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Another Israeli act of military madness in Syria

On Tuesday morning the Air Force shot down a Syrian fighter jet for no good reason on earth.

For the first time in 30 years, a Syrian fighter jet on Tuesday morning strayed over the border with Israel – or rather, over the border with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, which rightfully belongs to Syria. Israeli military officials reportedly think it was an accident. They also think the Syrian jet was on its way to bomb Al-Nusra jihadists on the Syrian side of the border.

The incursion of the Syrian plane lasted two seconds. It got about 800 meters onto the Israeli-occupied side of the border. Then the pilots turned the jet back toward Syria.

So what did Israel do then? What else? It blew the Syrian jet out of the sky. The crippled plane landed on the Syrian side of the border. Thankfully, the Syrian pilots ejected safely.

All the details of the incident point to an Israeli act of incredible recklessness and stupidity.

Yedioth Ahronoth reports that “the IDF thinks the jet crossed into Israel by accident en route to attacking rebel positions on the Golan.” Same story: “According to a military source, the jet entered Israel for a couple of seconds, penetrating a few hundred meters before turning back (bold italics added), at which point it was hit by the Patriot missile.”

A Patriot missile is launched during a test. (File photo by IAF)

A Patriot missile is launched during a test. (File photo by IAF)

But then a few paragraphs later, an IDF officer tells Yedioth: “We identified the Syrian jet at a height of 10-14,000 feet. That’s a height considered comfortable for an attack run. A fighter jet can reach the Sea of Galilee in less than a minute and everywhere else in five.”

Yeah. The Syrian jet is looking to bomb Al-Nusra jihadists on the Syrian side of the border, it strays accidentally onto the Israeli-controlled side for two goddamn seconds, then it turns back toward Syria – and it was a threat to Israel.

The Haaretz story presents the IDF version of the incident a lot more simply: “Although Israel did not see any threat of attack on its own territory from that plane, its policy stipulates that any plane that breaches its territorial authority must be downed to avoid security risk.”

What security risk? That the jet was going to spy on Israel? Israel has been sending spy jets over Lebanon a few times a week for many years – is it okay, from Israel’s point of view, for Lebanon to shoot down those planes? Israel has just given Hezbollah a great precedent for doing so.

From Times of Israel:

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said Tuesday in response to the incident that the Syrian plane approached Israeli territory in a “threatening manner” and crossed the border.

“We’ve clarified this in the past and we’re emphasizing it again now: We won’t allow anybody, whether it’s a state or a terrorist organization, to threaten our security and violate our sovereignty,” the defense minister and former IDF chief of staff said. “We will respond forcefully to all attempts of this kind, whether it’s an accident or intentional.”

Ever since the war in Gaza ended, people here have been saying another war is coming on the northern border. And what I’ve been dreading is that Israel, given this expectation, will interpret every little move on the other side of the border as proof of intent to attack, and “preempt” it by attacking first.

And that’s what happened today. Will this incident start a war with Syria? Most likely not. But eventually I believe Israel will set off a war with Hezbollah or Syria or Iran or somebody, because its limitless fear produces limitless aggression. No one likes to live in fear, and the best way to lose that fear is to strike first. That, in a nutshell, is Israel’s military policy, reiterated this morning over the Syrian border.

Related:
Israeli aggression in Syria is provoking a war
Israel’s ‘war between wars’ backfires
With Egypt strike, Israel violates two borders in three days

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    COMMENTS

    1. Richard

      The Rockefeller Brothers are taking their money out of fossil fuels – definitely a break from the family’s historically close ties to the Arab world. Bad news for you guys.

      Reply to Comment
      • Y-Man

        Cool story bro

        Reply to Comment
        • Richard

          That catch phrase is about as current as “you go girl” at this point. Try again.

          Reply to Comment
          • Ray

            What exactly does your first post have to do with the article?

            Reply to Comment
          • Richard

            Everything.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ray

            Why don’t you explain?

            Reply to Comment
    2. Ruth

      This is one of the dumbest posts I’ve ever read on 972.
      Patriot missiles take time to reach their target so there’s no certainty that it was fired after the turn backwards.
      There’s certainly nothing good about a more porous border with Syria.
      I especially like this sentence:
      “the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, which rightfully belongs to Syria”
      The Syrian government holding that territory right now would definitely make the world more just…

      Reply to Comment
      • Felix Reichert

        You can bet that the missile wasn’t fired automatically.
        This means someone decided to fire it, most likely taking more than 2 seconds, maybe even after getting permission from a higher up, which would take qt least 5-10 seconds.

