To start with, let me say this blog catalogs innovation from all over the world. There are plenty of entries of companies, products, people from Israel and from Arab and Muslim countries. The post below reflects a technology tinged observation from someone 7,000 miles from the action, with no inside access to either IDF or Hamas. It is not a political statement about either the Israelis or the Palestinians, but it certainly appears Hamas is fighting an uphill battle
a) The missiles Hamas fires on Israel are relatively crude. One of the impressive features of Israel’s Iron Dome missile shield is it can quickly identify “false positives’ – missiles whose trajectories show they will likely end up in unpopulated areas – in the water or in the desert. 25-30% of the missiles fired by Hamas appear to be in that category. So, Israel does not need to waste ammo or attention tracking them. In contrast, Israel’s Heron and other drones can help make surgical strikes.
b) The hacker group, Anonymous, has taken sides with Hamas in a cyberwar against Israel. Anonymous has repeatedly shown it can create serious chaos around the world. They had my city worried with threats during the Republican convention. But going against Israel, with its Unit 8200 and other cyber assets?
c) This war is increasingly being fought in social media, with both sides tweeting and blogging. Honestly, compared to the propaganda I constantly see from technology vendors, the quality of social content from both sides is pretty weak. But since both sides are playing martyr, I would give a slight edge to Avital Lebovich, the official spokeslady for the IDF. I mean she has her photo and says she is “mother of 3 three kids” on her Twitter profile. Compare that to the faceless “Al Qassam Brigades”
So, honestly, I am not sure where Hamas is going with this.
My wife (then fiancée) and I loved our trip to Israel in 1989. The intifada had just started and you were worried your tourist bus or taxi would be stoned but the magical walks through Jerusalem, Masada and Jericho made it worthwhile. Similarly, some of the most gorgeous waterfront cities I have been to are in that part of the world – Jeddah, Istanbul, Yanbu, Tel Aviv. I hope some day, we can also visit Gaza on the Mediterranean.
I sure hope both sides start using their cyber and social sophistication to woo folks like me to bring our families there without feeling guilty we are exposing them to danger much worse than stones.