Ofek-9 Satellite Launch

Israel launched a surveillance satellite into space last night.  It was reported by all the Israeli newspapers.  Haaretz, Yediot Achronot, and the Jerusalem Post.  What I think is most interesting is the lack of concern by foreign governments.

A launch to space by Israel from an Israeli military base implies that:

  1. Israel has home-grown launch and delivery technology.
  2. Israel has proven launch facilities
  3. Israel has long range ballistic capabilities.
  4. Israel has intercontinental ballistic capabilities
  5. Israel has its own surveillance capabilities unencumbered by foreign governmental control
I'm not upset about this.  It is part of Israel's deterrent capabilities.  Each launch enhances Israel's reputation as a serious partner and dangerous enemy.

What is interesting is how no-one outside of Israel cares, or at least cares enough to report about it.  When Iran launched a low earth orbit satellite in february 2010, every news story carries the military implications.  These implications are missing with regards to Israel's launch, even though the Ofek-9 is clearly a military vehicle.

I believe that the issue is that Israel does not verbally threaten its neighbors.  No Israeli government has ever called for raining missiles on Iran, Lebanon, Jordan or Egypt.  No Israeli government has ever called for the destruction of a foreign state.    There is and never has been any claim by Israel to take over the region or to impose its rule on any foreign country.  Compare this to claims by EVERY arab country for the destruction of Israel and the need to Islamic rule in the entire Middle East.

Israel's weapons are used in defense. They are developed as deterrents, not as offensive capabilities.  The  Middle East should thanks its god's that Israel has no intentions of expansion.  If it did, who would be left standing?

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