        Anybody know the exaxt protocol and if it was followed in this instance?

        Reply to Comment
    3. bor

      “a Syrian fighter jet on Tuesday morning strayed over the border with Israel – or rather, over the border with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, which rightfully belongs to Syria.”

      Imagine if Syria was in control of the Golan and this plane breached the border. You’d be complaining that just because it’s over Tiberias, Israelis have an itchy trigger finger and should wait until the jet actually threatens Tel Aviv.

      Reply to Comment
      • Ray

        What the heck do you mean “actually threatens Tel Aviv?” IT WAS ON YOUR SIDE OF THE BORDER FOR TWO SECONDS BEFORE LEAVING.

        Reply to Comment
    4. Ira Rifkin

      Sorry Larry but your post reads like an over-caffeinated, reactive mind-burst stemming from an Israel is wrong no matter what it does mindset.
      Think matters through a bit more prior to committing your thoughts to, as we used to say, paper.

      Reply to Comment
      • Richard

        I think its personal.

        Reply to Comment
    5. Johnw

      Imagine that. Country ‘A’ is in a formal state of war with country ‘B’ for 65 years. They fought several wars major against each other during that time.

      Country ‘A’ then has the temerity to shoot down a fighter jet of country ‘B’ which strays into it’s airspace. Scandalous, I say it’s a scandalous treacherous act worthy of condemnation. I think the UN security council should be convened to urgently discuss this intolerable act which threatens world peace.

      Reply to Comment
    6. ***Country ‘A’ then has the temerity to shoot down a fighter jet of country ‘B’ which strays into it’s airspace.***

      By 800 m… If you put the bar that low, expect to be at war all the time.

      Syria and Israel have a longstanding armistice, BTW. The idea that Syrian jets will all of a sudden start attacking Israeli targets (now of all times!) is patently absurd.

      Larry’s 100 % right but the Far Right here will reflexively rubber stamp anything their bellowed IDF does.

      Reply to Comment
    7. JohnW

      “Larry’s 100 % right but the Far Right here will reflexively rubber stamp anything their bellowed IDF does.”

      I think it’s the other way around. The far left reflexively condemns anything Israel does.

      But using your logic, about the Syrian pilot’s mistake (by 800 m …) I can equally claim that you should just let it go. Israel too just made a mistake. An honest mistake by shooting it down …

      Are you going to let it go? Of course not. Why would you let another opportunity slip by (an imaginary one) for condemning Israel yet again?

      Reply to Comment
    8. JohnW

      “By 800 m… If you put the bar that low, expect to be at war all the time.”

      Come off it, are you saying that it is a common mistake for pilots to stray into enemy airspace everywhere? You are the one who is setting the bar low about the average fighter pilot’s intelligence. It isn’t at all a common mistake. Not even by 400 m!

      Reply to Comment
      • ***Come off it, are you saying that it is a common mistake for pilots to stray into enemy airspace everywhere?***

        Let’s assume it’s an uncommon and stupid mistake. The other side then has choices to make. Reflexively opening fire is a stupid response, the worst choice possible.

        Israel violates Syrian and Lebanese airspace very regularly. As always with Zionism it’s double standards all the way.

        Reply to Comment
        • JohnW

          “Israel violates Syrian and Lebanese airspace very regularly. As always with Zionism it’s double standards all the way.”

          That is actually true. But your implication that Israeli planes don’t get shot down because the Syrians and Lebanese are tolerant is laughable. Israeli planes don’t get shot down because those bastards are not good at shooting our planes down.

          As to why do we do it but don’t let them do it? It is because they are at war with us and people are not nice and polite to each other in wars.

          Now, if they would be willing to make peace with us, we would be nice to them. But since they don’t want peace, they just have to accept that we are going to press our advantages wherever we can and we are not going to be more polite to them than they are to us.

          Reply to Comment
    9. Average American

      This is how Israel gains territory. It “controls” it for “security”. Israel is the friggin regional superpower, it’s not “threatened”. On the contrary, Israel is doing the threatening. “We won’t tolerate” planes etc. Also threatening is to position its missiles (American Patriots, good stuff!) in the Golan, Israel’s deepest beach-head into the territory it wants. Yes Israel wants territory, wants to control all of Eretz Israel for The Jews.

