Rocket defense of Beersheva

If I am to trust Dennis Wilen's translation, these are inbound Hamas rockets intercepted outside of Beersheva by Israel's 'Iron Dome' rocket defense system. It also seems the video was taken from a wedding.

It is a sad but interesting technology. The YouTube comments claim 12 interceptions.


      1. These rockets were destroyed, but the missile defense system hardly gets them all.  The IDF reported recently that they’d taken out 250 out of 600.  Fortunately most of them aren’t very large, and aren’t very guided.

        And people die and suffer in Gaza too, and get their land stolen in the west bank, especially if it’s on the wrong side of the apartheid wall, so there’s a lot of anger that they’re taking revenge for, which leads to more collective punishment and more revenge.

  1. I never thought too much about the little cities I was defending in Missle Command, but apparently there are people in them having weddings and such.  Seems like a lot of pressure.  More than just the 25cents I got riding on it.

  2. I must admit.. its absolutely stunning to watch.. It is sad it is needed but we should at least be thankful it works properly. 

    1.  Hmm, cardboard rockets wrapped with al foil to be a solid target, cheap as and designed to be shot down by a $40,000 anti-missiles added benefit set of sirens all over hostile cities.
      I know exactly how I would game that system, over and over and over again.

      1. That’s why Star Wars was never practical. The cost of shooting down a ICBM was more than the cost of the missile. Countries could afford to build 8 more nukes for every one that could be shot down.

        1. No, that’s not true.  An ICBM is a missile that flies a very, very long distance, and it costs a relatively large pile of money to do that.  If they were cheap, the Soviets would and could have built a huge number of them so they would have a large decoy-to-real-warhead ratio.  For short-range missiles, the equation changes, but Star Wars was never about countering the short-range threat.

          1. Is the conventional wisdom about the futility of ICBM defense all wrong?  Is there some way in which it could’ve been rendered an effective defense without simultaneously being a destabilizing influence?

          2. ICBMs and nukes are expensive, and the Star Wars defense system was amazingly expensive and never really capable of stopping a significant fraction of a large missile attack, and most of the demos over the years that didn’t fail were under very controlled conditions. 

            The purposes of Star Wars were primarily political (as well as defense contractor pork barrel.)   Missile defense that protects a command headquarters like Cheyenne Mountain and the missile bases in North Dakota and Kazakhstan is fairly stabilizing politically, but missile defense systems that protect major cities would be fairly destabilizing if they actually worked.  In reality, stopping 1000 missiles or 8000 warheads aimed at a few hundred cities is not only far beyond the capabilities the system actually had, but a 95% effective system means you only suffer catastrophic damage to your  country from the few hundred warheads that get past it. 

            The one threat where Star Wars would have been useful was decades after the Cold War if Bush’s Axis of Evil Enemies List tried to launch a couple of ICBMs at the US (but they didn’t have missiles that good.)  Stopping regional-range missiles is technically different, possibly feasible, and then you discover that the other guys actually hauled their big nukes into your capital city by truck or ship.  And stopping short-range small missiles is also different; the IDF is announcing a success rate at stopping the Gaza missiles that’s a bit under 50%.

          3.  My only quibble is with the idea that protecting one’s population is destabilizing.  It’s certainly more MORAL to actually defend your population than it is to hold the men, women, children and animals of another nation hostage to the good behavior of their government, especially if most of them had no say in selection of that government or it’s policies.  The problems with SDI have always been technical and practical, not moral.

      2. The rockets they shoot down cost about 800 bucks a piece.. the real value of the system lies in the fact it can target only rockets coming into an urban area, where the damage and lives saved outweighs the cost of the interceptor.

  3. It seems utterly mundane with little context. But knowing that those are missiles being aimed at you and your city, and all of them being intercepted is impressive. At the same time it’s very terrifying, i can’t shake the feeling of terror as i see those lights slowly fly toward the city in silence.

    1. Wonder what ends up falling and where? Is there a no-man’s area  the debris falls too, or is it landing in Tel Aviv or Gaza?

      1. This is Beer Sheva, roughly 100km south of Tel Aviv. The rockets are, most likely, being fired from Gaza, about 20km NE of Beer Sheva.  It’s impossible (well, it is for me) to tell at what distance from the camera the rockets are being intercepted, but they’re likely being shot down as near to the launch point as the IDF can manage. Likely still on the Israeli side, but probably somewhere over the desert or a sparsely-populated area. 

        I suppose it’s possible they’re being shot down over Gaza territory, but that would require some incredibly short detection, lock-on, and intercept times.

        1. Gaza is NW of Beer Sheva. Most of the area between the two is agricultural land with some small towns and villages. There are a couple of cities in that area to the West of Beer Sheva. There’s also an Intel plant right around there. (as in ‘Intel inside’)

          1. I’m sorry, NW of course. I had no idea about the Intel plant though; interesting. Does it rate its own AMS installation?

        1. My understanding is that the debris actually poses a nontrivial part of the danger of these things, and the difficulty of actually “intercepting” them in a useful way.

          As the picture shows, the incoming rockets are fairly crude, and don’t have much warhead space; but they are also sturdy lengths of metal pipe, not some diaphanous magnesium-alloy-skin. It takes a substantial punch to tear it into small pieces, and any non-small pieces pose a significant threat purely as kinetic-kill hazards.

          (Also, shooting $40,000 missiles at $800 missiles has to be somewhat dispiriting…)

          1.  Until you compute the cost of getting those $800 missiles to the firing point (assuming the transport costs weren’t factored into the price), and the potential loss of life when they impact. 3 people died in an apartment block hit by a rocket(s) this week.

