There are stories that Israel’s next tank will not be heavily armored. Instead, they will rely on an active defense such as the Trophy system.

See a video of the Trophy System. Trophy has intercepted RPG rounds fired from Gaza.

The US is trying it on American tanks in Iraq. [Jan Poller]

ISW Publishes Must-Read Backgrounder on Israeli Integrated Missile Defense System

Israel exists under a threat of mortar, rocket, and missile attack that has grown from intermittent harassment to a constant and existential strategic threat.

In a new Backgrounder titled “ Threat and Response: Israeli Missile Defense,” ISW Senior Naval Analyst Christopher Harmer provides a clear picture of the technology and weapons used to attack Israel, as well as the defense initiatives the Israel Defense forces (IDF) have used to counter these threats, namely the world’s first battle-tested, integrated missile defense shield.

At the tactical level, the Iron Dome component of the IDF missile shield has proven effective at intercepting inbound mortars and rockets from both Gaza and southern Lebanon. From a strategic perspective, the system has changed the risk/reward ratio for Hamas and Hezbollah operatives. Harmer examines the types of weapons that threaten Israel, including mortars, rockets, and the infamous Scud, Shahab and Sejil missiles.

Amos Yadlin, a former chief of Israeli military intelligence, is director of Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies.

This fall, all the boxes will be checked for an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Consider this Aug. 1 statement of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: “Time to resolve this issue peacefully is running out.” Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Thursday that “there are risks in the situation today . . . [but] it’s infinitely more dangerous . . . to deal with a nuclear Iran in the future.” When President Shimon Peres added his voice to the public opposition to a unilateral Israeli strike this fall, an associate of Netanyahu accused Peres of having “forgotten” the role of Israel’s president. Israeli logic holds that it must choose between, as the media reports put it, the bomb and the bombing.

The Iranian regime will soon possess enough low-enriched uranium to build an arsenal of nuclear bombs. Moreover, Iran’s deputy navy commander, Abbas Zamini, said in June that “preliminary steps in making an atomic submarine have started.” This provides Iran an excuse to continue enriching its uranium stockpiles to weapons-grade levels. Meanwhile, “P5+1” negotiations have ended without an agreement. Western-imposed sanctions have damaged Iran’s economy but have not produced a shift in the regime’s political thinking or nuclear drive. Covert operations against Iran’s nuclear facilities and scientists — for which no one has claimed responsibility — have similarly failed to stop the program. Despite some political difficulties, the regime in Tehran continues to reign.

Add to all this the issue of the “zone of immunity” — the point at which Iran’s nuclear facilities would become immune to an Israeli military strike. For Israel, the conclusion is clear.

As Netanyahu and Barak rule out arguments against an attack, they are watching developments in the Sunni world. Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Libya have increased oil production, reducing fears that an attack would send prices skyrocketing at a time of international economic angst. The bleeding Assad regime in Syria is in no position to support Tehran. Rising Sunni-Shiite tensions in the region could potentially ease collective Islamic outrage over an Israeli attack on Iran.

MARK STEYN: THE MAN WITH NO PLAN AND NO PLAN TO GET ANY PLAN Americans, according to a Winston Churchill quote of uncertain provenance, always do the right thing after they’ve exhausted all other possibilities. More verifiably, Sir Winston, upon being asked if he had any criticism of the United States, replied tersely: “Toilet paper too thin, newspapers too fat.” But that was then. Today America is a […]

ANDREW McCARTHY: EGYPT’S MILITARY AND THE ARAB SPRING BAD AND GETTING WORSE Earlier this week, I wrote about Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi. He is a Muslim Brotherhood adherent who rose to the rank of general in Egypt’s military — the armed forces he has just been tapped to command by Mohammed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood eminence who was elected president of Egypt a few weeks back. My column […]

DANIEL GREENFIELD: THE WEEK THAT WAS PART 2 ONLY WHEN THE DEBATE IS MODERATED BY A BLACK LESBIAN IN A WHEELCHAIR WILL THE LEGACY OF AMERICAN RACISM FINALLY BE LIFTED FROM OUR SHOULDERS Just as the media had finished congratulating itself for selecting a woman, CNN’s Candy Crowley, as one of the 2012 presidential debate moderators for the first time in 20 […]

DANIEL GREENFIELD: THE WEEK THAT WAS PART ONE FEEL THE HATE? A great deal of attention has been paid to hate-filled protests in front of synagogues by the Westboro Baptist Church or school protests in Beit Shemesh, but in Ann Arbor hate-filled left-wing protests have taken place in front of a synagogue every Sabbath for a decade. What you are seeing is […]


As demented and disastrous as the two state “solution” is, most alternatives proffered by the Right would be no less calamitous.

