Barack Obama, Savior of Tel Aviv

Whatever your perspective on the latest round of Israel v. Hamas violence, one impressive development has been the success of Iron Dome, Israel’s anti-missile system. As the Iron Dome system shoots down Hamas missiles over Tel Aviv and elsewhere, let us remember who made sure that it actually got developed: Barack Obama. As The Wall Street Journal reported in 2012:

Despite initial Pentagon misgivings, President Barack Obama has given $275 million to the project since 2010 with the aim of reducing the rocket threat… Iron Dome got a significant boost soon after President Obama came to office in 2009. Mr. Obama visited Sderot as a presidential candidate and told his aides to find a way to help boost Israel’s defenses from the makeshift rockets, his aides said, although defense officials at the time still doubted Iron Dome was the way.

Of course, none of this can be true because as the Right and the GOP keep telling us, Obama is an anti-Semite who hates Israel. So never mind.

Author: Jonathan Zasloff

Jonathan Zasloff teaches Torts, Land Use, Environmental Law, Comparative Urban Planning Law, Legal History, and Public Policy Clinic - Land Use, the Environment and Local Government. He grew up and still lives in the San Fernando Valley, about which he remains immensely proud (to the mystification of his friends and colleagues). After graduating from Yale Law School, and while clerking for a federal appeals court judge in Boston, he decided to return to Los Angeles shortly after the January 1994 Northridge earthquake, reasoning that he would gladly risk tremors in order to avoid the average New England wind chill temperature of negative 55 degrees. Professor Zasloff has a keen interest in world politics; he holds a PhD in the history of American foreign policy from Harvard and an M.Phil. in International Relations from Cambridge University. Much of his recent work concerns the influence of lawyers and legalism in US external relations, and has published articles on these subjects in the New York University Law Review and the Yale Law Journal. More generally, his recent interests focus on the response of public institutions to social problems, and the role of ideology in framing policy responses. Professor Zasloff has long been active in state and local politics and policy. He recently co-authored an article discussing the relationship of Proposition 13 (California's landmark tax limitation initiative) and school finance reform, and served for several years as a senior policy advisor to the Speaker of California Assembly. His practice background reflects these interests: for two years, he represented welfare recipients attempting to obtain child care benefits and microbusinesses in low income areas. He then practiced for two more years at one of Los Angeles' leading public interest environmental and land use firms, challenging poorly planned development and working to expand the network of the city's urban park system. He currently serves as a member of the boards of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy (a state agency charged with purchasing and protecting open space), the Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice (the leading legal service firm for low-income clients in east Los Angeles), and Friends of Israel's Environment. Professor Zasloff's other major activity consists in explaining the Triangle Offense to his very patient wife, Kathy.

4 thoughts on “Barack Obama, Savior of Tel Aviv”

  1. Thanks, I did not know that.

    I have two beefs with current MSM: how come nobody is busting Hamas' chops over their abject failure to capture the people who killed those three teenagers? My feeling is — and I know it would be mostly useless since Hamas is clearly run by macho jerks — which is not to deny the existence of some real beefs — if people want to pretend to be a real government, they should be treated like one. You don't get to have it both ways. Where's your CSI team? Why don't you know how to run a decent society yet? *Everything* can't be Israel's fault! I know, I just *know* there must be some members of Hamas who don't completely s*ck. Statistically, that must be true. (Probably many of them female.) When are they going to step up? (Plus – not sure I'm on board with what Israel is doing either, though I can see why someone would react that way.)

    And second: how come no one's asking who funded ISIS early on? Was it the Saudis? They didn't come out of nowhere. Maybe beside the point now but I still would like to know.

    1. Given the way that Israel has crippled the Palestinians' ability to create functioning security services (we can debate whether or not they are justified in doing so), the very specific criticism that the Palestinians' don't have effective police is something that can be laid at Israel's door. That's aside from the fact that no police department anywhere in the world has a 100% clearance rate on homicide investigations, particularly over the time frame and with the technical capacity of the police we have here.

      1. I'd settle for any sort of good faith effort. Nothing that I've seen since 9/11 has made me reconsider whether the legal approach would have been better than the military path the US took. It doesn't work in the long term. We have to try something new. And we have less excuse than either of these groups, who live with it every day, one way or the other.

        Isn't it amazing, no one here has much to say about this?

        1. How would you judge whether the Palestinian Authority has made a good faith effort or not?

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