          2. A lot of the US technology for short-range missile defense is for point-based applications like protecting an aircraft carrier or radar system against attack, so they don’t care much about debris.  Protecting a city’s a lot harder, and most of the rockets they’re trying to stop are relatively unguided, so the attackers don’t care too much about where they land.  (If they had reliable guided missiles they’d probably aim them at the Knesset or something.)


    Let’s put it on the interwebs and give assholes merit badges for ‘liking’ IDF shit on Facebook! Yeah! War is like, totally cool and stuff!

    Check this out! I’m sure these 3 dead Israeli civilians appreciate Netanyahu’s brave decision to bomb the car of a Hamas military leader. After all his decision was a direct cause of these rockets being launched.

    Seth Levy: you’re a fucking idiot if you don’t understand that Palestine’s land is being paved over piece by piece by the Israeli Govt. in direct contradiction to the internationally recognised borders of Israel.

    ocschwar: You seem to think that Hamas wasn’t voted in. You’re wrong. You also said “Spare a thought for the people of Gaza, who will not be getting a vote any time soon.” which merely acts to illustrate how you’ve got fuck all understanding of this issue. Do your reputation a favour next time and just keep quiet.

    To others: Yes. Netanyahu’s decision to bomb this guy’s car was the reason for THESE PARTICULAR rockets being launched. If there wasn’t a barrage of rockets being fired out of Gaza thanks to Israel’s original move then Iron Dome would’ve had a decent chance of stopping the occasional rocket that normally gets fired at Israel. Again, for those who are slow, if Netanyahu didn’t decide to bomb this dude’s car, these 3 people would probably still be alive. I’m not defending Hamas at all, but a large group of people out there have NFI how powerful Israel is at mobilising opinion in their favour.

      1. Because this video happens in complete isolation from other geopolitical events -amirite?

        Perhaps such a wonderful system would not be required if a nation of people were not forced to live in a prison.

    1. Nobody “caused” Hamas to fire rockets at Israel.

      No matter how bad the living conditions are in the Gaza strip; no matter how badly Israel treats them; no matter how much of a bully Israel was, is, and continues to be…

      Nobody “caused” Hamas to fire rockets at Israel. They made that choice, and they get to deal with the consequences.

      1. Totally agree. Same goes for those pesky citizens of Warsaw a while ago. I totally read that they just trashed the city at one point. Nobody ’caused’ them to raze the very urban center that they grew up in. People making choices are just bonkers, sometimes.

      2.  Yes, that is right. People should live in an open air prison, suffer collective punishment, watch their children die and just shut up and take it.

        1. Yes, yes. Because continually lobbing bombs into Israel, and drawing Israeli retaliation, has proven to be such an effective way to show the world how Hamas is the real victim, as well as such an effective means of solving the underlying problems.

          1. Yes, because illegally occupying foreign soil, oppressing and discriminating entire populations on a religious basis, performing assassinations all over the world and stockpiling nuclear weapons instead is such a grown-up way of dealing with problems.

          2. There isn’t much land on earth that wasn’t occupied by its current population without dispossessing the previous.  

          3. Indeed, and it’s not like in the last few millennia we’ve developed processes and institutions to sort out this sort of problems. Wilmaaa, pass me the cudgel…! 

          4. “it’s not like in the last few millennia we’ve developed processes and institutions to sort out this sort of problems.”

            You mean like the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine, adopted in 1947?

          5. Yeah, or UN Security Council Resolution 242. We can go on forever; at the end of the day, one side will still have tank, nuclear weapons and and apartheid legislation, and the other won’t.

          6. There are a few things that are black and white, in my opinion. Hamas’ launching rockets at civilians is unacceptable, no matter how you rationalize it.

            Plus, we’ve been here before. See: Gaza War. Hamas launches rockets at Israel. Israel retaliates, claiming self-defence. The damage and death toll is, of course, very lopsided. Hamas stops shooting at Israel for a while. Rinse, repeat. Today, I heard Israeli forces are gathering near the Gaza strip for a possible invasion.

            The point being, if I, as a political leader in Gaza, knew that my people would get stomped into the ground — again — because I kept shooting at Israel, you’d think I’d stop shooting at Israel. And if I didn’t, you might question my true motives.

            As to the larger picture, I agree that Israel is oppressing the Palestinians, and, as the 800-pound gorilla in the region, Israel carries the major share of the responsibility for negotiating with, and coming to, some sort of agreement with the Palestinians that ends the oppression.

            And yet, they seem to enjoy acting like thugs. Year after year of the status quo is unacceptable. It’s curious how the oppressed has now become the oppressor. But if you say that too loudly, you risk being called anti-semitic.

          7. Errrr am i wrong or is the Bombing of civilians not in some way different from taking down a few terrorists?

            Not everyone in that party is a hate monger (nor is the isrealian government anywhere near innocent) andmany of the people down there want just peace.

      3. Didnt the israelis shot first violating the current non-aggression agrement?

        Its also election time for the Israelites and like in 2009 and a war would keep the current junta in charge because suddenly everything else is unimportant.

        1. Neither party has any moral high ground at this point. Claiming one atrocity is responsible for another is meaningless after 60 years of bloodshed, terror and oppression carried out by both sides.

          1. You’re right, but If there were just two sides it would be relatively -easy- to sort out. There are several, all with resentments.

          2. Israel continues to do things like bulldozing homes in contravention of most civilized treaties and conventions. And it continues to receive huge amounts of US money to continue the anti-Palestinian pogrom. At the same time, Palestinians continue to be herded into smaller and smaller spaces with fewer and fewer resources.