“However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.” – Sir Winston Churchill

As readers of this – soon to be discontinued – column are well aware, I have been a resolute opponent of the two-state solution (TSS), for a variety of reasons, including its logical inconsistency, moral bankruptcy and proven impracticality. Accordingly, I have argued that continued attempts to pursue it will inevitably result in tragedy and trauma for both Arab and Jew.

Perilous proposals

Sadly, however, those who rightly – no pun intended – oppose the TSS have been less than comprehensive and far-sighted in formulating the well-intentioned alternatives they proffer in its stead. Indeed, if implemented, some of these alternatives may well precipitate situations just as perilous at TSS – in some cases perhaps more so.

These TSS-resistant alternatives can be broadly bracketed into four major groupings:

(a) Those that advocate stabilizing the status quo, putting the emphasis on managing the conflict rather than resolving it, and condition any further accommodation of Palestinians’ demands on them “getting their act together” – i.e. by demonstrating more peace-conducive behavior.

(b) Those that are “Jordan-centric,” and involve giving Jordan a crucial role in the envisioned end-state solution – either as the planned abode of the Palestinian Arabs in the “West Bank” and/or in giving Amman the function of running the lives of the Palestinian Arabs in the “West Bank,” subject to overarching Israeli sovereignty.

(c) Those that advocate Israel’s partial annexation of Judea and Samaria, typically of the dominantly Jewish-populated Area C.

(d) Those that advocate annexation of the entire “West Bank,” offering Israeli citizenship to its Arab residents, typically together with changes in the electoral system to marginalize the potential impact of their vote.


For many years our elected officials have stated that Israel is an important ally to the United States. As with any political issue there are differences of opinions. The treatment of Israel is one such issue. The opinion, actions and lack of actions toward Israel by the current Administration presents a picture of how the President considers Israel.

While campaigning for the presidency in 2008 the then Senator Barack Obama said, “We must preserve Israel’s identity as a Jewish state with Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and it must remain undivided.” In August 2012 Obama’s Press Secretary Jay Carney, avoided a direct answer as to which city the U.S. recognizes as the capital of Israel. It should have been an easy answer since, in 1995, Congress passed a law that states the U.S. recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

In 2010 President Obama humiliated Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu by not extending the usual red carpet treatment given to visiting dignitaries, and this to an ally. There was no press conference, no photographed handshake and Netanyahu was taken through a side entrance. President Obama also decided not to eat (as normal) with the dignitary (Netanyahu) and eat with his family instead.

During 2009, 2010 and 2011 President Obama visited approximately 46 countries including Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Afghanistan, Iraq and Egypt where he bowed to King Abdullah showing respect to a higher leader. Yet In the three plus years he did not make time to visit Israel supposedly, a good ally.


Norquist Repudiates Romney-Ryan on Defense

On Monday, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, were sharply criticized over their commitment to reverse massive budget cuts Team Obama is making at the expense of our military capabilities and national security.

What made this attack notable – and potentially very damaging to the GOP standard-bearers – is that it came, not from the Democrats, but from a prominent Republican political operative, Grover Norquist. It is hard to see how his contention that Messrs. Romney and Ryan can’t be trusted to spend wisely on defense will help anybody but their opponents.

In remarks to the bipartisan Center for the National Interest, Norquist threw down the gauntlet to the Republican ticket. He declared he would fight defense spending increases, or even relief from the next, debilitating round of cuts. These amount to a further half-a-trillion dollars in across-the-board cuts over ten years under what has been called a “doomsday mechanism” known on Capitol Hill as “sequestration.” What makes matters much worse is that these cuts come on top of nearly $800 billion in Pentagon budget reductions already in the pipeline – a fact the anti-tax activist studiously ignores.

For a guy whose ostensible expertise is domestic economic matters, it is doubly surprising that Grover Norquist fails to recognize another disastrous effect these enormous reductions in defense spending will have – on employment and communities all over the country. Estimates run as high as 1 million jobs lost and $59 billion in direct lost earnings and $86.4 billion in gross state product in the first year alone. (For a detailed analysis of the impact by congressional district, see the Defense Breakdown Reports at

What Norquist did do, however, is directly take on the GOP ticket by opining that “Other people need to lead the argument on how can conservatives lead a fight to have a serious national defense without wasting money,” Norquist said. “I wouldn’t ask Ryan to be the reformer of the defense establishment.”

The question occurs: Just who does Grover Norquist think would be better suited to be stewards of the “defense establishment” and the national security it is charged with providing? Having no expertise on these matters himself, in whom does he have more confidence than the people the Republican Party hopes will lead this nation for the next four years?


No matter how much denial is smugly stuffed down our throats by homegrown swaggering braggarts, any and every territory which Israel has ever ceded to its still-vital and still-implacable enemies became a breeding ground for festering terror and aggression against the still-vulnerable Jewish state.

