By Danny Schechter
New York, New York: When you go to a dictionary to look up dome, you find lots of references to hemispherical structures or forms. You also find that it is slang word for the head.
And so, it may not be much of a stretch to look at the "Iron Dome" counter-missile system utilized by the Israeli forces as a perfect metaphor for the men authorizing its deployment and use, the iron domes of the heads who head up Israel's military, and orchestrate its most assuredly not defensive war against Gaza.
It is also a metaphor for the war itself. The finger pushing reliance on computer technology--whether with domes or drones--tends to block all sensitivity of the human costs and consequences.
CNN reports that, "Israel uses Iron Dome to block rockets from striking its major population centers. It targets incoming rockets and fires an interceptor missile to destroy them in the air. The Israeli government says Iron Dome has intercepted more than 400 rockets fired from Gaza since the conflict broke out in early July."
Newsweek adds that it is not a perfect system,
"Israeli and U.S. officials have said Iron Dome systems are responsible for shooting down more than 90 percent of the rockets they have engaged, while ignoring missiles on a trajectory to fall wide. That accounts for about a fifth of the rockets Israel has said militants have fired into the country during the latest crisis."
(Interesting about this paragraph is that it does not mention that as an occupying power, Israel has an obligation to protect the people in Gaza. It also does not mention Hamas, a political party/movement, but refers only to "militants," many of whom are Palestinians who fled Israel, the country now pulverizing Gaza.)
If true, that means that only a fifth or 20% of the missiles fired have been intercepted, a fact that is at variance with the impression Israel fosters about the precision nature of its technology.
Also, missing from most of the coverage is the fact that the United States poured nearly a billion dollars into building the project Foreign Policy reported in July BEFORE Israel invaded Gaza again:
"Iron Dome, the anti-missile system that is seen as so successful at preventing Hamas' rocket attacks from being effective that it is credited, in part, for having kept Israeli troops from mounting a ground invasion of Gaza, is getting major new funding from Congress. The infusion of cash will radically bolster the program even if can't guarantee peace in the region - even in the short term.
FP's Kate Brannen: "...The additional money for Iron Dome cleared one of its final hurdles Tuesday, when a key Senate appropriations subcommittee unanimously voted to double the Pentagon's $175 million request for fiscal year 2015. The full committee will consider the defense appropriations bill on Thursday. Meanwhile, three other panels have already signed off on the funding expansion, making it all but certain the additional money will be provided. Iron Dome has received $720 million in American funding since 2011, when the United States became directly involved in the program."
Of course, the Dome did not stop Israel's domeheads from invading, but it may be playing another mostly unreported role, argues Samer Jaber, a former Palestinian political prisoner who graduated from Brandeis and studied at Harvard and MIT, on Al Jazeera.
"Reporting on the Dome has provided near-real time televised war coverage. The media has repeated statistics demonstrating its success rates - although there appears to have been a reluctance to scrutinize official Israeli figures and an absence of voices from those who might question its effectiveness.
It is understandable that Israeli officials would want to promote the idea of the Dome's success. It gives the Israeli public a sense of safety and security. It demonstrates that the state is fulfilling one of its commitments to its citizens - the duty to protect.