a letter to the Editor – June 6, 2010

by George Anastaplo

The recent unfortunate Israeli exercise in response to a flotilla protesting its troubling blockade of Gaza can remind us of the provocative rocket attacks routinely launched into Israel from Gaza.  (Such missile attacks, whether or not lethal, would be considered intolerable by us if launched from, say, Mexico, Cuba, or Canada [even if done in the name of those protesting the massive dispossession of North American Indians by Europeans].)  Serious negotiations among the relevant parties in the Middle East are obviously called for.

But, in the meantime, should there not be developed, on behalf of the Israelis (and those in like circumstances elsewhere) a missile-response system that is triggered automatically when a hostile rocket is detected?  Such a missile-response-system would immediately send a missile to the place from which the incoming missile had been launched.  Of course, critical to this publicized system of “returning a favor” would be the development of equipment that can quickly calculate, from the path of an incoming rocket in its last stages, precisely where it had been launched.

Thus, whoever launched a rocket into Israel from Gaza would know that they would thereby be automatically launching as well (within seconds) a missile into the very neighborhood from which they themselves had launched their own missile.  Would not even this sophisticated (Dr. Strangelovian?)  defensive measure be simpler than attempting to develop reliable systems either for preventing all importations of missiles into Gaza or for intercepting an incoming missile once launched against Israel?

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One Response to a letter to the Editor – June 6, 2010

  1. pam proietti says:

    Prof. Anastaplo’s suggestion for advanced “missile-response” technology has obvious merit.Yet,as he probably well knows, this technology would not resolve the moral/political imbalance that has long existed between Israel and her Palestinian enemies–both the PLO Fatah brigade and Hamas. When launching rocket attacks into Israel,those responsible would likely still place rocket launchers on top of schools and hospitals; and wail against “Israeli brutality and inhumanity” when the automatic response technology lands on Gaza schoolchildren who were made targets by fellow Palestinians. Thus an age-old debate: how Machiavellian ought Israeli military become when trying to deal with amoral and extremely brutal Machiavellian Palestinian enemies?

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