Ynet published yesterday an exceptionally stupid review of the economy behind the Iron Dome, Israel’s new anti missile defence system. The article attempts to present the ‘reasoning’ behind the new anti missile system. Believe it or not, it compares the running cost of the system with the potential lost caused by the death of an Israeli.
“The Iron Dome system is very good for Israeli economy”, says Dr. Adam Reuter, a ‘financial risk management’ expert. “A 25 year-old Israeli citizen should yield an average of 40 years of production … In other words, the death of an Israeli citizen at age 25 could cause a potential loss of economy of some 1.2 million dollars.”
According to Dr Reuter, the economy is pretty clear; the cost of a battery of Iron Dome which includes 100 missiles is about $100 million. The cost of each missile is about 50 thousand dollars. Reuter logic is simple; if you spend $50.000 on a missile, you may save a young Israel who could potentially contribute 1.2 million dollars to the Jewish State’s economy for the next 40 years.
In the Jewish State they seem to like reducing everything into numbers. The Israeli citizens are valued according to their contribution to the Jewish capital. However, here are some points the Israeli ‘expert’ didn’t take into account:
1. Dr Reuter calculates how much it may cost to ‘save’ Israelis, yet he fails to tell his readers what is the cost of ‘peace’. Surely, ending the conflict would lead to an immediate growth of Israeli economy. I guess that peace doesn’t have a price tag in the Jewish State. Yet, war is totally commodified.
2. Home-made Palestinian missiles cost less that $500. It may be possible that the Gazans have found a very cheap method to exhaust Israeli economy. By the time Palestinians launch ten rockets that cost up to $5000, Israel would spend at least half a million dollars on Iron Dome missiles with only a limited success.
3. Palestinian militants do not seem to be interested in killing Israeli civilians, as we know, most Palestinian missiles land in open fields. I guess that militants actually regard resistance in general and the rockets in particular as a message. They are there to remind the Israelis that they are dwelling on stolen land. If I am correct here, then Dr Reuter calculation is completely superfluous for Palestinian militants (unlike Israelis) are not interested in indiscriminate killing.
4. Assuming that Palestinian ballistic technology will keep improving, every Israeli city would soon need the protection of the Iron Dome system. I guess that at least financially, it is much cheaper to build a concrete roof over the whole of Israel rather than spreading anti missile batteries around each Israeli neighbourhood.
The Jewish State already surrounded itself with concrete walls, so it may be the right time to add a concrete ceiling. They may even want to call it the Iron Kipa (skullcap).
Update: (Ynet 11.4.2011) WASHINGTON – The United States vowed to provide Israel with $430 million worth of security aid in the near future which will include $205 million allocated for the development of Iron Dome batteries. According to an agreement between the US and Israel for the next 10 years, 2011 aid was slated to grow to $3 billion (from $2.77 billion) in addition to an extra $205 million for the development of the Iron Dome system.