Where are our Jewish space lasers?

by Brian on February 10, 2024

in Living Through Terror,Technology,War in Gaza,War with Hezbollah

The Jerusalem Post’s Bini Ashkenazi reported earlier this month on an alarming document that began circulating at the Israeli Justice Ministry. It warned that, if war breaks out against Hezbollah, employees should prepare for several days of electricity blackout. 

A separate warning, from the National Emergency Authority, meanwhile, suggested that at least 60% of Israel’s population would face a 24-to-48-hour electricity cutoff, with the possibility of it “lasting up to 72 hours in some areas.” Israelis should prepare an emergency stock of food and water and have a radio receiver with a battery and a first-aid kit on hand.

All this is in keeping with what our military and political leaders are keen to remind us: that, compared to the infrastructure, training, tens of thousands of missiles (many with precision guidance systems) and, yes, another “underground metro” of tunnels Hezbollah has built in Lebanon, Hamas is like mere kindergartners. The big fight with the Iranian proxy to our north will be like nothing this country has ever experienced before.

Where is Marjorie Taylor Greene when you need her?

Marjorie Taylor Greene

The conspiracy theorist and QAnon-enamored U.S. Representative scandalously quipped in 2018 that California’s devastating wildfires that year were caused by some kind of “space laser” that set parts of the state ablaze.

While Taylor Greene didn’t call them “Jewish” space lasers, her dog whistle pinning the financing of this alternative reality on, among others, “Rothschild, Inc.” leaves no doubt who she believes is behind these deadly new weapons.

Taylor Greene’s post on Twitter (X)

But here’s the thing: I need those Jewish space lasers to be real. Because if Israel goes to war with Lebanon using the same methods we used in Gaza – or, frankly, operational plans common to any conventional war – we will be shattered. We need something new, something surprising, something never before seen, that will deliver an unexpected and devastating blow – without endangering our own troops and minimizing civilian casualties.

It turns out we Israelis have been working on just that kind of weapon. 

Our Jewish laser is a bit more mundane – it doesn’t fire from space but from more terrestrial locations – and is meant to complement the existing Iron Dome which knocks enemy rockets out of the air but requires expensive projectiles ($50,000 each), of which we must ensure a steady supply from overseas.

At the Abu Dhabi International Defense Exhibition in 2022, the Rafael defense contractor debuted a full-scale version of its “Iron Beam” laser system.

“We can focus the beam to the diameter of a coin in a 10-kilometer range,” explained Ran Gozali, executive vice president of Rafael’s land and naval division. By using a laser instead of traditional kinetic interceptors, the Iron Beam has an unlimited magazine, a low cost-per-shot and creates minimal collateral damage, according to Rafael, which has signed an agreement with Lockheed Martin to jointly develop a laser system for use in the United States.

The Iron Beam is a more limited solution compared with what U.S. President Ronald Reagan proposed in 1983: a full-on “Star Wars”-like defense system. (The formal name was the “The Strategic Defense Initiative.”) 

Reagan’s Star Wars never got off the ground – in 1987, the American Physical Society concluded that at least another decade of research was required to know whether such a system was even possible – and the plan was ultimately scrapped until 2019, when space-based interceptor development resumed under the Trump administration.

While recent years have seen the incremental deployment of more powerful bombs, anti-ordinance protection systems for tanks, and autonomous drones, we simply haven’t had any kind of truly game-changing jump in war technology, well, since the nuclear bomb (which, despite some idiot Israeli MK spouting his mouth off, Israel is not planning to use…not that we have one anyway).

At the same time, I’m aware that my longing for a weapon like this is a kind of magical thinking. 

Or to put it in a more Jewish context – am I becoming a messianic Zionist?

Zionism – regular plain Zionism, not even its religious variant – essentially marketed to the Jews of the Diaspora the possibility that all their problems could all be solved. 

Pogroms in Europe? Move to Israel. 

Antisemitism on campuses? Zionism will keep the Jewish people safe. 

And not just safe – we’ll shine with innovation, creativity, and new Sabra soldiers who are more fulfilled defending the homeland than protecting the walls of the yeshiva.

Messianic Zionism is everywhere these days. 

The battle cries – “We will utterly defeat Hamas,” “We will get back all the hostages,” “United we will win” – are essentially messianic. 

Rebuild the settlements in Gush Katif? Capture Hamas terrorist leaders Yahya Sinwar and Mohammed Deif and put them on trial for the actual crime of genocide? Flood the tunnels and end the war in one fell swoop? 

All magical thinking, something to grasp onto in our desperation.

The only problem is that, as our texts so often suggest, Messiahs take their time. They tarry. Too often, they turn out to be false.

What if I can’t have my magic Messiah? What if my Zionism needs to be ratcheted down a rung, from “Messianic” to “realistic?” How do we continue to function as Jews in the Holy Land if Zionism can only keep our people “relatively secure” but not entirely safe in a world where, as it has become crystal clear, there is no love lost, to reverse paraphrase author Dara Horn’s latest book title, between the antisemites among us and living, breathing, fighting Jews.

Shalom Hanoch’s hit song from 1985 declares that, not only is the Messiah not coming, he’s not even picking up the phone.

Anyone have Marjorie Taylor Green’s number? It seems we may need those Jewish space lasers now more than ever.

I first shared my thoughts on Jewish space lasers in The Jerusalem Post.

Image of MTG: House Creative Services, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

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