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IDF mum on Eilat attacks that justified Gaza bombing

A reporter exposes an IDF investigation acknowledging that the Eilat attackers came from Sinai, not Gaza; the IDF has nothing to say on the matter

Do you remember the Eilat attacks of two months back? How we were told, while the attack was still going on, that the attackers were the Popular Resistance Committees, and that therefore we have to attack Gaza? That such an attack took place, and also killed a child? Do you remember how, a month afterwards, we were quietly told that actually, all of the attackers were Sinai residents, not Gazans?

So last weekend, without much fanfare, Yediot’s Alex Fishman published the central findings of the IDF event investigation. They are very clear: Under the headline of “mistaken enemy,” Fishman brings in the facts. All of the attackers lived in Sinai and were members of a Jihadi terrorist cell, termed by the Israeli security apparatus “Sinawis.” The apparatus erred in thinking the attack was a PRC operation, says Fishman, since the Israel Security Agency, or Shin Bet, had warned the PRC was liable to attack in the same sector. Oops. This is the new semi-official version, the one the IDF shows to the public by way of the military correspondents. You don’t actually think Fishman broke into the Kirya and stole some confidential documents, do you?

And they are confidential. I asked yesterday for the response of IDF Spokesman’s Lt. Col. Avial Leibovitz, who misspoke and then adamantly said the attackers were Gazans in Fishman’s article. This morning I received a reply: The whole investigation is embargoed, i.e. the IDF can’t say anything about it. I therefore asked the IDF Spokesman whether they intend to launch a leak investigation and find the person who leaked the secret document to Fishman; after all, for doing much the same, Anat Kam is now being charged with severe espionage. I was told to talk to the Defense Ministry.

So: Two months ago, the IDF was publicly adamant that the attack came from Gaza. Now it is using private channels to leak contrary information and won’t comment. Before the investigation, it was loquacious; After it, it is dumb. It’s a bit strange, isn’t it? Somewhat upside down?

This looks like a conspiracy to cover up the fact that the Defense Minister misspoke, and that as a result, an attack on Gaza took place, which led to a counter-attack, which in turn led to an escalation, in which an Israeli citizen (and 27 Gazans) died. Look, we did attack Gaza for no reason, but we had reason to think that….

The most disturbing aspect of this spin is that it came when the media was on full alert (at least, its alternative parts were). It’s unsettling to think how many of the IDF’s strident communiqués, about how we were attacked and were obliged to strike back hard, went down in precisely the same way.

Oh, and there was the usual IDF cheerleaders, who said that the attackers did come from Gaza, and that the fact no one mourned there was the proof – it meant Hamas clamped down on the mourners. Expect them to parrot the party line during the next round of hostilities, as well. They’ll say the same thing: Quiet, there’s shooting going on – and, hey, it’s just Ay-rabs.

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    1. aristeides

      Israeli military intelligence is just like the “intelligence” that led the US to attack Iraq. In fact, it was largely the same evidence.

      First, they come up with the conclusion they want, then they grasp for some straw of evidence that might point to it.

      Intelligence based on informers is the most unreliable evidence possible, yet on this, lives are routinely expended.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Raed

      Comment removed for inflammatory content.

      Reply to Comment
    3. RichardNYC


      Reply to Comment
    4. AYLA

      I live in the Negev. The bus that was attacked is one that my friends here–both Jewish and Arab–frequent between sde boqer and Ketura. We were, of course, very upset about it. Yet when Israel responded, very quickly, by firing into Gaza, I was sickened. I also work in Be’er Sheva, into which, later, rockets were fired from Gaza, and I blamed the Israeli government for responding to the Bus attack in such a knee-jerk manner. There was a memorial for the ten year old Gazaan boy in Tel Aviv; many attended. This of course does not help. When there are terror attacks against Israelis, citizens become silenced by fear. @YG–thank you for reporting on this; I’ve been waiting for someone to do so. @Raed–a call to (violent) war is abhorrent. If you reply by telling me all the abhorrent things Israel has done, that will not be a true response. What can we do, together, to break this cycle of violence? How can we hold our governments, and selves, responsible, even when we are afraid?