          3. @facebook-1227211037:disqus Not that I have a particular dog in this fight, but Israel last invaded Gaza by ground in 2009.  That isn’t “many years” by any conventional definition.

        2. It quite surprises me to see video of the Refugee Camps that seem to be constituted of apartment blocks, and the other Arab nations put the Palestinians in camps too.

          There are huge problems on both sides, the politics of Other rule the middle east in many places, much more so than in most other areas. It is quite easy to rally your people to hate another when they regularly blow shit up amongst your family and friends. Of course, that statement works both ways here…

    2. Rockets being launched at civilians were the direct cause of Netanyahu’s decision to bomb the car of a “Islamic Resistance Movement” military leader, a person most responsible for rockets being shot at civilians. 
      But in your world, it seems, cause and effect can switch order when convenient. 
      Poor religious terrorist organization Hamas, the bad, bad Jews just won’t let them live in peace. 
      I bet you often feel like a victim. 

      But, “YEAH! KILLING SHIT” that was about to kill people “RULEZ!” 

      I mostly feel sad for Palestinians for being the pawn and having no better legitimate representative than Fatah, which may or may not be at war with terrorist organization Hamas. 

  5. Is this really showing rockets being intercepted? Seems strange that the rockets are all coming from different directions, but arriving and converging at the same time.

    1. To be fair, calling them rockets is a bit of an exaggeration, they are tubes of sheet metal with junk grade propellant inside them. They are totally unguided and tend to fly every which way. Hence their behavior in the video. 

      1. Actualy the ones that go down near tel-aviv are of Syrian and Iranian Technolgy. Which does not mean that they are supplyed by that countries though. 

      2. A rocket is a missile, spacecraft, aircraft or other vehicle that obtains thrust from a rocket engine.  Potassium nitrate fertilizer and sugar make a fine rocket propellant. 
        I’d love to build one of those but I’d hate to terrorize the neighbours. 
        Terror is what Qassams are all about.  They are a tool to make Israelis vote for hardliners.  To further perpetuate the conflict or drive it to a point.  Hamas is not fighting for Palestinians but for Iran’s ayatollahs, who foster this conflict.

    2. It’s your perspective.  Like meteor showers and “missile tests” and the moon, people get confused about what they are seeing when they have nothing to relate it too. Also, a point of light is going to look the same whether it’s going away from you, going towards you, going up and or going down.  

  6. Am I weird to think while watching this that the video is likely to be taken down because of the music that just happened to be playing in the background “COPYRIGHT VIOLATION”

  7. This is a photo of an Iron Dome interceptor missile launching:;_ylt=ArN9Tcol0rGF_yqcO3iSAIFtzwcF;_ylu=X3oDMTFhaWFia2g3BG1pdANTbGlkZXNob3cgU3BvdGxpZ2h0BHBvcwMyBHNlYwNtYWluX2ltZw–;_ylg=X3oDMTJ2azVycXF0BGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDMTIyMWQ2YmUtZmU5NS0zZTkyLTg4MjYtMmVjMjVhYTU5M2Rm

    I find it hard to believe that’s what we’re seeing here.
    I think it’s more likely these are just rockets that are running out of fuel before reaching their target.

    1. Dude.. this video is what it claims to be. Go look up other night-time interceptor launches and this is very similar. The missiles we are seeing are very far in the distance (which is why it looks different to your link). I marvel at the technical ability of a system like this but, in the wise words of Bill Hicks, “couldn’t we feasibly use that same technology to shoot food at hungry people?”

    2. With the amount of potential for bloom in some cheap CCD, running in a low light environment and dubious focus, vs. the bloom in a better lit still probably shot with much nicer hardware, it’s hard to compare the engine flares between the two…

      I’d be inclined to suspect that the video does show interceptor misisiles, because we seem them going up and then exploding in mid air. It isn’t impossible that Hamas has some airburst warheads on hand; but their hardware has traditionally been rather limited in both payload and sophistication, meaning impact fuze warheads that would only be exploding up there if the rocket failed catastrophically.

      Whether the interceptors actually hit anything or not is much harder to tell… Anything flying without a huge flame trail (either an unpowered descent of an entire rocket or large fragment or flying under the power of a less dramatic propellant) is about as visible as a bat in a ghille suit.

    1. The Palestinians don’t need a technological system designed to protect a broad civilian population from randomized rocket attacks. That would be ineffective against targeted attacks on Hamas personnel and weapons.

      What they need is a political/social system designed to remove terrorist organizations, personnel, tactics, and weapons from their midst. That would have a 100% chance of effectively removing the strikes they’ve been receiving.

      1. The Palestinian Ghetto needs to quit the ‘uprising’, because it’s only hurting them. If they acquiesce in a passive fashion, they will learn to enjoy the ghetto.

        1. The choice between acquiescence and military retaliation is a false dichotomy. The retaliation isn’t doing any good, and it is arguably doing harm. The psychological benefit it offers is to flatter pride and give the satisfaction of feeling like you are not surrendering to oppression. But if your only response to oppression is irrational, predictable, easily manipulated and actually makes things worse, then you aren’t retaining your self-determination, you are still surrendering. Just less efficiently.

          $800 spent on a rocket aimed at civilians because you hate the way their government has treated you is $800 not spent on education, medicine, communications, intelligent diplomacy and other things that have some chance of actually making things better. I’m not saying a great chance. Just *some* chance.

      2. I find that very difficult to believe. The current Israeli government isn’t exactly known for letting go of grudges.

      3. Sorry bro, a political/social system designed to remove terrorist organizations would require an end to the occupation, embargo and open-air prison imposed on Palestine by the state of Israel, which would require Palestinians to have a political/social system designed to remove terrorist organizations, which would require an end to the occuption, embargo, and open-air pris— oh…… right.

