Israel appears on a map to be relatively defenseless. They can be attacked from all sides except the west and they have a much smaller population than many of their opponents. However, they have developed a highly innovative means of defense that, thus far, has shown itself to be extremely effective. This air defense system is known as the Iron Dome

800px Iron Dome near Sderot.

Iron Dome is an Israeli air defense system intended to intercept short range rockets. Thus far, the Iron Dome system has been set up to protect three cities in the southern part of the nation, which combined have a population of around a half million people. In the last year, since the system has begun, three batteries in the Iron Dome (out of thirteen that will eventually be deployed across the nation) have stopped over 90% of the rockets that have been fired by Palestinians into Israel. The system is designed to be effective with missiles fired from between 3 miles and 45 miles away. Because of the proximity of their opponents, this has made these southern cities much safer.

There are three related parts of the Iron Dome defense system. A radar system is in place that detects and tracks incoming missiles, a weapon control system, and a missile firing unit, that shoots down the incoming missiles. All three parts are built by Israeli firms. Although Israel paid for the research and initial development, the United States has provided another $200 million to expand the system to cover the entire nation.

I have long believed that one reason that Israel has been urging to invade nations is because of its own sense of insecurity. That is why, so often, its leaders refer to existential threats, when here, in our nation, very few attacks would be considered existential in nature. Perhaps once their people feel not so threatened, they will be able to co-exist with their other neighbors, much as they do with Egypt now. I don’t expect them to be BFFs, just have a similar relationship as we do with Mexico.