Brains Behind Israel’s Iron Dome ‘Not Putting All the Eggs in One System’

March 7, 2013 1:24 am 0 comments

The Iron Dome battery in Ashkelon. Photo: Israel Defense Forces.

WASHINGTON, DC—Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted nearly 400 Gaza rockets last November alone, with an 85 percent success rate, amid the Israel Defense Forces’ Operation Pillar of Defense. But the brains behind the system isn’t resting on his laurels.

“I’m realistic, so I’m not putting all the eggs in one system, [even though] it had much success,” IDF Brig. Gen. Dr. Danny Gold, who had the initial idea for the Iron Dome, said in an interview with JNS.org at the 2013 American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference. “I did my job, I developed many other systems. So [the Iron Dome] helped Israel to probably prevent a massive ground operation and war, but it’s not alone.”

Gold was referring to other joint U.S.-Israel missile interception systems such as the David’s Sling (still in development), Arrow 2 (operational) and Arrow 3 (still in development). Asked by an audience member during an AIPAC breakout session to compare and contrast David’s Sling to Iron Dome, Gold explained that the concept of protecting Israel comes in “layers”—with David’s Sling providing the second layer (after the first layer of Iron Dome) to protect against long-range rockets and cruise missiles.

Arrow 3, considered to be the most innovative and revolutionary anti-missile system in the world, was successfully tested in central Israel on Feb. 25. The system is meant to bolster Israel’s ability to intercept long-range ballistic missiles, and is designed to intercept such missiles outside the Earth’s atmosphere in space.

The Iron Dome’s success—and the $275 million that the U.S. has contributed so far to the system—made it a natural source of pride for both American and Israeli officials at the AIPAC conference. Outgoing Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said at a plenary session Sunday that the system is “like hitting a bullet with another bullet.”

At Monday morning’s AIPAC plenary, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden recalled a time when he needed to explain to audiences what Iron Dome was, how it works, and why the U.S. should fund it. That is no longer the case following Operation Pillar of Defense, according to Biden.

“The world saw firsthand why it was and remains so critical,” Biden said of the Iron Dome. “For too long, when those sirens blared in the streets of the [Israeli] cities bordering Gaza, the only defense had been a bomb shelter. But late last year Iron Dome made a difference.”

Asked how the Iron Dome’s results so far have compared with his expectations of the system, the IDF’s Gold said, “I am very content of course, I strive for the top, 100 percent, but it is very good, it is a breakthrough.”

“We are working on the second generation and the third generation, against other scenarios, more sophisticated threats, and we will update the system all the time,” he told JNS.org.

November’s Israel-Gaza conflict saw Palestinian rockets land in the vicinity of the large cities of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, rather than being limited to southern Israel. It marked the first time a rocket alarm was sounded in Tel Aviv since the Gulf War in the early 1990s, and the first time such an alarm was ever sounded in Jerusalem.

As a result, the fifth Iron Dome battery was installed near Tel Aviv ahead of schedule. How will the system continue to protect Israelis if more powerful Palestinian rockets, such as the Iranian-developed Fajr-5, continue to penetrate deeper into the Jewish state?

“You just put a battery there, and it is ok,” Gold said.

Gold told the AIPAC breakout session that the Iron Dome is a positive development for both sides of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

“You’re not just saving Israeli lives, you save also Hamas lives and Syrian lives because there is no more war [as a result of the system],” Gold said.

But during wartime, the Iron Dome has no margin for error, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) said at Monday night’s AIPAC plenary.

“Make no mistake. The Iron Dome has to be right 100 percent of the time, or Israelis die,” Cantor said.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Education Why We Should Invest in Jewish Children

    Why We Should Invest in Jewish Children

    JNS.org – My wife Suzy and I will never forget our wedding day. It was not just the uplifting ceremony and beautiful party that left an indelible mark. Some life-altering advice that we received from one of our guests informed and shaped our lives from that day forward. My high school teacher, Rabbi Moshe Yagid, pulled us aside just before the chuppah and challenged us to choose one mitzvah that would be the foundation of our marriage and our lives. He explained [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Sports LeBron James’ New Coach Shaped by Summer on Kibbutz and Jewish ‘Life Lessons’

    LeBron James’ New Coach Shaped by Summer on Kibbutz and Jewish ‘Life Lessons’

    JNS.org – Influenced by his Jewish upbringing and a summer on a kibbutz, basketball coach David Blatt is embarking on his highest-profile challenge yet: coaching LeBron James, the four-time National Basketball Association (NBA) Most Valuable Player who has made waves for returning to his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers. After guiding Israel’s storied Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball franchise to its 51st Israeli league championship and 6th Euroleague title this past season, Blatt landed the Cavaliers head-coaching job in June. Just weeks later, [...]