It takes stupefying cerebral contortions to deny that this was unequivocally demonstrated in Lebanon (where Hezbollah mushroomed to monstrous proportions after Ehud Barak’s unilateral midnight flight of 2000), in Judea and Samaria (whose cities Israel relinquished post-Oslo), in the Gaza Strip (which in 2005 we ditched for the third time via Ariel Sharon’s disastrous disengagement) and in Sinai, whose border with Israel now looms as the most potentially explosive.

No degree of denial-neurosis can belittle this. Each Israeli retreat, without a single solitary exception, comes back to haunt us with vicious vengeance.

Reckless retreat allowed Hezbollah rockets to reach Hadera (they can probably do harm further south too). Reckless retreat allowed Jenin and its sisters to fill our streets, markets and buses with suicide bombers.

Reckless retreat allowed Gaza to rocket Ashkelon, Ashdod, Beersheba, Yavne, Gedera and more. Rishon Lezion was put on notice.

Nevertheless, incomprehensively, a self-destructive denial syndrome was sanctified over and over as Israel’s nationally sanctioned policy. Withdrawing from territory has become a cyclical compulsion for Israel – nearly as old as the state itself.

We got into the routine already in 1949 at the end of our War of Independence – after seven Arab armies invaded newborn Israel with hoarsely broadcast genocidal intent. By the time their blusterous belligerence was thwarted at great cost – 6,000 Israeli dead out of a population of 600,000 – the improvised army of the tiny, terrifyingly out manned and terrifyingly outgunned Israel ended up controlling a chunk of the Sinai Peninsula. Incredibly against the odds, infant Israel had defeated the mighty Egyptian army that moved menacingly toward Tel Aviv with the avowed goal of obliterating the upstart “Zionist entity.”

But Israel withdrew in the framework of the Armistice Agreement (whose green-tinted non-border demarcations begot the now-hallow “Green Line”). In no time, Sinai was filled to the brim with military-hardware and marauders called Fedayeen.

After seven years of bleeding, Israel reentered Sinai again in 1956. At that time, Israel also took the adjacent ever-threatening Gaza Strip that jutted along the coast in the direction of Israel’s dense population centers.

However, the fruits of 1956’s stunning victory were surrendered in 1957 at Washington’s insistence.

It was the second time Israel departed from Sinai and the first time it abandoned Gaza. After regaining dominion, Egypt’s head-honcho Gamal Abdel Nasser perpetrated gruesome purges and frightened Gazans off ever cooperating with Israelis.

Thereafter, Sinai was supposed to be overseen by UN forces, but in 1967 Nasser effortlessly booted them out to facilitate his imminent attack on Israel.

That spawned the Six Day War in which he again lost Sinai and the Gaza strip.

In 1979, though, Israel and Egypt signed their peace treaty which obligated Israel to give up every inch of Sinai. Israel’s pullback was completed in 1982. Things were never quite nifty after that, despite prodigious bamboozlement by serial denial merchants.

Sinai’s Beduin were scarcely likely to toe Cairo’s line. Lawlessness and smuggling are their livelihood and their insubordination went chronically unchecked, under all Egyptian regimes. Any attempts to control them were met by violent opposition.

International agreements made no impression on the tribal gangs that de facto rule Sinai.

Similarly unimpressed is Egyptian bureaucracy, the regime notwithstanding. Its super-snarled red tape effectively stymies all governmental executive decisions. Even topmost policy edicts are unrecognizably ground down as they’re subjected to arbitrary whims enforced along the way by inflated cadres of sluggish officials. Egypt being Egypt, Cairo’s commands are never dependably implemented.

Disorderly domains of this sort irresistibly beckon al-Qaida – be it in Afghanistan, Sudan, Yemen, Eritrea etc. Sinai fits well into this pattern. Assorted jihadist extravaganzas – from targeting tourists to blowing up gas pipelines – proliferated in the peninsula’s opportune setting. But the Arab Spring has opened new vistas for the forces of obdurate Islam and enhanced preexisting ones. Foreign firebrands, whose strings are pulled from Gazan control centers, are flocking in.

The fact that the Muslim Brotherhood now holds sway in Egypt makes little difference. In the world of Osama bin Laden’s successor, Egyptian Ayman al- Zawahiri, even Cairo’s current headliners are categorized as infidels because he alleges they make nice to the West. It’s all a question of gradation. What to us appears inherently anti-Western, from Zawahiri’s perspective is not nearly enough.

There’s more than a little irony here. New president Mohamed Morsy’s Brotherhood credentials didn’t spare him from the onus of having to replicate the repressive crackdowns practiced by his despised predecessors. He cannot afford failure to assert authority as it’ll allow al-Qaida and linked outfits to make mockery of him. This is doubly ironic because Morsy’s Cairo had ridiculed pinpointed Israeli warnings about havoc in Sinai.