at risk. Their hate for Israel has no limits.
The left-wing extremists who pushed to have the Iron Dome funding removed from the proposed budget not only have the same disregard for the well-being of Palestinian Arabs but their terrorist tactics are also the same. They've taken hostage the US budget and Congress.
The inclusion of the Iron Dome in the budget was a way to get bipartisan support from Republicans, and perhaps prevent a budget vote on straight party lines. The Withdrawal of the Iron Dome funding not only gives Republicans a reason not to vote for the budget, but to politicize it even further. The Democratic leadership caving in and withdrawing the Iron Dome funding to appease its radical left makes the budget vote all the more political, and shameful.
The removal of the Iron Dome funding from the US budget is nothing but capitulation by the Democratic Party to the extortion and antisemitism of a hateful, radical, extremist (and hopefully small) wing of its party. Abundant credit is due to some Democratic leaders who have now introduced a bill to fund the Iron Dome as a separate vote. Introduced and voted upon quickly, this became an accidental bipartisan vote with an astounding 420-9 in favor.
In many ways, the vote was a referendum within the Democratic party on its own standing with Israel as a democratic ally of the US, on its right to defend itself without gross double standards being held against it that would not be applied to other countries, and on the recognition that the Iron Dome is vital for Israel, and the Palestinian Arabs. Both the capitulation to the left-wing extremists, and the outcome of the vote itself are significant on a variety of levels. It will be interesting to see if this emboldens the former or enables more moderate voices among the Democrats take control.
Despite the positive outcome, this whole process clearly underscores the support for terror that's arisen within the halls of Congress. For the time being, the vote was an Iron Dome to shoot down terrorist influence and defend Congress from terrorist collaborators within.
It seems that the vast majority of the members of Congress understand the gross violation of human rights, not only of the Palestinian Arab terrorists' deliberate targeting of (Israeli) civilians with thousands of rockets fired at major population centers, but also by the terrorists using their own (Palestinian Arab) civilians as a human shield.
For those who want to see Palestinian Arabs have their own state, and blame Israel largely or exclusively for the lack of that reality, other than having a bridge to sell you, I have a newsflash: Weakening Israel's ability to defend its civilians, and harm the safety of Palestinian Arabs at the same time, won't bring about a Palestinian state, nor peace.
Jonathan Feldstein was born and educated in the U.S. and immigrated to Israel in 2004. He is married and the father of six. Throughout his life and career, he has become a respected bridge between Jews and Christians and serves as president of the Genesis 123 Foundation. He writes regularly on major Christian websites about Israel and shares experiences of living as an Orthodox Jew in Israel. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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