      Reply to Comment
    5. Mikef

      @Ayla I agree people need to focus on things to do. I just lived with family in tel aviv (Jewish) then 2 months in Beit Sahour near Bethlehem. I think the BEST thing Israelis can do is to visit the territories and protest with unarmed Palestinians in the west bank and east jerusalem, and get active with the few peace groups. Look into the AIC cafe in Beit Sahour… 2x a week they have beer, internationals, awesome Palestinians, and (awesome) ISRAELIS (“illegal” but there is no fear, there are always Israelis and Jews at the events; I lived next to the bar). This is how the gap is bridged, inflated fear is overcome, and a fringe movement for peace grows. You will love networking with the occupied Palestinians. http://www.alternativenews.org/english/index.php/aicafe/upcoming-events

      Reply to Comment
    6. RichardNYC

      “What can we do, together, to break this cycle of violence? How can we hold our governments, and selves, responsible, even when we are afraid?”
      –>Useful idiocy

      Reply to Comment
    7. Bosko

      Richardnyc said …
      “Useful idiocy”
      I agree 🙂 Hopefully, this naivte will not end up biting ordinary Israelis in the ankle or worse …

      Reply to Comment
    8. Bosko

      The problem is that contrary to the fantasies of some, Israel is not the USA in the Vietnam era and the Palestinian Arabs are not Vietnamese.
      The difference is that the Vietnamese only wanted self determination. They did not aspire to take over the USA and replace it with a Vietnamese state 🙂
      The Palestinian Arabs, at least a significant number of them, aspire to eradicate Israel and replace it with an Arab Muslim state.
      So how can the peace movement that worked for peace in the Vietnam era, be a solution for the Arab Israeli conflict? Surely one size does not fit all? What worked for one conflict is not the solution for this other conflict. IMHO at least.

      Reply to Comment
    9. There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. At least 100,000, sans US troops, died because of that error. And the US will never admit the mistake. But, of course, if we had waited….
      Bibi said those planning the Eilat attack “are no longer among the living.” While many of us will shrug and say it doesn’t matter he was wrong, many in Gaza will use the retaliation as another instance of what they say Israel is.
      If slow motion war means you can lie for your end then I guarantee you will become a monster. You will have what you want: people who will call for your eradication. The issue with Vietnam is over what it made US troops do there. If you have already decided to engage in race war then I would be your opponent. Ayla may be young and somewhat innocent (by your standards) but she says she lives in the Negev, has worked where Gazan rockets have been aimed, more or less. Are you in your word wars unable to comprehend someone who lives more risk than you ever will, who nonetheless wants to find a new path outside violent reply? You should be amazed that such are and wonder what they might offer. But no, enjoy your conceptual war. As I refuse to let you define Israel, I think you will lose; better: you will never win.
      Yossi Gurvitz, I don’t see how you can survive socio-economically doing what you do.

      Reply to Comment
    10. Bosko

      @Greg Pollock
      “If you have already decided to engage in race war then I would be your opponent”
      Who deceded to fight a race war? Israel certainly has not. I don’t even accuse the Arabs of fighting a race war. This is a war between two nationalistic movements. Arab nationalism and Jewish self nationalism. The Arabs insist that the whole of the Middle East belongs to them and them only. The Jews want to keep a tiny slice of their ancestral homeland and want self determination.
      Greg, the way I see it is that at this stage, as far as the Arabs are concerned, it is a zero sum game. Winner takes all and they are determined to be the ultimate winners in this tribal war.

      Reply to Comment
    11. AYLA

      @MikeF–you are awesome. Exactly–and thank you for a practical link. I am privileged to know a lot of good people doing a lot of this kind of wonderful work (you know, hanging out and talking together). peaceful protests with everyone together–or even on opposite sides of a checkpoint, together–are a wonderful thing we can do. It’s hard to feel hopeless when you come together with other open people and connect.
      Greg, you are a gift. You confirm my yearning to live in a yurt, without electricity, even though I do not actually know anything about where or how you live.
      You guys. I’m 45, and have lived many lives. Just saying.
      For some reason, I feel like speaking American slang right now. It is not like me. But I’m in the mood.
      And now I am going for a walk with my dog, in the Negev. The IDF has been flying low and fast and doing some kind of bomb practice here since 6am, non-stop. My dog needs a walk.

      Reply to Comment
    12. RichardNYC

      “What worked for one conflict is not the solution for this other conflict.”
      –>the biggest obstacle to solving the conflict is the word “solution.”

      Reply to Comment
    13. Bosko

      I agree totally.

