Bassem Eid

The Iron Dome Doesn’t Discriminate

As a Palestinian living in East Jerusalem, I rely on the Iron Dome to protect my family and my community from rocket attacks. Why on Earth would anyone want to defund this lifesaving, purely defensive tool that keeps Jews, Muslims, and Christians safe from terrorism?

Let me repeat that: the Iron Dome is not an offensive weapon of war. Rather, it is a comprehensive network of sensors and anti-missile systems which protect Israel from short to intermediate-range aerial attacks, primarily from the Hamas and Hezbollah terrorist organizations operating in Gaza and Lebanon respectively. Since its inauguration a decade ago, the Iron Dome has stopped more than 3,150 rocket attacks, making it an in-class leader in air-to-air defense. This incredible technology was developed jointly by Israel and the United States and continues to provide tremendous value to both countries. It has saved countless lives and ensures that millions of us can go about our day-to-day lives safely.

For reasons I cannot comprehend, a small fraction of Democrats in the United States Congress made waves this week by threatening to derail the entire U.S. defense budget in order to cut off funding for the Iron Dome. They actually succeeded in amending the defense appropriations bill, known as the NDAA. Sensing political peril, Congressional leaders introduced an entirely new bill to restore the funding. It passed 420-9.

During my lifetime, I have seen many actions taken to supposedly help my community and my people, the Palestinians. All of these so-called progressive politicians spend a lot of time talking about us. None of them have ever helped us in any meaningful way. Do you know what has helped us tremendously? The Iron Dome. Regardless of how any of us may feel about Israel, Hamas, or Hezbollah, our homes and our families are caught in the crossfire whenever they go to war with one another.

This illogical and thankfully unsuccessful attempt to defund the Iron Dome shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone. Rather, it should serve as a cautionary tale to all. It is alarming that an extremist faction of the Democratic Party would threaten the entire U.S. defense budget just because they hate Israel. These radicals are so hellbent on leaving Israel, the only Jewish State on Earth, defenseless against acts of terror, that they are willing to put Palestinians like me in danger as well.

About the Author
Bassem Eid (born 5 February 1958) is a Palestinian living in Israel who has an extensive career as a Palestinian human rights activist. His initial focus was on human rights violations committed by Israeli armed forces, but for many years has broadened his research to include human rights violations committed by the Palestinian Authority (PA), and the Palestinian armed forces on their own people. He founded the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group in 1996, although it ceased operations in 2011. He now works as a political analyst for Israeli TV and radio.
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