A pro-Hezbollah Lebanese daily on Sunday dubbed Israeli minister Ayoub Kara “the minister of science fiction,” after Kara announced Friday that Israel would deploy terminator robots to assassinate terrorists, including Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, in one to three years.
“It seems the minister-without-portfolio Ayoub Kara found the portfolio he was looking for: minister of science fiction for the Israeli government,” wrote Yahya Dabouq, the Israeli affairs reporter for the Beirut-based Al Ahkbar.
“The goal of Tel Aviv, to assassinate its number one enemy… Hassan Nasrallah, has come within reach. The solution, according to Kara, is modeled after the American actor Arnold Schwarzenegger: a robot assassin,” he continued.
Dabouq said he had reviewed the Israeli media’s reaction and explanation of Kara’s claims of upcoming robot assassins and claimed it revealed “one of the most important lessons” — that a fear of injury and death on the battlefield “has been deeply carved into the collective consciousness of Israel, so much so that it pushes Tel Aviv to recruit the five movies of Schwarzenegger into the ranks of the Israeli army.”
On Sunday, Kara, in apparent attempt at damage control, told Channel 2, “I don’t think there’s anything new here. These things were made public on every news site in Israel and overseas.”
Kara, an Israeli Druze on the hawkish side of the ruling Likud party who lost two brothers in action during the 1982 Lebanon War, added, “In the past, I asked Shimon Peres how we could avoid having to send soldiers into Gaza and Lebanon — he knew I was a bereaved brother — and he said we had to speed up development of robots that could replace soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces.
“I looked into it and found that this [program] is progressing.”
He continued, “An unmanned aircraft whose pilot sits in Washington while the plane flies in Iraq is more complex than this robot. It’s something that can be operated from an international border against enemy elements. It’s natural to think in such a direction, any leader would do this.”
“If they had developed Iron Dome [an Israel-made anti-missile system first deployed against missiles from Gaza in 2011] before 1982, my brothers would still be alive and my mother would not have died of a broken heart,” he said.
Adding that he had wanted to bring good news to Israeli families “so that they wouldn’t suffer like I did,” Kara said he had no regrets about what he had said.
On Friday, Kara told the audience at a cultural event in the southern city of Beersheba that such robots — indestructible because they would be built of “special material” — would be able to enter enemy territory and kill the leaders of terror groups targeting Israel without putting soldiers in harm’s way.
“The robot that can take out Nasrallah and the heads of Hamas is on the way,” he said.
In addition to killing the leaders of terror groups, Kara said, the robotic soldiers would be able to enter attack tunnels such as those employed by Hamas against Israel during the 2014 Gaza War “and chase after these rats that are underground and eliminate them. It doesn’t return without destroying them.”
Kara is no stranger to controversy.
In November, he posted to his Facebook page details of a security-related incident involving Israel, all elements of which are still under a gag order. The post was quickly taken down, but not before journalists and others saw the information.
A month earlier Kara drew condemnation from the Foreign Ministry when, during a visit to Italy, he suggested that powerful earthquakes in that country were divine retribution for anti-Israel actions in the United Nations.