Obama, not a true friend of Israel? New docu-series suggests otherwise.
Former U.S. President Barack Obama has been widely criticized as being an unfriendly actor to the State of Israel, but a new documentary series suggests otherwise.
During the third episode of “Iron Dome,” a three-part documentary series about the conceptualization and development of Israel’s unprecedented missile defense system, then-Senator Obama is shown visiting Sderot, Israel in July 2008.
“After Senator Obama won the nomination, he decided to do something very bold, and a bit risky, as a presidential candidate,” explains Dan Shapiro, Obama’s adviser to the Middle East, in the documentary series. “And that was to take an international trip. He decided to visit Sderot, the main target of the rockets that Hamas was firing from Gaza.”
Obama visited a family in their home that had been destroyed by a rocket attack, including a boy who lost part of his leg as a result.
“The impact on Senator Obama was very intense, very emotional,” Shapiro says in the documentary. “At that moment he understood, as a parent, how terrifying it was to know that your children were not even safe in your own home.”
In the documentary, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak credits Obama’s visit as the ultimate impetus for the U.S. government providing the State of Israel with “hundreds of millions of dollars” to make the Iron Dome missile defense system operational.
“I bring to Sderot an unshakeable commitment to Israel’s security,” Obama said at a press conference during the visit. “The State of Israel faces determined enemies who seek its destruction, but it also has a friend and ally in the United States that will always stand by the people of Israel.”
In May 2010, following Obama’s presidential victory the previous November, the U.S. House of Representatives approved $205 million in aid to equip the State of Israel with four Iron Dome batteries.
Viewers around the world can stream the three-part series “Iron Dome” on-demand via IZZY’s platform on iOS, Android, Apple TV, Android TV, Roku, Amazon Fire, and on the web at: www.streamisrael.tv
The documentary features firsthand accounts from notable figures who were on the frontlines during the development and creation of the missile defense system, including:
- Ehud Barak, former Israeli Prime Minister and Minister of Defense
- Benny Gantz, former Chief of General Staff for the Israel Defense Forces; current Israeli Alternate Prime Minister and Minister of Defense
- Chanoch Levin, inventor of Iron Dome, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems
- Danny Gold, lead project manager for Iron Dome, Israel Defense Forces
- Amir Peretz, former Israeli Minister of Defense
“Unlike anything we know about documentaries on military issues, creators Nati Dinnar and Uri Bar-On offer viewers a new narrative,” TV critic Chen Artzi Srur wrote in the popular Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth. “It is the creators’ stubbornness to link the personal pulse to the national pulse that makes ‘Iron Dome’ brilliant.”