Back in the first Gulf War, Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein attacked Iran, resulting in thirty-four countries entering an alliance against him. Hussein’s response? Threatening to start a war with Israel if anyone attacked Iraq.

Rather than striking Iraq in defense, the Israeli government issued gas masks to all citizens and instructed them to keep them on hand at all times in case of chemical attack.

When the US-led coalition attacked Iraq in 1991, Iraqi missiles rained down on Israel. While the Israeli death toll was low during the second Gulf War, the experience had a lasting impact on the country. The weaknesses that had been revealed during the experience inspired the invention of the Iron Dome, the installation of bomb shelters in all new homes and a massive overhaul of Israeli security.

About Unpacked: We provide nuanced insights by unpacking all things Jewish. People are complex and complicated — yet we’re constantly being pushed to oversimplify our world. At Unpacked we know that being complex makes us more interesting. Because of this, we break the world down with nuance and insight to drive your curiosity and challenge your thinking.

About History of Israel Explained: This series casts a new perspective on the history of the modern State of Israel, both pre and post 1948. We explore the inspiring highs and heartbreaking lows, and the everyday struggles of ordinary people. Understand how the Jewish State came to be by meeting prominent Zionist figures and learning about key historical events. Explore aspects of Israeli society, from its famous military to the meaning of the national anthem, and more.

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