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The Israel Air Force has unveiled its huge Heron TP drone. Deployed secretly for more than a year, the Heron TP is not the largest drone in the world, but it is close.

As with other weapons, Israeli drone development suffers from small production scale. Much lower R&D costs so far have allowed Israel Air Industries to compete, but step by step the corporation is migrating abroad. Unless Israel breaks free from American export restrictions, drone production will go the way of Lavi jets, Merkava tanks, and Uzi guns.

UAVs, especially the large ones, are quickly becoming obsolete. They lack the active protection and maneuverability of manned aircraft, and are very easy to shoot down for an enemy who has even basic radar. Compared to mid-price-range Russian jets, they are not cheap, either.

Drones will not be employed in combat anytime in the near future. Drones are useful for reconnaissance, but they are not inherently preferable to ever-cheaper satellites. In the politically correct world, drones have become the weapon of choice for foreign missions: for some reason, affected governments find it easier to swallow if drones, rather than manned aircraft, violate their airspace.

Drones fit the videogame mentality of this generation: do not endanger pilots who, like any soldiers, are meant to be endangered. As fighter jets become prohibitively expensive for combat operations, and developed nations shrink from real combat anyway, we will see many more drones taking to the skies on quasi-military missions. With volumes soaring and competition increasing, Israel won’t be able to sustain her leading edge in drone development.

Pro-Shalit demonstrators blocked fuel tankers driving to Gaza at Kerem Shalom Crossing. Their idea was that fuel-starved Gazans would pressure Hamas to release Shalit.

Of course, the protesters went home shortly, and the trucks went through.

Iran offered the most reasonable terms for uranium exchange: the bulk of enriched uranium can be exchanged for fuel rods on Iranian territory. The Ayatollahs have good reason to fear being cheated of the rods if they export the uranium stocks first.

The Iranian offer entails no risk for the West: it is unimaginable that the Iranians would steal the rods during the exchange without delivering the enriched stocks for exports. The exchange can take place at any embassy or on the border.

The West refused Iran’s offer because the deal is senseless by now. Iran has already attained 20% enrichment capacity, and can produce the fuel rods by itself. Iranian nuclear stockpiles are running at 2-2.5 tons, while the exchange earmarks only 1.2 tons for export. And the deal does not stop Iran from continuing enrichment.

Tibi called Dubai’s police chief a hero, and a-Sanaa accused Israel of using mafia methods. Two loyal Arabs, mind you.

Muhammad Jabur, an Arab driver from the Bedouin town of Rahat, was involved in a head-on collision with a Jewish family’s car. Five Jews, aged from five months to 57 years, died while paramedics were unable to approach the blazing car.

The Arab minority in Israel causes the vast majority of car accidents, which take more Jewish lives than the Intifada.

The US State Department pressed Israel to allow four members of the International Solidarity Movement, including one who had previously been expelled from Israel, to enter the country to testify in the Rachel Corrie trial. Rachel Corrie was dispatched to hell when she stood in the way of an Israeli bulldozer razing a Gazan terrorist house. Now her family is suing the army in an Israeli court.

The US State Department bars scores of right-wing Jews from its country, but has the arrogance to push Israel to allow members of ISM , one of the most dangerous ultra-left concerns.
Israeli courts, which are made up of self-hating Jews, have agreed to hear the Rachel Corrie case, which has been brought by foreigners and concerns a military operation conducted on foreign soil—a matter normally regarded as off-limits to domestic courts. An American court dismissed a related case based on political issue doctrine.

Hebrew University archeologists have unearthed the palace structures and royal jars to the south of Jerusalem’s Old City. According to the Road Map, this place ‘rightfully’ belongs to Palestinian Arabs.

February 2010
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