The U.S. House of Representatives has approved $225 million in funding for Israel’s Iron Dome, but many are asking where that money is coming from. The Senate approved the funding at the end of the day, just in time for their five-week hiatus. Israel, who has been pummeling the Gaza Strip with artillery shells, requested the money. There was only one that questioned the spending: Republican Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma attempted to block the funding, and seemed to be the only one concerned about America’s massive budget deficit. However, after speaking with Arizona Senator John McCain and South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, Coburn let the issue go.
Senators made statements sympathizing with Israel, with Senator John McCain stating that they could not go on recess without helping Israel, even though they still neglected to extend unemployment benefits for millions of American citizens. With many seats in the House and Senate up for grabs in November, legislators seem to be concerning themselves more with securing their positions than the welfare of the American public. Real Time host Bill Maher discussed the issue, and said that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was allowing Israel the same dependency support that U.S. Republicans abhor from their own citizens. He spoke of the more pressing issues, such as the border crisis and Ebola, saying America cannot afford the costs of protecting Israel anymore, and asking where the money is coming from to help Israel’s Iron Dome system.
Lawmakers continued to defend funding Israel, raising concerns about Israel’s vulnerability in the Middle East, which is in political turmoil. However, critics such as Reza Aslan scorned this sentiment, stating that Israel holds more power than any other nation in the Middle East and has a secure stockpile of nuclear weapons. Yet with the advance of ISIS and its plans for conquering all of the Middle East, there probably are Israeli citizens who are concerned about the growing resentment of Israel’s surrounding countries.
It does appear to be a legitimate concern for Israel, whose Iron Dome system is one of the reasons there have been only a minor amount of casualties in the country. There is a ceasefire currently that is being completely ignored by both sides of the conflict, with tensions from decades of animosity at an all-time high.
After Lebanon’s militant group Hamas waged war with Israel in 2006, the loss of life and Israel’s economy decline led to the birth of the Iron Dome. Iron Dome was developed by Israel with the assistance of the U.S. It got the world’s attention in 2012, when the system achieved an 80-90 percent accuracy rate. It consists of three components: a station that uses radar to track incoming missiles, a control center, and from one to three missile batteries. The radar tracks the rockets fired, sends the data to the control system, where the Israeli military find the trajectory of the incoming rocket and decide whether to intercept or not. This entire process is completed in three minutes.
Although there have been few casualties in Israel, the psychological effect on Israel’s citizens is still a concern. They still see the rockets and hear the air raid sirens that still produce the same fears that Gazans experience. Strategically, Israel is in a good place against Gaza and Hamas. However the Iron Dome system is still not a technological masterpiece. With the rise of ISIS, who have billions to spend on warfare, there is a need to protect Israel, and maybe there are factors unknown to Americans that U.S. lawmakers understand. But the quick financial support of the Iron Dome system is causing many people to wonder where all that money is coming from. Ask the Federal Reserve.
Opinion By Adrianne Hill