        1. I think a great first step would be taking their guns away. All of them. All sides. Got any better suggestions?

          1. How about take away any gun that’s been targeted at harming a noncombatant or that’s designed specifically for same.

          2. If we tried figuring out which guns had previously done that the conversation would get a all “he-said-gun-said” pretty quickly. And i think we’re trying to avoid that.

            How about any gun that might have been targeted that way? It’s along your lines, but a bit more inclusive.

          3. How about cutting off the internet connection of any IP address suspected of… Wait, I think I’m on the wrong thread.

          4.  Ah racism, you never let me down.

            They are all just animals right?

            White people and western governments never kill anyone.

          5. Because Middle Easterners are somehow more violent than people of other nations, right?

            Perhaps they should emulate America – instead of fighting their neighbors in unending exchanges of mutual revenge based in ancient social frictions, they should be fighting wars on distant shores in unending foreign occupations based on cultural insecurities and outright fabrications.

          6. I have to say that in years of moderating these posts, people commenting from the Middle East are usually pretty reasonable. Most of the fulminating rants come from North America or Europe.

          7. Well, the US could tell Israel they’re going to stop sending them billions of dollars until Israel gets serious about negotiating a peace deal with the Palestinians. But that’s about as realistic as your suggestion.

        2. Hey, I said it’d be effective, not easy. And my initial point, that a system devised to protect a civilian population from random, anti-civilian rockets would be useless for a civilian population not attacked with same, stands.

          Also, I think your use of “require,” and the resulting hopelessness you see in the situation, is a bit too strong.

          There was a peace process, such as it was. Hamas has rejected it much more than Fatah has, and as a result, there is more peace and prosperity in the territory controlled by Fatah and less in the territory controlled by Hamas.

      4. What they need is a political/social system designed to remove terrorist organizations, personnel, tactics, and weapons from their midst.

        When you figure out how to get rid of Mossad, let us know how you did it, because we’ve got a few of those here in the US that needs to be flushed, too.

        1. It may be possible to compare the activities of law-governed nations’ clandestine services on one hand with shooting rockets from within civilian neighborhoods at a civilian population on the other, but it requires a great deal more sophistication than your aspires to.

          1.  They are both state sponsored.  One of them is sponsored by democratic states the other by dictatorships. 

          2. You keep using that word. I don’t think it means, what you think it means.

            No, gathering intelligence and conducting clandestine strikes on military assets belonging to entities who are at war with you is not terrorism. Shooting at civilian neighborhoods is.

      5. What they need is a political/social system designed to remove terrorist organizations, personnel, tactics, and weapons from their midst.

        So if we don’t get rid of the Tea Party, Canada has the right to bombard us with an ordnance ratio of 100 to 1?

        Actually that seems fair…

  8. I grew up during the height of the televised Vietnam war.  Got sick of war back when I was a kid.  Even sicker of it now.  I don’t see any chance that war-mongers will disappear in my lifetime. Seriously, I’m very sad.  Sometimes I wish that there really was a hell so all the militarists could go there.  :(

  9. More looks like fireworks to me. All of them go out shortly before you can see an explosion, and some of them don’t explode at all. If those were real rockets, I’d expect at least the latter ones to continue on their path.

    1. What else is fireworks than basically crude bombs/rockets going off in the air, loaded with toxic heavy metals? Everytime I see it I wonder what it must be like for someone who recently had to flee from a war zone, to see and hear fireworks exploding in the night sky of the peaceful country where they’ve taken refuge.

      1. Everytime I see it I wonder what it must be like for someone who recently had to flee from a war zone, to see and hear fireworks exploding in the night sky of the peaceful country where they’ve taken refuge.

        That was somewhat of an issue in San Francisco during a large influx of refugees from war-torn Central American countries. The short answer is: PTSD.

  10. Did I miss the part where the commenters on an internet forum solved the century long shitstorm in the Middle East?  Or did everyone just start yelling at each other again?

    1. nope, its pretty much just blame tennis up there.

      One of the few benefits i glean from growing up in Northern Ireland is that regardless how simple this stuff looks from the outside, i guarantee you its a wonderful fractal of hatred and terror from close up.
      The older i get the more the voluntary human extinction movement appeals to me.

      1. Well, at least we’ve determined that it’s either Israel and the US or Hamas that’s to blame for the conflict.

      2. Having also dealt (in lesser fashion….living in London during the height of IRA bombings) with the Troubles, I totally agree with you that this is SOOOOOO similar….just thousands of years older, making it that much more intransigent.

          1. No, according to historical, genetic and archeological documentation of Jewish groups in the area over many thousands of years.

  11. Why can’t they just accept they hate each other and let their egos down from all of those rockets flying in the clouds. No religion is better, suck it up. learn to live alongside each other.

  12. You beautiful boinboingers and happy mutants. Here I expected to see a bunch of pro-that-country or anti-the-other-country, or even pro-let-them-finish-each-other-off comments.
    Instead comments are mostly to the tune of “neither has the moral high ground at this point” and “this war is madness and based on disgusting behaviour on both parts over decades”, as well as “enough war already!” comments. 
    And mostly civil comments too. Impressive!

    It sadly just looks to me like this is going to end with the annihilation of one of the warring groups, and with the level of tech and money available we know who that will be, unless the neighboring countries get involved. 

    Sure, the anti missile tech is impressive, but the need for either the missiles or the anti-missile missiles is just crazy.

    1. The comments may be civil but they come from a position of ignorance and devoid of historical context. To read glib terms like  “hey they’re all just as bad as each other” when you’re aware of the decades of cruelty and ethnic cleansing meted out to the Palestinians by Israel and their US backers is crass and infuriating.

