Tim Scott Rips WashPost for Headline Criticizing Israel's Iron Dome Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
By Theodore Bunker | Tuesday, 18 May 2021 05:57 PM
Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., on Tuesday hit out at The Washington Post for running a headline that appeared to blame Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system for perpetuating the conflict in the Gaza strip.
"Israel's Iron Dome defense system protects Israeli lives. It also perpetuates the Israel-Gaza conflict," reads the headline.
Scott tweeted on Tuesday: "It is ludicrous to suggest that Israel’s self defense bears the same responsibility for the ongoing conflict as the Iran-backed Hamas terrorist attacks.”
Yagil Levy, the author of the article and a professor of political sociology and public policy at the Open University of Israel, wrote that the Iron Dome lets Israel "act with less concern for civilian casualties,” and makes the country’s leaders less likely to work towards a peaceful solution.
“Iron Dome has sharply reduced the risk to Israeli civilian communities — in the past decade, before the recent conflict, only 18 Israeli civilians have been killed in the Gaza-Israel hostilities,” Levy wrote. “This further mitigates domestic pressures on Israel to launch a risky land operation, to try to reoccupy Gaza or topple the Hamas regime… When Hamas made several attempts to enter Israeli territory through tunnels it had dug along the border, pressures mounted to launch a ground operation to deal with the tunnels. Israeli society tolerated 65 casualties incurred by what they perceived as an emergency attempt to destroy the tunnels.”
Levy added: "Here’s the ironic outcome: Even as Iron Dome enables devastating Israeli bombardment from the air, it protects Gazan civilians from potentially devastating outcomes of an Israeli ground offensive, which would be the likely alternative. Iron Dome up to this point has saved Israeli lives from Gaza rocket attacks, while enabling air campaigns against Palestinian citizens. But the reduced pressure to resolve the conflict with Gaza also means Iron Dome gives Israelis a false sense of security, based on technological success — which isn’t guaranteed forever — rather than political solutions."