The current attacks against Israel are featuring the first real stress test of Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system, and also again a real stress test of Israeli sense of humour in a real environment of cyberwar.
Iron Dome is designed to track missiles launched from neighboring territory and, if they are judged to be a threat to civilian population, shoot them down. The system has had remarkable success, saving innumerable lives and, almost as important, giving Israel’s leaders space to exercise forbearance in responding to the enemy missile bombardment.
But cyberwar also seems to be a component in the current conflict: Recently, the facebook site of a very well known Israel’s Pizza Restaurant was taken over by enemy hackers, offering a blood curdling threat to Israeli pizza lovers: “Today will strike deep in Israel, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Jerusalem, Ashkelon, Ashdod more than 2000 rockets. We’ll start at 7. Counting back towards the end of Israel … Be warned!”. But Israelis, used to this kind of threats, do not mind at all: One response stated, “Hey, please reserve a missile for me with jalapenos, green olives, extra cheese, and mushrooms. You have my address. Tell the delivery boy to activate the alarm when it is arriving, so I know to put my pants on.”
Undeterred, the enemy hackers doubled down. They posted a picture of Israelis taking shelter from the missile bombardment in a sewer pipe with the caption, “The right place for every Israeli – the sewer pipe, hahaha!” An Israeli commenter countered with a message that stated, “You know who lives in sewers? And what they eat?” He posted a cartoon of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles enjoying their favorite meal, a pizza. The company added its own rejoinder that taunted the hackers. “You cannot defeat….The Israeli hunger for pizza!” Score another for Israel, undefeated in battle and in humor.