      1. Decades vs. millennia.  Don’t cut off history at the exact point where finally there was some international legal protections laid down to protect one of the most persecuted groups of people in human history.

          1. There is a lot of independent documentation of bigotry and outright slaughter of Jews over a very long period of history in so many different countries, and not just in Europe and the Mid-East.  You don’t have to trust in the Bible to know that there are some generalities in it that have been proven true via other, more scientific means.

          2. I should probably point out that if you read the whole of the Old Testament, Jewish groups are often the agressors, so the Bible wouldn’t support a pure-victim viewpoint at all.

        1. The creation of Israel was a profoundly anti-Semitic act.  Jews were regarded throughout Europe and Russia with attitudes ranging from suspicion to murderous hostility.  Those views were held by virtually everyone, from Catholics to Communists. Jews are still regarded that way by vast numbers of Europeans and Russians.

          The Holocaust happened.  Europeans killed Jews in huge numbers.  It’s written in ink in the Social Contract that what happened then is that benevolent Europeans felt so sorry about it that they made a homeland for the Jews.  If that were true, they would have partitioned Germany and made a Jewish homeland there.  But the bottom line is that, even after the war, the French would still have viewed their German neighbors with less suspicion than they turned on the Jews.

          Israel was created for the primary purpose of getting the Jews, who had been considered a problem in need of a solution for millennia, out of Europe and Russia and into somebody else’s lap.  Preferably someone with no political and military strength to prevent it.

          You know that antisemitism was pervasive throughout Europe and Russia since antiquity.  You know that antisemitism is still pervasive.  And yet, you believe that shipping the Jews out to some dusty foreign backwater was an act of kindness.

          1. Well, no.  I actually agree with your assessment.  Throw them back with their age-old enemies was not the best solution.  NIMBYism, no question.  But too many people seem to concentrate on the the situation of only the past 60 years and thus find equal blame, when the reality is that putting them there was bound to create these problems.  If it hadn’t been the Palestinians, it would have been another non-Jewish Arab group.  They’ve been on the defensive since day one.  And they will be on the defensive forever.  Blaming them for becoming more extreme in their politics as a result is not taking the long view, historically speaking.  That’s my point….sort of the opposite of “what a perfect place for them to call home”!

            Although, I will say that the call to make aliyah is important, so don’t underestimate the drive to go home again, despite knowing it wasn’t going to be easy.  Not like creating a homeland in Germany or Poland would have been a wonderful thing for the survivors, either.  Going back to one’s ancestral home would have felt like the better option, all things considered.

          2. Actually, there was already quite a sizable contingent of Jews living in Palestine before the war who got there on their own.

          3. Life for the Jewish diaspora got a whole lot easier after Israel was created than beforehand. A minority with a state somewhere out there, for some reason, gets treated a whole lot better than a minority without one. Don’t ask me why — it’s just an empirical observation, one that’s well backed by what’s happening to the Roma in Europe right now. 

          4. I think the majority of Israelis today are descendants of people who chose too live there, and that you are distorting historical facts not quite to their favor.

  13. BS.  Those are fireworks.    Missiles:

    a.) move a lot faster
    b.) don’t glow
    c.) don’t explode on cue

    And no missile defence system is 100% effective.     The best are no better than 30%

    Lastly, no-one under missile attack calmly proceeds with the party.

    This is nothing more than mislabeled wedding footage with a bit of soundtrack manipulation

    1.  -Definitely not fireworks, having witnessed an interception in Beersheva myself (The incoming Palestinian rockets do not have glow-trails since they have spent their fuel and are in freefall mode).

      -The Iron Dome system is 90% + effective. Israelis are innovative since their lives depend on being so.

      -The footage is from the first night of the assassination which took everyone by surprise. Listen at 1:00 for the screams and terror (in Hebrew).

      P.S.: Living well is the best revenge.

      1. Fireworks.

        1. In the first year of operation Iron Dome scored 93 intercepts (see the wiki), there are about 12 (?) in this clip in the space of a minute or two.   Give me a break

        2.  Beersheva is right at the limit of the range of rockets from Gaza, yet the “rockets” in this clip are rising from the ground when they should have exhausted their fuel and be falling.


        1. -Intercepts ≠ launches to intercept (also, the wiki numbers are outdated)

          -The rockets you see in the clip are the Iron Dome missiles rising up to meet the Palestinian rockets.

          -Rockets fired from Gaza have just hit Tel Aviv and Jerusalem so range is not the issue anymore.

    2. “And no missile defence system is 100% effective.”

      Nothing with moving parts is 100% effective.  Very little with no moving parts is 100% effective.  I’d say nothing, but gravity works for everything that I know of that possesses mass.

      “The best are no better than 30%”

      93.7% of all statistics are made up.

    3. I don’t know where you’re from, but your people need to hire better pyrotechnicians. Trust me, you’re missing out on the awesomeness of actual fireworks.

    4.  Thanks Mister Expert, for all the citations and all the time you took to follow up your assertions. And your tone, so appreciated.

  14. I’m sure Israel’s Iron Dome technology has improved since the first Gulf War, but I wouldn’t necessarily believe what I’m seeing in that video. There was some impressive footage of Patriot missile batteries in 1991, but in spite of a lot of PR and political praise, they didn’t hit anything.
    Meanwhile U.S. taxpayers are spending billions on inter-continental interceptors which may — or may not — work.
    I prefer the old MAD days. Besides, if the U.S. is ever nuked, it will arrive in a shipping container.

