— by Jason Berger
Last Wednesday, Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren thanked President Barack Obama and the United States government for their support for Israel and the Iron Dome missile defense system. In his op-ed, Oren said that the development of the Iron Dome is a “metaphor” for the US-Israel relationship since the early 1990’s. He explained:
The interests of the U.S. and Israel are intertwined. The two countries have common strategic interests and hold joint military exercises and intelligence exchanges, among other countless examples of the alliance. As a result of this relationship, the funding basis for most of the Iron Dome batteries lies in a resolution adopted by the U.S. Congress three years ago. At that time, Congress decided to support President Barack Obama’s request for more than $200 million to fund the purchase of four Iron Dome batteries, three of which are operational today, including the battery (Israel’s fifth overall) that was deployed in Tel Aviv this week and began to intercept rockets from Gaza
A few months ago, I wrote an article for the American news outlet Politico in which I explained that the Iron Dome not only saves lives but also prevents war and gives a wider diplomatic window for decision-makers. In response to the article, I received dozens of calls from lawmakers from both sides of the aisle who wanted only to extend a hand and ask what they could do for Israel. From this, I gathered that Americans, like Israelis, understood the logic behind the wise investment called the Iron Dome and for this we are wholeheartedly thankful to President Obama, Congress, the Pentagon, the White House and all the other entities that were involved in the project. The Iron Dome is the embodiment and manifestation of the close relationship between Israel and the U.S.
The Iron Dome is credited as a major reason why there were not more Israeli deaths throughout the most recent flare up between Hamas and Israel. Reuters reported that the system destroyed 421 of the 1500 rockets fired between November 15 and last Wednesday’s truce. Israel says that is a 90% success rate since the system does not target rockets headed towards unpopulated areas. Civil Defense Minister Avi Dichter said that Iron Dome is so valuable that if it were traded on the Nasdaq, “It would have multiplied its share value several times over.”
To read more about the effectiveness of the Iron Dome missile defense system, click here.