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...

  • Arts and Culture US & Canada Israeli Actress Gal Gadot in Talks to Star in Ben-Hur Remake

    Israeli Actress Gal Gadot in Talks to Star in Ben-Hur Remake

    Israeli actress Gal Gadot is in negotiations to take on the female lead role in the remake of the 1959 classic Ben-Hur, according to The Hollywood Reporter. If the deal is finalized Gadot will play Esther, a slave and Ben-Hur’s love interest. Actor Jack Huston will star as the Jewish prince who is betrayed into slavery by his childhood friend Messala, played by Toby Kebbell. Ben-Hur fights for his freedom and vengeance with the help of Morgan Freeman’s character, who trains Ben-Hur how to win at chariot-racing. [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Sports Young Israelis Try to Crowd-Fund Their Way to Major League Baseball Playoffs

    Young Israelis Try to Crowd-Fund Their Way to Major League Baseball Playoffs

    JNS.org – Baseball, hot dogs, and apple pie are the American dream. So why do two young men who have built their lives in Israel have a GoFundMe crowd-funding webpage with the urgent message that they need $3,000 to travel to the U.S. to watch the Kansas City Royals and Baltimore Orioles square off for Major League Baseball’s (MLB) American League championship? Brothers Naftali and Yoni Schwartz, 27 and 25, respectively, are Kansas City natives. Even though they made aliyah with their [...]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Sports Race Cars Speed Through Jerusalem in Amazing Exhibition

    Race Cars Speed Through Jerusalem in Amazing Exhibition

    Some 3,000 years ago, King David probably never imagined cars racing at 240 kilometers per hour (150 miles per hour) through the ancient capital of the Jewish people. But on Monday and Tuesday, October 6-7, thousands of Israelis lined the streets to watch Porsche, Audi, and Ferrari race cars fly through the capital against the backdrop of the Tower of David, the Old City Walls, and other city landmarks. The second annual non-competitive Jerusalem Formula One Road Show had been [...]

    Read more →
  • Israel Sports NBA Superstar LeBron James Says He Wants to Visit Israel

    NBA Superstar LeBron James Says He Wants to Visit Israel

    Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James expressed interest in visiting Israel someday, local news site Cleveland.com reported on Sunday. Speaking to Israeli reporters before the Cleveland Cavaliers’ preseason debut against Maccabi Tel Aviv, the NBA star said he had never visited the Jewish state but “I want to look forward to going there if I get an opportunity to.” When asked by an Israeli reporter if there was “any chance that LeBron James and Cleveland comes to Tel Aviv,” the athlete said [...]

    Read more →
  • Sports US & Canada Florida Rabbi Dominates Former Basketball Star Congressman in Hoops Showdown (VIDEO)

    Florida Rabbi Dominates Former Basketball Star Congressman in Hoops Showdown (VIDEO)

    A Florida-based Chabad rabbi put former basketball star, U.S. Congressman Curt Clawson to shame on the court when the two faced off one-on-one recently. A YouTube video, posted online on Tuesday, shows Rabbi Fishel Zaklos of Chabad of Naples shooting hoops with the Florida politician, who played basketball in high school and at Purdue University in Indiana. The game took place in the parking lot of the Chabad Jewish center run by Zaklos. During the 1-minute clip, Zaklos scores two impressive [...]

    Read more →
  • Sports US & Canada David Blatt’s Cleveland Cavaliers Rout Maccabi Tel Aviv, 107-80

    David Blatt’s Cleveland Cavaliers Rout Maccabi Tel Aviv, 107-80

    JNS.org – Less than five months after leading Maccabi Tel Aviv to its sixth European basketball title, David Blatt, now the head coach of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers, routed his former team in an exhibition game on Sunday, with the Cavaliers dominating Maccabi 107-80 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. The 20,562 fans in attendance witnessed Lebron James’s first appearance in a Cavaliers uniform since he left the club in free agency for the Miami Heat four years ago. [...]

    Read more →
  • Sports US & Canada Jewish New York Giants Guard Plans to Fast on Yom Kippur

    Jewish New York Giants Guard Plans to Fast on Yom Kippur

    New York Giants offensive guard Geoff Schwartz said on Wednesday that he will not eat anything between sundown Friday and sundown Saturday in observation of Yom Kippur, ESPN reported. “If I was playing, I wouldn’t fast, because I’ve got to be able to fuel myself to play,” said the Jewish athlete, who is on short-term leave due to a toe injury. “But it’s not that tough, really. I’ll eat dinner at 5:00 Friday, then I’ll go to services and I’ll just [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Personalities How a Jewish Leader With 3 Months to Live Created a ‘Seminar’ on Life

    How a Jewish Leader With 3 Months to Live Created a ‘Seminar’ on Life

    JNS.org – What would you do if you found out that you had only three more months to live? Gordon Zacks was a successful businessman, a leader of Jewish life, and a confidante and adviser to President George H.W. Bush. He knew that he had prostate cancer, but doctors advised him that it was very slow-growing and nothing to worry about. Then came the day when the doctors told him his cancer metastasized to his liver, and that he had [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.