Appreciate this article? +972 depends on your support.

Click here to help us keep going

Analysis News
Visit our Hebrew site, "Local Call" , in partnership with Just Vision.

What covert ops did former Mossad chief lead in Lebanon prior to 1982 invasion?

A well known method which Israeli reporters use to bypass the military censorship is to take the story to the foreign press, (at the price of losing exclusivity, but sometimes journalists just want to get the stuff out). In the New Yorker profile of former Mossad head Meir Dagan, this paragraph appears:

Far from everything is known about Dagan’s career. Two reporters for Yediot Ahronot, Yigal Sarna and Anat Tal-Shir, once investigated a story that, before Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon, which was aimed at rooting out Yasir Arafat and the Palestinian Liberation Organization, Dagan led a secret unit across the border whose mission was to instigate terrorist events that would justify an incursion. Military censor killed the story, Sarna told me. Dagan acknowledges the censorship but denies the thrust of the story.

I posted this paragraph in Hebrew on my Facebook wall. Sarna commented:

Indeed, the censorship [on these stories] has been on for years. Horrifying things were done there, not just planned.

For additional original analysis and breaking news, visit +972 Magazine's Facebook page or follow us on Twitter. Our newsletter features a comprehensive round-up of the week's events. Sign up here.

View article: AAA
Share article
Print article

    * Required


    1. Joel

      Nice shaggy dog. Can I pet it?

      Reply to Comment
    2. sh

      No shaggy dog, Joel. Such stories have been circulating for years, but from the wrong side of the border for them to be widely believed. Hearing confirmation from this side seems a significant development.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Joel

      Who confirmed what?

      It’s all speculation.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Jack

      Interesting, hopefully more information will be gathered. Anyway the provocations isnt really anything new, Dayan claimed Israel deliberately provoked Syria with incursions on the eve of 67 war.

      Reply to Comment
      • Joel

        Incursions of farming equipment into the DMZ.

        Reply to Comment
        • sh

          And if they had made incursions into the DMZ with tractors we would have sat there with our arms folded?

          “”Look, it’s possible to talk in terms of ‘the Syrians are bastards, you have to get them, and this is the right time,’ and other such talk, but that is not policy,” General Dayan told Mr. Tal in 1976. ”You don’t strike at the enemy because he is a bastard, but because he threatens you. And the Syrians, on the fourth day of the war, were not a threat to us.”

          According to the published notes, Mr. Tal began to remonstrate, ”But they were sitting on the Golan Heights, and . . . ”

          General Dayan interrupted: ”Never mind that. After all, I know how at least 80 percent of the clashes there started. In my opinion, more than 80 percent, but let’s talk about 80 percent. It went this way: We would send a tractor to plow some area where it wasn’t possible to do anything, in the demilitarized area, and knew in advance that the Syrians would start to shoot. If they didn’t shoot, we would tell the tractor to advance farther, until in the end the Syrians would get annoyed and shoot. And then we would use artillery and later the air force also, and that’s how it was.””

          Reply to Comment
    5. Joel

      I’m well aware of Dayan’s quote and equally aware that Syria had tried to divert Israel’s water supplies, a causas belli, in the early ’60s.

      Reply to Comment
© 2010 - 2017 +972 Magazine
Follow Us

+972 is an independent, blog-based web magazine. It was launched in August 2010, resulting from a merger of a number of popular English-language blogs dealing with life and politics in Israel and Palestine.

Website powered by RSVP

Illustrations: Eran Mendel