“Earlier Israel used to be spoken of like this. Now everyone knows our army can do it too and is no less capable,” PM Modi told a large gathering in Mandi in Himachal Pradesh. Israel is known for its targeted military strikes against enemy countries and militant outfits.
While Mr Modi meant well, the circumstances in which Indian Army and IDF operate are very different. Indian Army (third largest in the world) operates against a much more organized enemy (seventh largest in the world), in varied terrains, as opposed to IDF which fights largely weaker opponents like Hezbollah, Fatah, PLO, Hamas. The Egyptian army is no longer a threat, Syrian army is caught up in a brutal civil war, Iran limited by sanctions, Iraq a wasteland. India’s cross border surgical strikes on 29/09/2016 were much better than IDF in recent times because of the fact that there were no casualties.
“Let me first tell you one thing: It doesn’t matter what the world says about Israel; it doesn’t matter what they say about us anywhere else. The only thing that matters is that we can exist here on the land of our forefathers. And unless we show the Arabs that there is a high price to pay for murdering Jews, we won’t survive.” – David Ben Gurion
What makes Israel a force to reckon with is summed in the thought above. They make the attackers on their country pay a much heavier price than what they can afford. And they do not give any importance to what the world will say about their actions. Ofcourse, being on the right side of USA’s opinion does help, but what they have achieved with a limited but determined population and more than half the world against them is nothing sort of remarkable.
And that they are a competent force in defence manufacturing. DRDO is a pittance compared to IMI. And inspite of being a desert, its Indian delegations who go there to study irrigation methods. What could be more ironic and shameful for us that a tiny dry nation, smaller than most of our districts has done more remarkably in agriculture, science and defence manufacturing than us, and commands more fear and respect as well.
As David Ben Gurion said when asked as to why he chose to build his home in the harsh Negev desert, “Zionism is building something with your own effort and capability. Its not buying or inheriting something from someone.” When will we see even a fraction of this in our leaders who have vote bank politics and freeloading in their DNA?
Below are a few examples of Israel’s retribution against their enemies:-
Operation Wrath of God
This did not involve any military, but remains probably the best example of targeted retaliation. It was a covert operation by Mossad to eliminate the people responsible for the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre where 11 members of Israeli wrestling team were killed by Black September terrorists at their Olympic village residence. Authorized by PM Golda Meir in 1972 autumn, it lasted well over two decades.
Systematically, the members of Palestine groups such as PLO and Fatah were located and killed all over Europe, via explosions or good old shooting. Mossad just didn’t stop with those responsible for the attacks, they also wiped out much of the PLO and Fatah network in Europe. Operation Spring of Youth is considered a part of this , where IDF special forces eliminated nearly 100 PLO operatives in Beirut in 1973, with just two of its personnel killed. Former PM Ehud Barak was one of the participants.
There still remains a lot of controversy on who actually carried out the killings and how many people were involved. The novel “Vengeance” which was adapted for the screen twice, speaks of a five member hit team, but it is widely refuted by Israeli officials. Probably the truth will never come out, and that itself shows the operation’s success.
Operation Opera/ Babylon
Construction for the 40-megawatt light-water nuclear reactor, via the technical help of France, began in 1979 at the Al Tuwaitha Nuclear Center near Baghdad. Iraq and France both maintained that the reactor was for peaceful purposes, but Israel is not known for even remotely be assured by its mortal enemies. Even before the attack, Israeli agents sabotaged the Osirak reactor waiting for shipment in France. The preparations for the attack with the full scale replica of the reactor caused the deaths of three Israeli pilots. Diplomatic measures were first used, but were unsuccessful because France refused to stop aiding the Iraqi nuclear programme. Mossad also assassinated an Egyptian nuclear physicist connected with this plant, prior to making this attack.
On 7th June 1981 ,eight Israeli F-16 fighter jets, protected by six F-15 escorts, dropped 16 2,000-pound bombs on the nearly completed Osirak nuclear reactor at the Tuwaitha complex in Iraq. The whole operation took less than two minutes to execute. What was surprising was that this was executed after Iran’s unsuccessful Operation Scorch Sword operation had caused minor damage to the same nuclear facility the previous year, the damage having been subsequently repaired by French technicians. Also surprising was that the site was over 1600 km from Israei air bases , and did not allow any chance of refueling as it involved crossing over Saudi and Jordanian airspace. Ten Iraqi soldiers and one French civilian were killed, drawing worldwide condemnation for the incident.
It was a counter terrorist operation to free the 106 mostly Jewish passengers in a hijacked Tel Aviv- Paris Air France flight in Entebbe, Uganda, on 4th July 1976. The Palestinian hijackers were supported by Idi Amins Ugandan forces and the hostages were kept in a terminal in the airport. The plane was hijacked on 27th June and on 28th June, PFLP-EO hijackers issued their demands: Ransom of $5 million USD for the release of the airplane, release of 53 Palestinian and Pro-Palestinian militants, 40 of whom were prisoners in Israel , failing which, they would begin to kill hostages on 1 July 1976. Most non Israeli hostages were released, After diplomatic negotiations failed, the Israeli authorities decided that attack was the only solution. Mossad built an accurate picture of the whereabouts of the hostages, the number of hijackers, and the involvement of Ugandan troops from the released hostages in Paris.
