What many people forgot, or are not aware of, is that we in Israel have lived through repeated missile attacks, going back to the SCUD missiles that Sadaam Hussein fired at us in 1991 to the repeated Gaza Wars and the intermittent missile attacks that we suffer from Gaza here in my own cherished hometown of Ashdod on Israel's beautiful southern coast. As such, we have witnessed the US-made Patriot and the Israeli-made Iron Dome systems first hand. On more than one occasion, I witnessed with my own eyes in recent years how the Iron Dome missile defense, then stationed on the outskirts of Ashdod, intercepted Syrian/North Korean GRAD missiles that were fired at us from Gaza.
With thanks to Hashem, the missile defense systems were 85% effective. Fortunately, the 15% that snuck past the missile defense system all landed in parking lots or in schools after hours, each with a miracle story. Hamas itself admits that Allah does miracles for us. They're right.
There are several qualifiers here;
- Israel's missile defense systems have never been tested under a massive barrage, like the one Nasrulla threatens us with constantly. It goes without saying that the effectiveness of the new US systems, untried in real combat conditions, is even a bigger question mark.
- The explosion of intercepted conventional systems can be dangerous too. A chunk of falling shrapnel from an intercepted missile fired from Gaza put a gaping hole in the 8-inch thick concrete and steel-reinforced floor of my neighbor's balcony.
- One of the closest-guarded secrets in the American media is that missile defense interception of a nuclear warhead may spare the country of casualties, but it will trigger an EMP (electro-magnetic pulse), which would cripple the entire electric grid, returning the country into the age of Little House on the Prairie. This is North Korea's ace in the hole.
Like it or not, there is only one conclusion, what King David teaches us: "If Hashem will not guard a city, the watchman guards in vain" (Psalm 127:1). Like everything else in Torah, every word is timeless and true. We know full well from plenty of experience.