Amidst increasing discourse regarding alleged threats to Israel’s security, the US and Israel have signed an agreement deemed “of strategic value” that ensures a continuation of production for the Iron Dome air defence system. According to reports in the Times of Israel, the Jerusalem Post and YNet News, the US government will immediately transfer $429 million to Israel to be used for building the system glorified during Operation Pillar of Defence.
The US Department of Defence released a statement highlighting the mutual value of the agreement. “During Operation Pillar of Defence in 2012, Iron Dome was credited with saving countless Israeli lives and was called a ‘game changer’ by many Israeli policy makers … Israel will obtain valuable resources to contribute to its defence and US industry will receive meaningful co-production opportunities for Iron Dome components.”
According to Rabbi Jack Moline, executive director of the National Jewish Democratic Council, the funding is “another shining example of the iron-clad friendship between the United States and Israel”.
According to YNet News, the chief defence attaché for the US Embassy in Tel Aviv said that “multi-layered defence” should also be considered within the region. “If we were able to build a regional defence capability in, say, Jordan, that capability could easily defend Israel, Jordan and even Egypt, if you so desired.”
Israeli coverage during Operation Pillar of Defence manipulated the loss of Palestinian lives by focusing upon intercepted rockets from Gaza. The distortion induced by the rhetoric of “saving lives” allowed Israel to gloss over the massacres perpetrated in Gaza following the targeted assassination of Ahmed Al-Jabari. The trend was also evident in social media, allowing the Iron Dome to become a metaphor of security while obliterating the settler-colonial state’s sanctioned terror against Palestinians in Gaza.
The funding of Iron Dome consolidates Israel’s security threat narrative amidst escalating rhetoric about Hamas’s alleged procurement of weapons from abroad. The Israeli defence Forces (IDF) has been running a propaganda campaign about “Gaza terrorists” and the confiscated weapons from Iran that were allegedly on their way to Gaza.
The IDF blog displays a series of maps which project the area of the Gaza Strip onto its allies’ landscapes to illustrate the rockets’ reach capability to put the threat “in perspective”. Utilising maps of the US, Canada and the UK already diminishes the perspective by invoking images of hypothetical destruction upon Israel’s staunchest allies. Projecting the same improbability upon countries which have resisted colonial and imperial violence would have elicited far less misplaced compassion.
The funding of Iron Dome and its benefits for the oppressor states have been conveniently discarded in an attempt to deflect attention from the US’s constant compulsion to fuel terror and bolster Israel’s strategy of isolating Gaza while attempting to exploit regional instability as a pretext to disseminate its culture of annihilation. What emerges from the military cooperation is the deconstruction of settler-colonial and imperial violence in order to provide justifications for the endorsement of war and ostracising of Palestinians in Gaza.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.