Evacuate Tehran, not Metropolitan Tel-Aviv

The articles that appeared during the last week is several Israeli and foreign media channels and that did shed light on the plans of the Israeli home command to carry out a mass evacuation of the population of metropolitan Tel-Aviv and the adjoining cities to the south of Israel in case of a future missile war prove again how detached from reality is the political and defence leadership of the state of Israel and how bankrupt is its deterrence ability.

Let’s start with the fact that this evacuation is a paper plan that has no basis in reality. Imagine that tomorrow morning, during peace time, an exercise would be held simulating the mass evacuation of millions of people and their staying for a prolonged period of time in temporary accommodation in the Arava and in Eilat. Imagine the huge traffic jams, the confusion, the lack of control, and the logistical difficulties in providing basic needs like water, food, medicines and sanitation, and all this in an exercise held during peace time, without salvos of thousands of missiles a day hitting all parts of the country, the collapse of communication systems, the need to use the roads that will remain open to move army units, and violent the actions that would be taken by hostile populations inside the country. The evacuation of the residents of metropolitan Tel-Aviv to the south of Israel during war is in my opinion a dangerous illusion that has no proven operational basis in reality.

The illusion that the Israeli home front is capable of withstanding long weeks of a missile war with an intensity similar only to the heavy bombardment of European cities during the second world war is so dangerous that it could cost us the survival of the state. So is the illusion that infrastructure of supreme strategic  national importance, from air force bases to power stations and water pumping installations would somehow be able to continue functioning under these conditions. Israel must change its national security doctrine immediately, and ensure that the world, and in particular its enemies who increase daily the size of their missile arsenals, are clearly aware of this change.

Israel must recognise publicly that its civil population, and indeed its armed forces, have not got the ability to survive a prolonged missile war that would destroy its vital infrastructure. To know this, there is no need to wait for the post-war board of investigation – one can come out of the thought paralysis and activate the brain right now. Israel must clarify that such a war would not last weeks, not even days. Israel would act with total determination to bring about the halting of a missile attack on its territory within a period of three hours, at any cost, and using all means necessary. Its enemies must understand that starting such a missile attack amounts to signing an immediate suicide letter. It must be ensured that the plans are for the evacuation of what would remain of Tehran, not metropolitan Tel-Aviv.

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