      Reply to Comment
      • Gustav

        “This is how Israel …”

        Woof woof … bark doggie, bark …

        Reply to Comment
      • Brian

        “This is how Israel gains territory. It “controls” it for “security.” Insightful phrasing. All too true. (Imitating animal sounds does not constitute an effective rebuttal of this insightful statement.)

        Reply to Comment
        • Gustav

          You wanna take this nut job seriously? Please do. You rebutt him then, I certainly won’t.

          Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Seriously Brian,

            I don’t particularly like you either but at least I take you a bit more seriously. That’s why I bothered to rebutt your assertions point by point.

            But this guy, this so called “Average American” is a common garden variety antiSemite. He made that fact clear time and time again when he didn’t just vilify Israel but made hateful comments about Jews in general and American Jews in particular (you are one of those I presume?).

            So if in spite of that you want to throw in your lot with him, be my guest. You will only lower yourself to his level. Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if you’d be willing to do that purely because your hatered of us Israelis so much. But part of me hopes that even you have your limits. Let’s see what you are made of…

            Reply to Comment
          • Brian

            I limit myself strictly to the one phrase I quoted and don’t throw my lot in with anybody or endorse their oeuvre. I do not track his collected works. If anyone is saying antisemitic things of course I reject that but all too often the hasbara trolls deliberately try to side track and divert discussion by derailing it into a pseudo-controversy about antisemitism.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Don’t believe me then, Teqiya troll. Ask him yourself.

            Ask him what he thinks about Jews in General and American Jews in particular.

            What he said is that Jews control the world. Reminds you of anyone?

            Anyway, this is my last attempt to talk to you as if you are a person who is willing to draw the line. You can believe what you want.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Here is what I mean, Brian. This is one of “Average American’s” posts in it’s entirety:

            “Regarding the NKVD, I wonder why no one is putting together the people, pieces, and timetable. It was a holocaust in Russia, and it should be studied and glorified just like the holocaust in Germany. And guess what, Jews were running it! Then the same Jews came to the middle east and ran another holocaust, this one again to get people out of their way. Is the Russian one not talked about because bloody Jews were running it?”

            Not a single word about Zionists. But he is obviously oozing hatred towards Jews who according to him single handedly perpetrated a holocaust in Russia. Obviously the only communists in Russia were Jews. A sickening distortion of history.

            Reply to Comment
    10. Victor Arajs

      I agree with Larry Derfner that the downing of a Syrian jet was an act of state terrorism. Even had the jet flied above the zionist snakepit of Tel Aviv, israel would have no right to shoot it down. Because israel is an illegetimate state, it has no inherent “right” to self defence.

      Reply to Comment
      • Gustav

        “Even had the jet flied above the zionist snakepit of Tel Aviv … ”

        Woof woof … bark doggie, bark …

        Reply to Comment
      • Yoav Sari Levi

        Victor is it a full moon,barking at the moon.

        Reply to Comment
    11. Ben Zakkai

      Larry you’re one of my heroes, but I’m not sure I agree with you this time. When a hostile power’s warplane enters your airspace without permission you shoot first and ask questions later. Hizbollah is deterred from shooting down Israeli drones and warplanes over Lebanon by fear, not by compassion; and if they did shoot them down, I wouldn’t feel I had the right to complain.

      Reply to Comment
    12. bor

      As I wrote in another discussion, I want Larry to see this.

      When I listen to a conversation such as in this video, I feel deep shame for writers such as Dahlia Scheindlin and the rest of the 972 crew.

      http://youtu.be/Bfq3efnPElA

      Listen to it in its entirety and weep!

      As Rosh Hashanah is upon us, here’s a suggestion, 972mag writers: why don’t you make an effort this year to stop with the destructive criticisms and find a reasonable middle ground?

      Your country is made up of reasonable, decent people who, for decades, have been paying a steep price to enable you to have the very rights you have which permit you to bitterly and openly criticize Israel. But you do what you do disrespectfully and intentionally try to undermine the profound efforts of so many to enable this pocket of Jewish life to exist. Try to have some respect.

      Reply to Comment
      • Philos

        Yesh borot ve yesh borot ve yesh bor meshelano

        Reply to Comment
        • bor

          Please Philos, you’re embarrassing your side with the childishness.

