Revisiting the BBC’s Iron Dome story

A few weeks ago we addressed on these pages the subject of an article by the BBC’s Defence Correspondent Jonathan Marcus concerning claims regarding the success rate of the Iron Dome made by MIT professor Ted Postol.  

Mr Marcus responded in the comments:

“I really do think this is very poor “journalism” on your part. Mr Silverstein has nothing to do with our story and presumably you include his name to excite/incite your readers. The report on Ted Postol’s work (with two other scientists cited) first ran in Ha’aretz. I saw this but waited until I had a chance to speak to Postol – who despite your rather nasty insinuations, is a highly respected scientist with a distinguished track record in this field. You will remember that he correctly questioned the performance of the initial Patriot system in the war to liberate Kuwait. His concerns about Iron Dome certainly merits an airing rather than criticism. The BBC did eventually get a response from the Israeli MoD and I updated my piece to carry this. The original story carried a blander response from them.
I fear you see plots to do down Israel where they don’t exist. I am told by technical experts that there probably are ways Israel could provide data to prove the success of its system – if indeed it was succesful – without damaging national security. Let the IDF/MoD back up their claims. It is costing rather a lot of US money, which is no problem if it works, but may be a problem if it does not.
Jonathan Marcus
BBC “

A recent article from the Jerusalem Post – written by the former Director of the Israel Missile Defence Organisation, Mr Uzi Rubin – may be of interest to readers. 

“Postol’s “analysis” of these public video clips and his underestimation of the Iron Dome’s effectiveness are meaningless and his conclusions are completely baseless.

In those clips, only the Iron Dome’s trail of smoke can be seen. The Grad rocket that it is about to intercept, however, cannot be seen.

To assess whether the Iron Dome’s missile successfully hit the Grad rocket, the trajectories of both must be observed, which is possible only through a full sky image obtained from sophisticated security sensors in which both projectiles can be observed simultaneously. This information is never released to the public since it would reveal the IDF’s discovery and tracking capabilities.”

Read the rest here

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7 comments on “Revisiting the BBC’s Iron Dome story

  1. I would think the fact that of 1500 rockets fired the fact that only a handfull struck anywhere near a viable target speaks for itself.

    • You would think that. I would think that. Any fair-minded, logical person would think that.

      But to the creative minds of the hate-Israel brigade, that’s just more proof that Hamas are really a peace-loving bunch who are firing the equivalent of spitballs at Israel–a bit irritating but otherwise totally harmless.

  2. ‘I fear you see plots to do down Israel where they don’t exist. I am told by technical experts that there probably are ways Israel could provide data to prove the success of its system – if indeed it was succesful – without damaging national security. Let the IDF/MoD back up their claims. It is costing rather a lot of US money, which is no problem if it works, but may be a problem if it does not.’

    It wouldn’t be so bad if the BBC’s own hypocrisy on accusations didn’t use ridiculous excuses, and without having any security concerns.

    The BBC justify their not revealing the Balen report with the excuse that it does so ‘for the purposes of journalism, art or literature’. “The legal costs incurred to date by the BBC, and therefore the licence fee payer, amount to £332,780.47,”
    The actual cost is likely to be far higher, as in-house legal time is not factored in and nor is Value Added Tax.

    Marcus’s response shows what we already know the Balen report to have outlined. If the US are concerned about the effectiveness of Iron Dome I’ve no doubt they will have investigated it for themselves, and at a top secret level. Why does Marcus think he warrants any such privilege.

    I’d like him to have to name in what way exactly could Israel PROVE it’s effectiveness without putting their national security at risk. Must have been Hamas ‘technical experts’ that told him this, and want to see the results.

    • I’d like to ask him why Israel has to prove anything to him. Who does he think he is? The people of Israel have the proof they need – they are alive!

  3. “Mr Silverstein has nothing to do with our story and presumably you include his name to excite/incite your readers.”

    Jonathan clearly fears any parallels being drawn with Jewish renegades and himself.

    • NB. Duvidl also feels impelled to repeat his comment from the original BBC Watch Iron Dome story:

      Duvid Crockett, King of DeLancey Street,/ Home of gefilte fish and kosher meat
      MARCH 13, 2013 @ 3:38 PM
      Duvidl also doubts Marcus’s baloney will affect interested Iron Dome buyers South Korea and Singapore. More likely, half the world will be queueing up to buy this ever-more-necessary life-saving IDF marvel.

      http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=6593

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