    1. The reasons why the Patriot system was such a failure in the Gulf are interesting in their own right, but to briefly summarise you’re comparing the performance of a system designed with 60’s constraints and operated well past its operational limits to one specced, designed and built for the specific task at hand in the last 7 years.  I think it’s entirely credible.

  15. It’s kind of odd to hear the sirens go off and see people going inside to shelter from the missile strike to the sound of soft music with the lyrics “but things just get so crazy, living life gets hard to do.”

  16. While I understand why you guys post these types of things, I sure wish that there was a way to stop the trolls on both sides of the issue from posting in the comments.

    1.  I see absolutely no trolling going on in this thread.  I see people legitimately disagreeing, but I see no signs that anyone is arguing a point they don’t actually believe.  Please stop using the word “troll” to refer to people with whose opinions you simply disagree.

  17. To understand the technical complexity of this feat view

    Engineering Disasters 13 – Software Flaws
    I first saw this on CS50X

    Also, I wonder what David Parnass would think of this system. He was an “early pioneer of software engineering” and was a prominent opponent of US President Ronald Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative on the grounds “that it would be impossible to write an application of sufficient quality that it could be trusted to prevent a nuclear attack”.

    In Israel’s case the system is not being used against nuclear attack, but it does seem to be of relatively high quality, and seems to be working (relatively) well

  18. I can’t think of any sound more terrifying than that siren. Here it only means tornado, but could you imagine living in a place that is always on the menu? Imagine living in a tiny country surrounded by other countries that will only be satisfied by your demise. You’d have to be clever, very clever and have rich, powerful friends.

    1. So it seems you are referring to the Israelis here. And yeah, it’s pretty intense if you’re not used to it. And it is fortunate for the Israelis that they are clever and have rich friends such as the US that are more than happy to send boat loads of arms to the tiny, “imperiled” nation of Israel (which incidentally was created by stealing land from a place once called, can you guess it, Palestine!

      What really must be terrifying is to be cordoned off into a little prison-state, taunted, harassed, denied proper medical supplies, denied other staples of daily life, be unable to travel to the ‘other part’ of your ‘country’ because some foreigner has decided that you are a potential terrorist and must submit to the occupiers whims. And the only reason they think you are a terrorist is because you had the audacity to stand up to the oppression and fight for your rights, livelihood and safety of your family through any means possible up to and including violence. Incidentally the same sort of violence that was visited upon the Palestinians by the Israelis in the first place. Look up the Six-Day War of June 1967 for some more in depth treatment of this topic. There have also been numerous atrocities linked to Israeli Defense Forces directed against the Palestinian people since then.

      For a little perspective, Gaza is smaller than Israel and shares half of its borders with Israel, one with the sea (that is heavily partoled by the Israelis) and one with Egypt which until recently was closed because Egypt was (still basically is) the US’s bitch.

      So just for a moment imagine living in Gaza, where nothing is certain, everybody lives in fear and nobody can seem to do anything about it. Then add in the constant badgering from Israel in the form of missiles and tanks that are light-years ahead of the weapons your side has to fight with. And don’t forget for a moment that no matter what you are the scummy, poor, terrorists that the big dog (the US) loves to hate and as such squashes your dreams of freedom and self-determination at every step of the ‘peace process’. So just for a moment imagine how that must feel.

      BTW Mods, the spell-check is all sorts of F***ed up today. I love that it will squiggle half a word that is spelled correctly and then an arbitrary distance away a whole word that is squiggled but also spelled correctly. Once again Disqus Diqsus.

      1. Spell-check is on your machine. If it’s acting up, check to see if it switched to a different language/dialect. Mine has a bad habit of switching to switching French.

      2. Funny thing. The only weapon I own is a rock tied to a stick. That is, a river rock, tied with buffalo sinew, to a stick, by a Taos Pueblo Indian. I am also thoroughly outgunned by the Israel Defense Forces. So, knowing this, I don’t pick a fight with the Israel Defense Forces. My example is one Hamas should consider following. 

        1. I’m guessing that you don’t live anywhere near what amounts to an active war zone. Probably never have. I also assume that you are probably white, male, from a first world nation, most likely the US and like ancient weapons. And that’s okay that you lead a safe secure life far away from the daily chaos and can safely coexist with your neighbors. But surely you can’t be so ignorant as to think that everybody enjoys this much privilege. And I would also like to point out that just because you have a stick with a rock attached to it and the other guys have iron domes, gunships, tanks, assault rifles and the backing of the biggest dog on the block does not mean that you have to lie down and take it.

          You’re arguing that might makes right. So, let’s say I show up at your house. I bring my trusty shotgun and you get your tomahawk. So I tell you to strip naked and then just sit in a pit and starve (you can keep that shitty tomahawk, I’m supremely confident that the shotgun will keep you in line). I stand there over the pit for as long as it takes for you to starve to death. So here’s my question. At what point do you stand up and come at me with the tomahawk? Or do I automatically win because I have the shotgun? If that is the case then the rational conclusion is that you should dash your own brains out and save me the trouble of making sure you don’t leave the pit.

          1. So just so we’re clear, could you spell out what it is you’re arguing here? Because it sure seems like your position is “the Palestinians are more oppressed, so they should have a right to try and kill Israeli civilians.”

          2. Just so we are clear here are you advocating that the Palestinians just bend over and take it?

            Seriously though, I’ve at no point advocated for the killing of civilians on either side of the conflict. What I am saying is that oppressed people around the world have the right to stand up to their oppressors. And let’s not make the mistake of putting Israel’s military in it’s own little vacuum. The civilians of Israel (all of which at one point or another serve in the military, it’s mandatory) have the power to tell their government and their military to stop treating the Palestinians as if they were ghetto-trash. I would think that a people who have been oppressed and persecuted for thousands of years could pull their collective head out of their collective ass and see that what they are doing to the Palestinians is just as bad as what happened to them. As a nation Israel’s hands are quite bloody.

