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Comment: Re:Subject bait (Score 1) 224

by dotancohen (#47441567) Attached to: A Skeptical View of Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System

I understand that of the 120+ people killed in Gaza in the past week, about 20 were civilians (not militants).

No, 20 were children. The number of civilians is more like 53 according to this article: http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/israe...

Thank you for that link. I was going by the figures that Hamas provides, not by the Gaza ministry of health. I wonder if Hamas inflates its numbers to show that they being targetted, or if the ministry of health is unaware of some of the people being affiliated with Hamas.

Either way, it shows that there are statistics, and there is the truth!

Comment: Re:Subject bait (Score 3, Insightful) 224

by dotancohen (#47439399) Attached to: A Skeptical View of Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System

The ancestral land of your people is whoever you were pissing off last. The Jews have roamed the entire fertile crescent and have been told to get the fuck out, or got used by those already there in each and every land. Maybe if you didn't think the world is supposed to cater to you, you could spend less time putting up "Tolerance Museums" and more time actually being tolerated.

Actually, that is true of every civilization that had roamed the fertile crescent at the beginning of recorded history. As you can see, we're the only ones left!

Comment: Re:Subject bait (Score 4, Informative) 224

by dotancohen (#47439333) Attached to: A Skeptical View of Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System

(1) Out of two hundred or so rockets shot "at" your city, how many were on a trajectory that they'd actually have landed "in" your city? Not many because they're so wildly inaccurate? Or most because your city is large?

When someone is shooting at you with a rifle, do you not take cover if the bullet will not hit you? How would you even know that the bullet will not hit you?

When a rocket is launched, seconds count. All population centers in the direction of the rocket's travel are warned by alarm. That means that we grab our children and run, no matter if we are working, eating, shitting, sleeping, or anything else.

The nature of this particular question seems very naive. I suppose that you haven't been shot at much!

(2) You mentioned 200 hundred rockets shot at your city. Is this the sum of the tallies of "two different kinds of boom" you mentioned, or does the number come from a different source?

The number comes from a few sources. The army says this many have been shot, the citizen guard says another number, Hamas says another number, we count another number, the neighbours count another number. You'll never get an exact count, but they are all within a few tens of percent from each other. Interestingly, the Hamas numbers seem to be the highest.

Is the low casualty rate better explained by a high intercept rate by Iron Dome? Or by the inaccuracy of the rockets coupled with the fact that statistically a high proportion of possible landing targets wouldn't hurt someone? Or by the fact that so many people in your city sensibly seek shelter? Or by the fact that the rockets are fairly rudimentary and don't pack much explosive and are unlikely to do damage unless they randomly score a hit almost on top of someone? I suspect that the other factors are dominant and the low casualty rate is therefore not a good guide to the effectiveness of Iron Dome.

The low casualty rate is undoubtedly due to the fact that so many people sensibly seek shelter. The high COP of the missiles mean nothing when shooting at civilians, and they do have between 40 - 90 KG of HE, with lots of nasty shrapnel. These are not the pop rockets that were being shot ten years ago. These are Iranian and Soviet designed weapons.

The Iron Dome is a factor for the low damage, but the alarms are what is saving lives. Excellent question!

If by sound you distinguish an IronDome hit from a rocket that hits the ground, do you assume that all "ground" hits land in your city?

We can tell by how bad the building shakes and how much damage was done (i.e. broken windows, which we have had at my house).

In your tallies, you said you heard 4-5 rockets hit the ground. How many did you hear intercepted by Iron Dome?

I'll ask my daughters for their current count next time the alarms go off. I'm pretty sure that they are both well above 150 by now. Each volley is a few rockets (6-12), and we've had between 4-8 volleys per day for the past week.

Do you think the range of your hearing hit-the-ground and hit-by-IronDome are equivalent?

I really doubt it. The Iron Dome intercepts are in the air and relatively far from the city, thus they are harder to hear. Plus, they have far less HE than do the rockets they are intercepting. I suppose that we may be under heavier fire than I've thought. I'm not sure that is a perspective that I wanted!

Comment: Re:Subject bait (Score 2, Insightful) 224

by dotancohen (#47439213) Attached to: A Skeptical View of Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System

And before 1947 Beersheba was a town of mostly Palestinians. Then in October 1948 the Israeli goverment decided to truck the palestinian's to Gaza. Shortly after having displaced the palestinians their houses got occupied by people from the newly formed Israel. I am sure there are still people alive in Gaza who remember when their house was stolen.

And before _whatever_date_is_inconvenient_for_somebody_else Beersheba was a town of Jews. You can go back as far or as close as you want and find somebody living here. I mention that in my other posts.

I do believe that it was the King of Morocco who moved most of the Muslims out of Beersheba in 1947, with a promise of returning them after the Jews were exterminated. I do know of the forced evacuations at the hand of the Israeli army as well, much as the Jews were forced out of Morocco, Algers, Tunis, Lybia, Egypt, and other nations during the same time frame.

You might want to research other population swaps, both forced and non-forced. I am aware of what was done to the Muslims who stayed in Beersheba, which is nothing in comparison to what happened to the Jews who were forced out of their homes in Muslim states at the same time. Your recollection of history is one sided.