          Reply to Comment
      • Brian

        You and other here outdo yourselves with the “Why do you hate America?” style tirades here. Honestly you’d think you were spoofing the Right with this funny stuff but I realize you’re dead serious. LARRY, excellent journalism! This is a standout piece! As far as I can tell the logic of the objectors runs like this:
        Neo-nazis and KKK hate Jews. Any criticism of Israel means one is a neo-nazi or KKKer or other species of self hating Jew or Jew-hating Gentile. We got everybody covered. All real Jews as opposed to “Jews” must defend to the hilt everything Israel does without exception even though this is the ethic in reverse of the KKKers. If you disagree you must be a “Jew” cuz real Jews are incapable of your thought patterns. –It sounds ridiculous but I’m just spelling out their logic.

        Reply to Comment
        • Gustav

          As far as you can tell, Brian?

          Obviously you can’t tell, Brian. You don’t know your left hand from your right hand.

          Reply to Comment
    13. eduardo

      What nobody told here is that(by definition) THE TERRORIST STATE OF ISRAEL is giving all kind of support to terrorists operating in Golan.It has been amazing to testify the tenderness(sic) between Israel and the “good guys”!

      Reply to Comment
    14. James

      So Larry Derfner gets angry when Israel defends its airspace.

      Neo-nazis and KKK members also get angry when Israel defends itself.

      Think about this. Larry Derfner, allegedly a “Jewish” guy, literally gets angry when the world’s only Jewish state defends itself.

      This is the mentally-ill extreme-left world of fringe self-hating “Jews.”

      Reply to Comment
      • Josh

        I like your putting the word Jews in qoutes style. You are the master who decide who is a Jew and who’s only “Jew”
        Deciding who is which kind of Jew is so Auschwitz-Rampe 1942 style that you make me vomit in your right-wing hater face. Go kill yourself, the erath don’t need folks like you.

        Reply to Comment
    15. Laurent Szyster

      “But eventually I believe Israel will set off a war with Hezbollah or Syria or Iran or somebody, because its limitless fear produces limitless aggression.”

      And let’s be as vague as possible, so maybe next time you can pretend to have been right all along …

      Reply to Comment
    16. Bernie

      “They” made a “MISTAKE”? Really?
      Amazing! Is THEIR Earth flat?

      Reply to Comment
    17. Yoav Sari Levi

      Protecting our air space is being prudent.Letting enemy planes stray into our air space would be very dangerous and very silly.

      Reply to Comment
    18. Brian

      Gustav, what I would do if I were you is be at least as concerned about what Josh importantly notes, that James “Deciding who is which kind of Jew is so Auschwitz-Rampe 1942 style” is appalling. Reflect on the implications. Reflect on what it says about the religious and non-religious nationalists afoot in Israeli occupied territory today as well as about those loose among the general Israeli population. And about the complacent, complicit Israeli Center and silent majority.

      Reply to Comment
      • Gustav

        If I have to choose between this so called “Average American” (who isn’t really) or James, I will choose James any day.

        But unlike you, I did not make any choice because I am too busy rebutting the libels, lies and malice which our enemies are trying to spread against us.

        You, Brian, on the other hand, made your choice. You stated your affinity to this so called “Average American”. I tried to give you the benefit of the doubt by warning you about what a racist he is but clearly you are still not interested. At best you are deflecting.

        I get the message and I draw my conclusions about you too. You are not interested in an honest discussion. You too are here to do what your new friend and others are doing here. You are here to smear, lie, distort and spread malice against us.

        Reply to Comment
    19. zachary esterson

      This is a ridiculous post. Israel AA probably having standing orders to shoot down any enemy aircraft that infracts its airspace. Syria could have given forewarning or asked permission, after all.

      ‘What security risk? That the jet was going to spy on Israel? Israel has been sending spy jets over Lebanon a few times a week for many years – is it okay, from Israel’s point of view, for Lebanon to shoot down those planes? Israel has just given Hezbollah a great precedent for doing so.’

      Another idiocy: it’s not for want of trying Hizbullah has shot down no IAF plane. Israel doesn’t +assume+ it won’t try given half the chance. Israel just makes sure it can’t.

      But 2 major differences are these: Israel is not sworn to eternal holy war or struggle until the extinction of a Lebanese or a Syrian state. If Hizbullah or Syria recognize Israel, Israel will no longer treat them as automatic hostiles.

      Reply to Comment
    20. Joel

      Larry.

      What part of the concept of ‘deterrence’, don’t you get?

      Reply to Comment
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