            Furthermore, while the oppression and ghettoization of Palestinians certainly explains their actions it by no mean should be seen to condone those actions. Same goes for the Israelis. You reap what you sew, treat others as you would be treated, peace on earth and good will towards people and all that crap. But when that fails for whatever reason, I still reserve my right (and anybody else’s) to defend myself from bullies. And if that means that I have to get my hands a little dirty then so be it.  (That doesn’t mean I beat up the little kid hanging around with the bully because he’s an easy target and guilty by association. Just to be crystal clear here.)

          3. “I’m guessing that you don’t live anywhere near what amounts to an active war zone. ” 

            I grew up in Israel, and had classmates with relatives in the rocket zone. Classmates, that is, from families that came to Israel as Jewish refugees from Arab countries. So before you lecture anyone about “lying down and taking it,” ask yourself why the Jewish community in the Arab World is less than 1% in size from what it once was. 

            But yes, I do safely coexist with my neighbors. Might have something to do with me not throwing fireworks at their back yards. 

          4. Cordial:
            Sorry I got my assumption almost dead wrong about your experience within Israel. Also, that must have been tough for your friends that lived in the rocket zone. Nobody should have to deal with that.

            Less cordial:
            Whoa! Glad you ducked, otherwise the point might have hit you right in the face.

            “…why the Jewish community in the Arab World is less than 1% in size from what it once was.”

            Because Britain decided to snatch another people’s land and give it to the Jews. Why on Earth they thought Palestine would be the place to do that I’ll never know but they did and now we have this wonderful quagmire. (I know; tradition and history and so on and so on). Here’s a fun question for you. Why did only a miniscule proportion of Jews living in the US move to Israel? Well, for one thing it isn’t New York City. And obviously they have it pretty good here, so why would you throw that away for a little national solidarity in a hot dusty place surrounded by people that hate your guts. What I’m saying here is that people tend to want to move up in the world. And that is why most Arab Jews left their previous residence for an Israeli homeland. It had to be better than being a tiny vilified minority in a tribalist society.

            “Might have something to do with me not throwing fireworks at their back yards.”

            Have your neighbors built a fence around your land and told you that if you want to leave you need permission from them. Do they prevent you from accessing such life-essentials as medicine, food or water? Do they try to partition off chunks of your property to build their new summer home? Do they humiliate you with demeaning searches and scare tactics when you try to leave your compound even with the proper papers that they made you get. Do they come into your house and tell you how to run your house. Do they constantly turn down any reasonable solution to the horrendous state of affairs.

            Your analogy is terrible, just terrible. That you would still insist that the Palestinians have it just as good as you do (where the hell ever you are) or at least good enough to not need to lash out is just plain ignorant. No actually it’s actively idiotic. The mental gymnastics involved to make such a comparison work out must really be straining your mind. And whatever your point in mentioning it it still feels like you are saying that the Palestinians should shut up, behave and just take it. Because of general antisemitism? Because they started it? Because… some other bat-shit insane justification? The people of Palestine are the ones getting fucked here friend, not the Israelis. The sooner you see that the sooner we can start talking about a real solution that benefits all parties, not just Israel and the US

            Also, you never told me when or if you get out of the pit and try to brain me with the tomahawk. I’ll just be waiting here with this shotgun watching you starve.

          5. “Whoa! Glad you ducked, otherwise the point might have hit you right in the face.”
            You have no point. Well, you do have a point, which is that you are a vile disgusting sorry excuse for a human being who is desperate to make excuses for wanton murder. 

            “Because Britain decided to snatch another people’s land and give it to the Jews”

            That is not what happened. What did happen is that an oppressed minority migrated  to their historical homeland in order to coalesce into asociety that could defend itself. That stared before the British. 

            “Have your neighbors built a fence around your land and told you that if you want to leave you need permission from them. ”

            Ask any Syrian Jew, because that is precisely what happened. They had to take tremendous risks to escape that hell. Some literally walked across minefields into Turkey because they felt the risk was worth it. 

          6. “Might have something to do with me not throwing fireworks at their back yards.”

            Actually, considering this koan a little deeper. I propose that a good starting point may be to get external parties like the US and the backers of the Palestinians to stop trowing fireworks into both of those backyards. Maybe if everybody had just rocks and sticks things would be at least a little quieter.

          7.  “…who is desperate to make excuses for wanton murder.”

            Nope. You are very confused here if you think I am doing that. I invite you to cite a reference here or anywhere where I seriously advocate and/or make excuses for ‘wanton murder’.

            “…oppressed minority migrated  to their historical homeland in order to coalesce into asociety that could defend itself.”

            I agree. My assertion was the very simplified version of the history. It is in fact a lot more complicated than what either of us has illuminated. There was however the small matter of some existing inhabitants. Who also can claim this area as their historical homeland. Also the British had quite the hand in the whole ordeal as did the US and France. I’m not really certain that the Arab world at that time (or any time really) would have just allowed large numbers of European Jews to just waltz in and set up camp without the influence of the British/Allies/UN.

            “They had to take tremendous risks to escape that hell.”

            I am certain that they did. It’s been centuries of cluster-fuck there and for the most part everywhere. I’ve never said that the Jewish people have had a good time of things, quite bad for the most part if you ask me. And it’s still a shit state of affairs. And what’s worse is nobody wants to listen anymore. It’s just constant upping of stakes and over-reaction on both sides of the fence. And I’m sorry to say that unless both sides just quit being jerks or kill each other off there will be no peace. Both of these states or one unified state could exist and be functional but only if both sides really want it. They really need to fucking want it. And in order for that to happen both sides need to start letting the hate go instead of escalating things. Just a word to the wise I guess.