    Read more →
  • Food Jewish Identity Young Syrian Jewish Restauranteur Continues a Family Legacy

    Young Syrian Jewish Restauranteur Continues a Family Legacy

    JNS.org – At the turn of the century, a young Jewish immigrant arrived in New York. So begins the history of many American Jewish families. It is 27-year-old Albert Allaham’s story, too, with a few unusual twists. Albert’s “century” is the 21st—he arrived almost 100 years after the massive waves of European Jewish immigration. Rather than coming from a small town along the Danube river, his shtetl was Damascus. His first American business was not a pushcart on the Lower East [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Jewish Identity A Holistic Look at the Rebbe’s Life and Career (REVIEW)

    A Holistic Look at the Rebbe’s Life and Career (REVIEW)

    Did you know that in the entire Bible, only one birthday is mentioned and it is that of Pharaoh? And did you know that according to some scientists, by accepting Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity, it is impossible to prove or disprove that the sun is the gravitational center of our solar system? In his new book, REBBE, best-selling author Joseph Telushkin reveals many surprising and sometimes shocking details as he chronicles the life and teachings of the charismatic Rabbi [...]

    Read more →
  • Food Mitzvos New Jerusalem Eatery’s Uniform Pricing Seeks to ‘Help People Make It’

    New Jerusalem Eatery’s Uniform Pricing Seeks to ‘Help People Make It’

    JNS.org – Omelet sandwich: 5 shekels. Iced coffee: 5 shekels. Tuna sandwich: 5 shekels. Fresh-squeezed orange juice: 5 shekels. Cheese bureka: 5 shekels. There’s plenty more on the Cofizz menu, but you get the idea. Dani Mizrahi and Amir Amshalm, two Israeli men in their early 30s, asked themselves: Why not launch a take-out food joint in busy neighborhoods around Jerusalem where everything—and that means everything—goes for five shekels, or about $1.50. They’d seen the concept take off in Tel Aviv, where [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Israel New Primetime Drama ‘Tyrant’ Filmed Entirely in Israel (VIDEO)

    New Primetime Drama ‘Tyrant’ Filmed Entirely in Israel (VIDEO)

    The new FX Network drama Tyrant was shot entirely in Israel, just 10 miles north of Tel Aviv, Bloomberg News reported last Tuesday. Tyrant follows the life of an Arab dictator’s second son Barry, played by Adam Rayner, who reluctantly returns home to the Middle Eastern nation of his birth to join the family business away from his suburban life in America. The elaborate set production for the primetime drama included a crew of 300 and a reported cost of over $3 million [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada Supermodel: Jewish Mothers Are Constantly Trying to Set Me Up With Their Sons

    Supermodel: Jewish Mothers Are Constantly Trying to Set Me Up With Their Sons

    Skokie, Il-born 25-year-old Erin Heatherton (Erin Heather Bubley) is rocking the modeling world. And in a new interview accompanying a cover spread for Miami’s Ocean Drive magazine, she says Jewish moms are “constantly trying to set her up with their sons.” Imagine that – who would have thought? “The moms, they’re doing what they do. It doesn’t matter what country they live in, what city – grandmothers, too,” she admitted. “But I’m probably going to do that too one day.” Heatherton was [...]

    Read more →
  • Education Israel First Ever: Turkish Academics to Visit Israel Holocaust Museum for Seminar

    First Ever: Turkish Academics to Visit Israel Holocaust Museum for Seminar

    Some 15 Turkish university professors and lecturers will take part in a first of its kind seminar at Holocaust museum Yad Vashem’s International School for Holocaust Studies starting next week. The trip is especially significant as Holocaust denial is rampant in the Arab world. A Palestinian professor was recently forced to resign after he led a trip to the Nazi extermination camp Auschwitz. Participants in the week-long program at Yad Vashem will experience in-depth tours of the museum’s archives and [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.