I stand corrected:
Technological placebos and defensive postures

Readers respond to yesterday's headline touting air defense as 'Answer to Hezbollah'.

Mordechai Sones ,

Air defense. Illustration
Air defense. Illustration

"The answer to people shooting at you is not to find more and more sophisticated ways to avoid getting hit," wrote Oren Wysocki in response to yesterday's article Answer to Hezbollah: Comprehensive air defense to be operational. "Re-establish sound doctrine based on fear ... embrace the truth that shadow organizations at any time can gift muslims [sic] better missiles and weapons that nullify your faith in technology." Or, as "Daniel" succinctly put it, "Nothing stops thousands of missiles entering simultaneously."

Reader's points are well taken. A sort of inflationary psychological attrition has gripped the public discourse whereby it is considered acceptable, even desirable for enemies to continue their visibly blameworthy hostility against Israel, as long as we have a good umbrella to hide under. Titling an article touting air defense as the "Answer to Hizbollah" is essentially tantamount to passing out contraceptives in schools as an "answer to teenage pregnancy" rather than a sound home education for celibacy.

As reader "Pierce" wrote, "Why focus on defensive weapons? Because of fear for UN resolutions or 'public opinion?' Construct offensive weapons of such force that the enemy shall not dare to attack knowing they shall be completely annihilated if they do."

Binyamin HaLevi recalled the position of the Lubavitcher Rebbe: “The surest path to success is to be on the ‘offensive’ not only on the ‘defensive’. Don't wait for the other side to strike first”.

This does indeed represent the Rebbe's approach. In 1978, the Lubavitcher Rebbe said, "The desire not to be seen as 'the aggressor' caused thousands of casualties in the Yom Kippur War...

"A few hours before war broke out (some versions have it a few days before the war), there were clear reports that the Arabs were preparing to launch a war on the Holy Land and the Jews living there - from a double front - Egypt and Syria.

"Military experts unanimously agreed: If they would only call up the reserves (even without declaring war), and all the more so if they do initiate a preemptive war, it is clear that not only will the Arab attack not succeed, but it would bring about their defeat.

"And yet, despite this, politicians with no knowledge of war tactics (their expertise being only in the realm of statecraft - politics) decided the opposite: To inform Washington that even though they know that the Arabs are preparing a first strike, they not only will not open in a pre-emptive war, but will not even call up a full mobilization - so as not to appear as 'the aggressors'.

"As to the arguments themselves: There is no basis for their argument against launching a preemptive attack, since when the opposing party stands ready to attack, the counterattack is not an 'aggression' but a preemptive measure (and 'one who comes to kill you, slay him first'); Moreover, there is no basis for the argument against mobilization (that calling up reserves could be perceived 'an aggression') - as according to their own argument, mobilization does not constitute an attack.

"The end result of this conduct: Hundreds of Jews killed in this war - hundreds of 'entire worlds', as 'one soul of Israel is 'an entire world'."

With Ivanka Trump's ever-growing influence in the White House and her philanthropy to Chabad being a matter of public record, as well as her nocturnal pre-election pilgrimage to the Lubavitcher Rebbe's grave, it is essential that reportage and analysis be consistent with the spiritual guidance informing her; indeed, with the truth. Readers are to be commended, the article should have been entitled, "Comprehensive air defense: Not answer to Hezbollah".

Or as Oren Wysocki wrote, "Put your faith in G-d, only He can heal the Jewish people as a whole."