Defending ourselves -editorial

The Jews went from being a defenseless people before Israel was born to now having a state with a mind-boggling capacity to defend itself with cutting-edge technology.

 Elbit Systems' new Lanius drone (photo credit: SCREENSHOT/ELBIT)
Elbit Systems' new Lanius drone
(photo credit: SCREENSHOT/ELBIT)

From the Davidka to the Uzi submachine gun, from the Merkava tank to the Spike rocket launcher, from the Trophy tank defense system to the Iron Dome, Israel’s best and brightest have been developing the innovative tools the country needs to defend itself since even before the creation of the state.

The guiding principle has always been that the Jewish state needs to have the most creative and the most advanced tools in its arsenal both to repel attacks if they come and to effectively take the fight to the enemy. Likewise, these advanced weapons can deter others by signaling that whatever the enemy throws at the Jewish state, Israel will have an effective antidote.

The Jews went from being a defenseless people before Israel was born to now having a state with a mind-boggling capacity to defend itself with cutting-edge technology, much of it developed in Israel itself.

This capability was on full display last week when Elbit Systems put out promotional material for a new drone called Lanius designed for warfare in urban areas. A two-minute video described the Lanius as a “search and attack in one” weapon. It is a “new, innovative, autonomous, lethal solution based on racing drones.”

The small drone can scan a building, differentiate between enemy combatants and civilians, and detonate on enemy targets in a pinpoint manner.

Its development is the product of Israel’s reality: the need to conduct warfare in crowded urban areas against terrorists embedded among civilians. Used properly, the Lanius can decrease soldier casualties by reducing the need for soldiers to blindly enter buildings, structures, or homes in search of terrorists. Instead, these “flying robots” can do the work for them.

Furthermore, because the Lanius can differentiate between combatants and non-combatants, the small drone is also designed to reduce “collateral damage.”

Weapons are critical for Israel’s survival

Weapons, by their very nature, are destructive and in a perfect world, they would neither be developed nor used.

But we live in a far-from-perfect world, and Israel is located in among the worst neighborhoods in that far-from-perfect world. Weapons, therefore, are critical for Israel’s survival, and it is a blessing that the country can develop state-of-the-art arms to protect its citizens.

Would we not rather see the country’s finest minds and its resources involved only in producing innovations to heal people and improve lives? Of course. But these types of weapons – such as the Iron Dome – do save lives; without them, innumerable lives would be lost to terrorists whose goal is to kill and wreak as much havoc as possible.

No sooner was the Lanius rolled out and publicized than the anti-Israel crowd on social media turned the drone into a nefarious weapon that will enable Israel to better carry out “genocide” against the Palestinians.

“They are testing them on Palestinian children so when the American army buys them it will be already programmed to murder children and commit crimes against humanity,” read one post on Twitter.

Here is another: “Israelis are experts at killing things, especially Palestinian children. Israel is a horrible country run by hate-filled bigots and thieves.”

Palestine Action, which describes itself as “the direct action network dismantling British complicity with Israeli apartheid,” tweeted: “Israeli arms firm Elbit Systems have unleashed Artificial Intelligence suicide drones, deployed by a mothership, capable of entering Palestinian homes undetected before detonating.”

To read this, one would think Israel just wants to fly drones into random Palestinian homes to detonate on civilians. Nothing is further from the truth. These drones were designed to go into buildings to wage war against terrorists shooting at civilians and soldiers.

Another Israel basher wrote: “This’ll make it significantly easier to kill with lesser moral guilt.”

Wrong again. What Lanius does do is provide Israel with a weapon to be used against those who – with no sense of moral guilt whatsoever – fire rockets at civilian population centers and carry out attacks against innocent civilians.

Israel need not be embarrassed that it developed the Lanius. On the contrary, the country should be proud that it can produce science fiction-like weaponry to protect its people.