          8. “Just so we are clear here are you advocating that the Palestinians just bend over and take it?”

            I said nothing of the sort. In fact, I said nothing at all except ask you to clarify your position, so please stop putting up strawmen.

            You may be surprised to learn that the Israeli political landscape is by no means uniform, and there is plenty of opposition to the way the current government is handling interactions with Gaza. In fact, the ruling coalition is currently comprised of six parties, so it’s by no means a guarantee that even the government is all of one mind on this.

            I’m not sure why you feel mandatory military service has any bearing on your argument. If anything that should serve to explain why voters who have faced personal danger to life and limb are more, rather than less, likely to support a stronger response.

            Speaking of bullies, Israel has faced a series of wars where its survival as a country was at stake — all of them against numerically superior opponents. The way you get bullies to stop coming after you is by making it clear you will hurt them really, really badly, no matter the cost to yourself. Disproportionate response is the name of the game and has been for decades as far as IDF strategy goes. The thing is, ratcheting the severity of the response down is a potentially suicidal act, so the IDF is unlikely to change that approach. How appropriate it is in these particular circumstances is a bit of a moot point, since you won’t find any takers to conduct such an experiment.

            I do find it a bit humorous that you describe a country that has been attacked by foreign nations (at least) three times in sixty years to be “imperilled” in smear quotes.

            I guess it’s my turn to suggest a solution, one that’s a bit more practical than “pull their head out of their collective ass,” but sadly, I don’t have one. It’s a chicken and egg problem of the worst kind: There is deep, profound, racism on both sides of the conflict, and the racist views are constantly reinforced by acts of violence and violent rhetoric. 

            I can tell you one thing, though: The idea of a single Palestinian state will remain a pipe dream until teleportation is invented. Israel will never give up any land to connect Gaza and the West Bank, since that would put it in the same position that the two Palestinian territories are currently in. Egypt has no desire whatsoever to absorb Gaza into itself, just as Jordan wants nothing to do with the West Bank. 

            As far as I’m concerned, the only option is coexistence — yes, as a single country — but how to get there from here is anyone’s guess.

          9. “The way you get bullies to stop coming after you is by making it clear you will hurt them really, really badly, no matter the cost to yourself.”

            That doesn’t mean keep kicking the little kid that follows the bullies around. Was it actually the Palestinians that fomented any of those wars or were a principle actor in any of them. You could stretch history a bit to say yes but the reality is is that the Palestinians haven’t the power or the resources to mount any sort of attacks at the level of say Jordan, Syria, Egypt, They were the poor outcasts that even the rest of the arab world didn’t want(and still don’t). And when the British yanked their state out from under them to hand to the Jews (that Europe wanted so desperately to get rid of) did they consult any other stakeholders in the region or did they just do the magical white western hand wave and tell everybody to ‘just get along’?

            Nobody is right in the fight, not any more anyway. But I think that it’s high time the Palestinians were treated as human beings for one thing and secondly that they actually, you know, get to govern and control the little fragments of a psuedo-state they still have left. Also, your pipe-dream talk is just  that. Palestine doesn’t necessarily need any more land from Israel (even if it is largely debatable whether or not Israel’s claim to it is valid) just like say Alaska and the continental US. Canada doesn’t tell the US that they can’t go back and forth without undue hassle. And surely the US would raise holy hell if Canada ever did.

            Another thing that is telling about the attitude of many Israelis is the continuing expansion of the settlements which they were specifically ordered to halt. They don’t care, the Palestinians are annoying gnats to be swatted away. Fuck those other people over there, I want mine. Mine mine mine. It’s quite childish really.

            And sure, just as is the case the world over, a people and a government are often two totally different beasts. And sure, there are moderate to progressive Israelis that are trying to do the right thing. But in the mean time there are kids starving in Gaza right now because a bunch of frightened children can’t see past their own nose to realize that all of this war and fighting is ultimately pointless. And, of course, that those starving children will grow up hating Israelis. A new crop of zealots and idiots to engage in more constant and intractable warfare. Great plan Israel, great, fucking, plan.

            “I do find it a bit humorous that you describe a country that has been attacked by foreign nations (at least) three times in sixty years to be “imperilled” in smear quotes.”

            Oh, please, if there was any chance at all that Israel was in peril we would be calling it East Jordan or Palestinian Egypt by now. It is essentially true that Israel is a giant military base for the US (also another reason why they are targeted so often) by extremists. So the chance that Israel will be destroyed by their neighbors is virtually nil. I find it a bit humorous that you think it IS in peril.

            “Disproportionate response is the name of the game and has been for decades as far as IDF strategy goes. The thing is, ratcheting the severity of the response down is a potentially suicidal act…”

            So is the other alternative. Try again.

            As to the military service angle. Mandatory service serves to militarize people’s mind set. If we are always at war and everybody is a soldier then it becomes that much harder to envision a peaceable resolution that is found by talking not fighting. The military mind-set is pretty effective at getting people to think of themselves as a collective that lives and dies by the sword, and following orders. So, I don’t really see how military service tends to make people favor less harsh tactics. After all they probably lost some friends or family, or figure that they put in their time and so should the youth. And having known quite a few military people, being in the military tends to amplify people’s tendencies towards harsh responses and supporting harsh responses not diminish them. There are exceptions of course but those are the type of person that probably had no business going into the military in the first place.

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