A French-Jewish passenger who had a military background provided detailed information about the number of weapons carried by the hostage-takers. Israeli firms were involved in building projects in Africa during the 1960s and 1970s and while preparing the raid the Israeli army consulted with the large Israeli construction company that had built the terminal where the hostages were held. IDF erected a partial replica of the airport terminal with the assistance of civilians who had helped build the original in order to practice the raid. A task force of 100 personnel was involved in the raid. Kenyan govt was persuaded by Israeli govt to use Kenya for intelligence gathering and also as base for landing of the aircraft to be used in the raid. 100 personnel were involved in the raid, including the paratroopers and Sayaret.
The Israeli forces landed at Entebbe on 3 July, bypassing radar detection by Egyptian, Sudanese, and Saudi Arabian forces, by flying at barely 30m over the Red sea . Four Israeli Air Force C-130 Hercules transport aircraft had secretly flown to Entebbe Airport at midnight without being detected by Entebbe air traffic control. Lookalikes of a black Mercedes car used by President Idi Amin vehicle and accompanying Land Rovers were brought along, to bypass security checkpoints. When the C-130s landed, Israeli assault team members drove the vehicles to the terminal building in the same fashion as Amin’s motorcade. Still the guards got suspicious. They were swiftly neutralized with unsupressed gunfire. The Israelis then advanced swiftly towards the terminal, before the rest of the hijackers could be alerted by gunshots. The seven hijackers were killed, three hostages dying in the crossfire. The other three C-130s carried armoured patrol cars to provide cover during refueling. 11 Ugandan Air Force’s MiGs were destroyed to prevent any pursuit. Ugandan soldiers from control towers opened fire, killing Yonathan Netanyahu (future PM Benjamin’s elder brother), the only IDF casualty in the operation. The retaliatory gunfire killed many Ugandan troops. The Israelis finished evacuating the hostages, loaded Netanyahu’s body into one of the planes, and left the airport. The entire operation lasted less than an hour, the assault being barely 30 minutes. 102 out of 106 hostages were rescued.
This was was an alleged Israeli airstrike on a suspected nuclear reactor in the Deir ez-Zor region of Syria, which occurred just after midnight (local time) on September 6, 2007. Syria denied that it was a nuclear reactor and did not cooperate with IAEA. Nearly four years later, in April 2011, the IAEA officially confirmed that the site was a nuclear reactor. Both CIA and Mossad had blacked out the news of this attack even occurring for more than seven months.
Since 2001, Mossad was tracking the frequent meetings of Syrian and North Korean officials, and also the then newly designated president Bashar al Assad. On 22/04/2004, flammable cargo exploded at Ryongchon Station in North Korea. The casualties and damage caused in this was massive and the North Korean government blacked out any news of it. In early 2006, Mossad bugged the laptop of a Syrian diplomat in London and in it, officials found blueprints and hundreds of pictures of the Kibar facility in various stages of construction, and correspondence. One photograph showed North Korean nuclear official Chon Chibu meeting with Ibrahim Othman, Syria’s atomic energy agency director. Though the Mossad had originally planned to kill the official in London, it was decided to spare his life following the discovery.It was also discovered that Iran was involved in this with a funding of USD 1 billion. Mossad then spent months leading to the attack monitoring the site via satellite, getting pictures. An arms dump in Muslimiya was blown up, killing 15 Syrian soldiers and injuring 50 civilians. Sayaret Matkal reconnaissance unit covertly raided the suspected Syrian nuclear facility and brought nuclear material back to Israel. Two helicopters ferried twelve commandos to the site in order to get photographic evidence and soil samples. oil analysis revealed traces of nuclear activity. Its said that once material was tested and confirmed to have come from North Korea, the United States approved an Israeli attack on the site.
Seven F-15 Ra’am jets, from the Israeli Air Force 69th Squadron armed with laser-guided bombs, escorted by F-16I Sufa fighter jets and a few ELINT aircrafts executed this operation. Israeli intelligence may have used technology similar to the Suter airborne network attack system to neutralize Syrian radars. This would make it possible to feed enemy radar emitters with false targets, and even directly manipulate enemy sensors. European sources claimed that the Syrian air defense network had been deactivated by a secret built-in kill switch activated by the Israelis. When the aircraft approached the site, the Shaldag commandos directed their targeting laser at the facility, and the F-15Is released their bombs. The facility was totally destroyed. Israeli PM Ehud Olmert called the Turkish PM Erdogan, explaining him his country’s actions, and advised Assad not to draw attention to this incident.
As seen in the examples above, India still has a long way to go before it can match Israel in eliminating its enemies anywhere in the world. It has to put its own interests and national security above its image and has to have a population which is as dedicated to its well being as Israel’s is. If a tribe of persecuted people, homeless and scattered like dust for two millennia can change a desert settlement into a glorious nation, what will take the people of the biggest democracy in the world to cast aside their pettiness to do the same?
“I prefer a powerful and proud Jewish State that is hated by the entire world than an Auschwitz that is loved by one and all”- Meir Kahane.
We have to learn from Meir Kahane’s quote that honour doesn’t come with beggar parties like NAM or Aman ki Asha. It comes with not being afraid to bleed and making the enemy bleed even more.