      Reply to Comment
    14. shushan

      This comment has been deleted

      Reply to Comment
    15. AYLA

      well, SHUSHAN, whose comment has apparently not yet been detected by 972 or surely they’d have deleted it for racist content… if a few murderers attack a bus, and Israel responds by dropping bombs on a population who had nothing to do with it, thus killing a ten year old boy and others, some of us might find that to be morally reprehensible. Just about as reprehensible as your comment.

      Reply to Comment
    16. Bosko,
      A “zero sum” tribal war for all or nothing is just a mini race war. By phrasing things this way you prohibit Arabs who might not want such a thing. Effectively, you enable the very kind of Arab you must fight.
      My age is the reverse of yours, and I live in Phoenix, Arizona, USA, one of the more conservative States in the Union (but there seem to be more of them these days…). Well, you sound innocent. Maybe you have found a way to keep it these years. More reason to be warry of you!
      By the way: soldiers die for their country, and more will, because there is no end in sight. Those following the path of nonviolence may also die. I sometimes fear what will happen if nonviolence grows; for people will die. As I guess I have said before, for a while, no matter the path, people will die. Nonviolence is confrontation, and some will be enraged at that.

      Reply to Comment
    17. Bosko

      Greg Pollock said …
      “By phrasing things this way you prohibit Arabs who might not want such a thing”
      C’mon Greg, don’t you think that’s just a bit over dramatising things? Uttering reality perpetuates the conflict? Isn’t it more a case of identifying the problem before one can deal with it? Putting one’s head in the sand and pretending, has never solved anything.

      Reply to Comment
    18. AYLA

      “Ignorance is not knowing anything and being attracted to the good. Innocence is knowing everything and still being attracted to the good.” –Clarissa Pinkola Estés.
      Keys to maintaining youthful openness: 1) nature. living in and with it. 2) constant exposure to new ideas and goodness-seeking people with different backgrounds than your own. (and in the case of this conflict, if you’re jewish, make a good number of those people palestinian. my closest friends here are jewish, muslim, and christian. with overlap: bedouin, ethiopian, israeli, palestinian). 3) doing, vs. theorizing. 4) breaking out of the life you believe you’re supposed to live, to make yourself available to the life that is waiting for you (paraphrased by memory from Rabbi Alan Lew). Trust yourself / expect the best / now is the moment of power –american spiritual teacher named Hawk.
      be very, very wary of me :). I am considerably over 40, and I have spiritual teacher named Hawk :). I also teach at a university and can’t stand peace retreats unless they have serious, challenging content. The activist I most relate to is David Grossman. I’m a fiction writer; I am able to empathize with everyone. That’s how we are.
      sorry this is off topic to post. how to tie it back. we need to stop being reactive, and start acting from our moral core.

      Reply to Comment
    19. Bosko

      “sorry this is off topic to post. how to tie it back. we need to stop being reactive, and start acting from our moral core”
      We also need to recognise reality and deal with it. Pretending that a problem or problems don’t exist, has never solved such problem/s.

      Reply to Comment
    20. Bosko

      What do I mean? I mean that pretending
      that one has no enemies, does not mean that it’s true. It just means that one allows one to be chewed up (used) and be spat out (done away with after on’s usefulness has passed).

      Reply to Comment
    21. John Somebody

      Oh alright, so we can’t knows what’s really happened, when the players involved are so devious.

      But hang on. I don’t need to be a proffessor of astronomy, to know that the moon is not made of cheese. And I don’t need to have seen the bottom of any village pond, with my own eyes, to know that the round yellow thing in the sky at night, is not a reflection of something in any village pond, anywhere in the world.

      So, I don’t need to be an Israeli historian to know that Palestine was never invaded by Palestinians. Palestine was never wiped off the map, by Palestinians. So, I do know, that Israel could not exist, without ethnic “cleansing”, which could not happen, without racially motivated murder. So Israel could not exist, without acts of genocide. And Israel could not continue to exist, without sustaining an artificial, undemocratic majority, without artificially reducing the Palestinian population, with more racially motivated murder, ethnic “cleansing”, “silent transfer”, and behaving as though Jewish Israeli lives are more important, than Palestinian ones.

      Israel is unique, on this planet, in such a dependancy. And I don’t need to be God, to know that much.

      Reply to Comment
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