Home Civilian based defense US-Israeli alliance saves lives

US-Israeli alliance saves lives

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In short, US-Israeli relations, through initiatives such as the Jerusalem Declaration and the Abraham Accords, have helped establish Israel as a key regional player and partner for peace with neighboring countries that share its objective of regional security and stability.

Earlier this month, as Islamic Jihad, a proxy for the Ayatollah regime in Iran, launched some 1,100 rockets from Gaza into Israeli communities from Sderot to Tel Aviv, the Israel Defense Forces once again challenged to protect their own citizens while avoiding civilian casualties in Gaza. .

Yinam Cohen
Yinam Cohen

These goals were achieved in large part through the deployment of the Iron Dome, a mobile air defense system developed in Israel and funded since 2011 by appropriations from the US Congress. In the latter conflict, Iron Dome successfully intercepted 97% of rockets targeting Israeli population centers.

The Iron Dome system is designed to intercept and destroy short-range rockets and shells fired into populated areas.

It is frightening to think of Israel today if the Iron Dome had not been available to defend its citizens and their homes – Arabs as well as Jews – just days ago. How inconceivable would have been the losses, the suffering of this small nation that has already withstood decades of hatred and violence perpetrated by terrorist groups across the Middle East. But thanks to a vital partnership with the United States, the Iron Dome defense system managed to stop 380 rockets, while more than 500 rockets landed in the ocean or in open spaces and another 200 rockets fell in Gaza. , killing 15 of their own citizens.

Notably, support for the Iron Dome defense system — and the security of Israelis — has come from both sides of the congressional aisle, as well as from Presidents Obama, Trump and Biden.

President Biden, in particular, maintains a warm and long-standing friendship with the State of Israel throughout his many years of public service. Thus, it was both significant and fitting that the highlight of his 10th visit to Israel — his first as US president — last month was the signing of the Joint US-Israeli Jerusalem Strategic Partnership Statement. It is a historic document that recognizes the common values ​​of both nations and paves the way for the future deepening of our alliance.

In it, President Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid reaffirm their commitment never to allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons and agree that their countries “will continue to work together to combat all efforts to boycott or to delegitimize Israel, to deny its right to self-defense or to isolate it unjustly in any forum.

It’s not widely understood, but the generous US funding of Israeli technology, including missile defense, has become a wise investment in the security of its own citizens. Just recently, a joint live-fire test of an Iron Dome was coordinated – in New Mexico – by the US military and the Israel Missile Defense Organization.

The United States has already purchased two Iron Dome batteries from Israeli system maker Rafael Advanced Defense Systems to defend against its own military installations. Testing has proven successful, and the US military plans to deploy one in the near future.

In short, US-Israeli relations, through initiatives such as the Jerusalem Declaration and the Abraham Accords, have helped establish Israel as a key regional player and partner for peace with neighboring countries that share its focus on regional security and stability – Bahrain, Morocco, the United Arab Emirates and Sudan so far – while planning to soon welcome Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries into the circle cooperation from Israel.

Israel, in turn, shares its advanced technologies and partners with American manufacturers to promote the security and economic well-being of the American people.

Yinam Cohen is the Consul General of Israel in the Midwest. This essay was first published in the Detroit News.