I am sephardi, from mexico. I did the Aliyah and went to israel. I was not happy with what I saw. I found converted indigenous people from Latin america living in the farthest settlements. To me It felt as if they were being used as a shield.

That is an amazing article, thank you.

Comment: Re:I've always thought that the best way for Israe (Score 2) 224

by dotancohen (#47439131) Attached to: A Skeptical View of Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System

They do that occasionally, and are universally condemned for it. Remember Israel is not allowed to defend itself. They have to just accept 100's or rockets a day lobbed at them and not react. If they do fire back, and go as far as to warn the targets, Hamas gathers their children and brings them to the target creating mini-martyr's and generating huge sympathy, especially from the west.

They have a standing offer: it Hamas stops the rockets, they stop theirs. Not difficult, unless your Hamas

Regarding Hamas bringing children to the buildings designated for destruction: you should realize that their values are different than yours and mine. We value life, they value heaven. If someone is killed in war, then themselves and 300 of their family are guaranteed a place in heaven:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H...

Some people like to laugh and say that 72 virgins are waiting for them. That's ridicule, but not far from the truth depending on whose writing you are reading, but it is not in the Koran.

So yes, they do invite neighbours and children when a building has been marked (and warned) for destruction. But that is not cause for ridicule but rather a difference in values between them and you and me.

Comment: Re:Subject bait (Score 4, Informative) 224

by dotancohen (#47439103) Attached to: A Skeptical View of Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System

Actually, we just had another rocket attack while I was composing the previous post.

I don't think that damaging the building structure is a wise move considering the threat. I do appreciate the idea, though. I have taken some precaution and improvised some things which are likely to be of value considering the situation.

  Railroad ties would make horrible improvised shelter roofs. You don't want that falling on your child's head! Rather, armoured concrete (lots of armoured concrete) and dirt (lots of dirt) make decent shelter roofs.

Comment: Re:Subject bait (Score 2, Interesting) 224

by dotancohen (#47439091) Attached to: A Skeptical View of Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System

Ha ha! Well, _technically_, isn't it the palestinian's home? But I suppose might makes right and all that.. ;-)

I don't know what you mean by "technically", but yes both people call this land home. Hence, war!

Hamas has been shooting rockets at Israel non-stop for years, but only when we shoot back does it become news. Assad kills on average 300 people per day for the past three years, but that is not news. Up until last week, more Gazans have been killed by Hamas rocket launches gone bad than by Israel, but that is not news. 100+ of the 120+ Gazans killed were Hamas militants, that is about 85% militants-to-civilians rate (US in Iraq: 8-15% militants-to-civilians rate, Russians/Soviets anywhere: 2-5% militants-to-civilians rate) but that is not news.

Comment: Re:Subject bait (Score 1, Insightful) 224

by dotancohen (#47439061) Attached to: A Skeptical View of Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System

I understand your position, I suppose that you live in a land that is not the ancestrial homeland of your people? I.e. a North American of European decent? I understand that it is probably difficult for you to understand my need to stay. I find some aspects of other cultures difficult to understand as well, as I've mentioned above.

I have a personal connection to this land. So does somebody else. Hence, war! I'm sure that the Hamas would love nothing more than for me to pack up and leave.

Comment: Re:Subject bait (Score 4, Informative) 224

by dotancohen (#47438793) Attached to: A Skeptical View of Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System

The 'shelter' is one of two places:
1) The building stairwell, as it has no outside walls.
2) The underground shelter, which means that we must run though completely unprotected areas to get there.

Note that exactly the "unprotected areas" I mention were in fact completely destroyed when a missle hit in November 2012. Luckily, we were in the stairwell at the time, and now we always run to the stairwell for that reason. Of course, the stairwell will not protect us from a direct hit on the building as the undergroud shelter would, but it does protect us from the missles' shrapnell that land outside the building.

Comment: Re:Belief (Score 5, Informative) 224

by dotancohen (#47438765) Attached to: A Skeptical View of Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System

The rockets being sent against Israel are small, sporadic, unguided, and mostly lack the range to hit major population centers (Tel Aviv). On the rare occasions it does hit a building, it won't destroy the building but will gut a room.

I suspect that you're just trolling, but you might just be 10 years out of date.

Unguided missiles have no military value as they cannot be aimed at military targets, that is true. However, unguided missiles are best for terrorizing civilians, and of course those rockets have the range to hit major population centers. I've had about two hundred shot at my city in just the past week. The current rockets are variants of the Soviet Grad and Iranian Fagar 5 missiles. Plenty of range, unguided but with a COP of about a kilometer, and 40-90 KG of HE.

With the Iron Dome with only get a few hits in the city, and due to the alarms the population is in shelters when the rockets do hit. Without the alarms, my children would have been dead in November 2012 when a rocket landed were they were playing outside our building. Tens of apartments across the street from the blast were damaged very heavily, only to be rebuilt because they were in a building with undamaged apartments on the other side. About ten or twenty vehicles were destroyed. Nobody was even injured, because the whole city fled to shelters. No injuries, nothing on the news. We usually like it that way.

If the Iron dome is effective, great. If the belief of the people is it's effective, even better, especially for politicians in power. Pretty much what the article says.

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