Barrage of rockets, 93% interception rate (& Support for Netanyahu at all-time high)

March 10, 2012

* As over 135 rockets from Gaza hit Israel, Iron Dome missile defense system saves lives with remarkable accuracy

* New OECD report says Israel is the world’s 2nd most educated country

* Mark Zuckerberg helps Shimon Peres launch his new Facebook page, and laughs when the Israeli president tells him, “We used to be the people of the Book, now we are the people of Facebook”

* Ha’aretz: Israeli support for Netanyahu rises to an all-time high, despite any differences between him and Obama

A wounded Israeli being taken to hospital tonight


* There will be no further dispatches in the coming days since I will be travelling for work.

* There is another new dispatch here.

* You can comment on this dispatch here: Please first press “Like” on that page.



1. Barrage of rockets, 93% interception rate
2. Libyans thank Britain for ridding them of Gaddafi
3. OECD says Israel is the world’s 2nd most educated country
4. President Peres launches his new Facebook page together with Mark Zuckerberg
5. Huffington Post names Tel Aviv a top beach city
6. Support for Netanyahu at all-time high in Israel despite disagreements with Obama
7. Netanyahu’s lighter side

[All notes below by Tom Gross]


While most of the international media has not bothered to report on this, since last night over 135 rockets have been fired at Israel by the Gaza-based terrorist groups Islamic Jihad and Hamas. Other rockets are continuing to rain down on cities throughout southern Israel as I write.

Although at least two have hit Israeli towns, injuring one Israeli civilian severely, the others have been met with a remarkable success rate by the Israeli-developed cutting-edge Iron Dome system in which Israeli defensive missiles intercept incoming Palestinian attack missiles.

The Iron Dome analyzes the incoming missile’s trajectory and only intercepts missiles and rockets heading to populated areas, disregarding those that are heading towards fields and empty land.

Of the first hundred launched from Gaza in the last 24 hours, 29 of the incoming rockets were heading towards Israeli population centers. 27 of them have been intercepted by the Iron Dome: a success rate of 93%.

Here are some clips of these interceptions filmed by private individuals in Israel and posted on YouTube in recent hours:

The rocket interception is at 0:45 seconds:

The rocket interception is at 0:19 seconds:

The rocket interception is at: 1:03 minutes:

The rocket interception is at 2:40 minutes:

The rocket interception is at 1:35 minutes:

With rockets continuing to fall on Israel, authorities in Beersheba, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Netivot, Kiryat Gat, Ofakim, Beer Tuvia, Yavne and Gedera have announced that all schools will be closed tomorrow.

So far the Israeli airforce has managed to identify and kill several Palestinian terrorists as they were launching rockets. No Palestinian civilians have been harmed.

Several Israelis have been taken to medical centers to receive treatment for shock and anxiety.



For those who haven’t seen it yet, below is a shocking video filmed 12 days ago of an unidentified group of Libyans entering the Commonwealth War Cemetery in Benghazi and shattering headstones of British and allied servicemen who fought in North African desert campaigns against the Nazis during World War II.

The Jewish headstones are treated with particular disrespect.



A new report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has found that Israel is the second most educated country in the world.

The OECD “Education at a Glance” report shows that 45 percent of the Israeli population has a post-secondary education. Israel is known for its technological prowess and high number of high-tech, medical and other breakthroughs.

The OECD listed the 10 most educated countries in the world in the following order:

1. Canada
2. Israel
3. Japan
4. The United States
5. New Zealand
6. South Korea
7. Norway
8. The United Kingdom
9. Australia
10. Finland



In the U.S. last week, Israeli President Shimon Peres, together with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, launched the President’s new international Facebook page at a festive event at Facebook’s world headquarters in Silicon Valley.

Peres told Zuckerberg that he launched the page in order to connect to new audiences. “When I say new and large audiences, I mean first and foremost citizens of Iran, Syria and the Arab world. I’d be very happy to be their friend and offer them full access to me. Neither the Iranians nor Syrians are enemies of ours, but rather the extremist leadership of these peoples,” Peres said.

Peres told Zuckerberg, “Your success is amazing, especially at your young age. I am grateful for what you’ve done and created. Facebook has broken down barriers between nations and between people. Facebook has given freedom and the opportunity of expression to citizens of the world making connections that to now have seemed impossible.”

Zuckerberg laughed when the President said, “We used to be the people of the Book, now we are the people of Facebook”.

Peres’ Facebook page can be accessed at:

Zuckerberg told Peres that he would accept his invitation to visit Israel and was greatly looking forward to the trip.



Tel Aviv’s beachfront has been named one of “The Eight Best Party Beaches” in the world by The Huffington Post.

The other seven on the list are: Ibiza, Spain; Zanzibar, Tanzania; Koh Phangan, Thailand; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Surfer’s Paradise, Australia; Boracay, the Philippines and South Beach, Miami, USA.

As reported previously on this website, in recent months Tel Aviv has also been voted “the world’s best gay city” by the world’s leading gay website, “one of the world’s most creative cities” by Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper (the others being London, Sydney, Stockholm and Shanghai) and in 2010, the Lonely Planet named Tel Aviv one of its top three cities for the year.



A new poll conducted by Ha’aretz, a leading Israeli newspaper, indicates that support in Israel for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reached an all-time high despite constant media criticism of Netanyahu and his less than perfect relations with President Obama.

According to Ha’aretz, if an election were held today, Netanyahu’s Likud party would gain as many as 37 out of 120 possible parliamentary seats while the parties seen as its natural political partners would swell the next Netanyahu coalition to as many as 74 seats. (At present Likud holds 27 seats.)



In an attempt to demonstrate his lighter side, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu posted to his official Facebook page a spoof video of his talk at the AIPAC policy conference in Washington this week.

The take-off poked fun at Netanyahu’s comment about Iran’s nuclear program: “If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then what is it? That’s right, it’s a duck. But this duck is a nuclear duck.”

This spoof has been watched 100,000 times on YouTube since it was created two days ago:

[All notes above by Tom Gross]

All notes and summaries copyright © Tom Gross. All rights reserved.