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WaPo Column: Israel's Iron Dome Perpetuates Conflict with Hamas Because It's Too Good

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Is having enough firepower to protect your citizens from terror attacks too much of a good thing?

According to a Washington Post article by Yagil Levy, the answer is a resounding yes.

Levy, a professor of public policy and political sociology at the Open University of Israel, argued that Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system is just too good to give terrorists like Hamas a fighting chance.

This, in turn, Levy said, means that Israel can take greater risks with regard to civilian casualties because there is not adequate pushback from Palestine to threaten the Israeli state.

“This cycle of conflict suggests that the success of Iron Dome may have the perverse consequence of helping to perpetuate the Gaza-Israel conflict,” Levy said.

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Levy glossed over the fact that Israel is the one under attack by Hamas, and not the other way around, and attempted to paint Hamas’ barrage of thousands of rockets toward Israel as a legitimate response to the possibility of Israel relocating Muslims in Sheikh Jarrah.

But let’s forget all of that “Israelis should have to die too” nonsense for a moment, and just look at the fatuousness of Levy’s argument in and of itself.

According to Levy, if a nation is forced to have a near equal amount of skin in the game as its opponent, or is forced to fight with similar means, it should be far more likely to seek out diplomatic solutions to conflicts.

Unfortunately for Levy, human history is essentially one long refutation of this idea.

Is Israel's Iron Dome an unfair advantage?

Indeed, one wonders what diplomatic maneuvers Napoleon’s Old Guard pondered as they reclaimed Plancenoit from the Prussians with their bayonets?

Or, how about the story of how the Duke of Normandy sought a peaceful and equitable settlement with Harold II at Hastings?

Alas, despite Levy’s nostalgia for a time when Jews bled in equal measure with Arabs, the greatest body counts in history have stemmed from symmetric forces.

That fact rarely, if ever, stopped the conflicts from happening altogether.

So let’s set the record straight: Military technology does not exist to foster “political solutions” to armed conflict with terrorists.

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It also certainly does not exist to ensure that the defender in a conflict risks an equal amount of innocent life as their aggressor.

Israel does not have to apologize for not letting its civilians die, and Hamas does not deserve to be excused for its role in using civilians as human shields.

One side in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas is horrifically firing rockets at civilians without warning. The other side is Israel.

The fact is that the more power the Iron Dome grants Israel toward eliminating Hamas completely, the better — because a secure and well-defended Israel is the single best chance the region has for lasting, meaningful peace.

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Andrew Thornebrooke is a writer specializing in foreign policy and national security. He is the executive editor of The Rearguard and a MA candidate in military history at Norwich University.
Andrew Thornebrooke is an American writer working at the crossroads of communications and policy advocacy. He is an expert in intranational conflict and national security.

He is the founder of The Rearguard, a weekly column dedicated to exploring issues of culture, defense, and security within the context of a receding Western Civilization.

Andrew is a MA candidate in military history at Norwich University where his research focuses on non-state military actors, partisanship, and the philosophy of war. A McNair Scholar and public speaker, he has presented research at several institutions including Cornell, Fordham, and the CUNY Graduate Center.

His bylines appear in numerous outlets including The Free-Lance Star, Independent Journal Review, InsideSources, The Lowell Sun, and The Western Journal.
Topics of Expertise
Defense; Military Affairs; National Security