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Egyptian Arrest of Author of Eilat Terror Attack in Sinai Proves Israel Lied in Blaming Gazans

Despite reams of nonsense published by the likes of Eli Lake and Avi Issacharoff in the Washington Times and Haaretz respectively, regurgitating IDF talking points that the Eilat terror attacks were planned and orchestrated by the Popular Resistance Committees in Gaza–Idan Landau, Alex Fishman and I knew otherwise.  We said the attacks were carried out by Egyptian militants based in Sinai.  We said that killing 30 Gazans merely because the Israeli government couldn’t take revenge on Egypt and needed to take revenge on someone, was criminal.  Issacharoff even sneered at my talking of this as a potential war crime.  Well, who’s sneering now?

Egypt announced today that it had arrested the ringleader of the Eilat attack…in El Arish.  Precisely where we knew the attack originated–in the Sinai.  The alleged mastermind of the assault committed similar terror attacks in that region.  There is no mention he has any connections to Gaza, though I suppose it may be possible that he might be involved in the lucrative smuggling trade between Egypt and Gaza.  Congratulations to Alex Fishman and Idan for sticking with this story till the bitter end and not giving an inch to the lies of the Israeli military-intelligence apparatus.  There may once have been an IDF that believed in tohar neshek and fought justly to defend its country (though many would disagree).  Today’s IDF is a hollow shell of its former self.

You’ll recall that the IDF also invaded (yes, that’s what it’s called when armed soldiers cross into the territory of a neighboring country and kill its police) Egypt in hot pursuit of the attackers and killed five Egyptian policemen as a result.  Barak was forced to publicly apologize for that gaffe though Israel at first resisted mightily.  It did that as part of a deal to free Ilan Grappel, an Israeli-American accused by Egypt of spying.

I haven’t seen any signs of Haaretz or Avi Issacharoff eating crow over their mangling of this story.

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{ 39 comments… add one }

  • Nir November 14, 2011, 5:24 AM

    Well actually, Israel blamed Eygptians for rhe attack right after it happened, and had to change its statement after Eygpt threatend to return it’s embassedor from Israel for the “outrages accusations”.
    Besides, the attack was PLANNED by militants from Gaza, so attacking gaza after the terror act is similar to attacking Afganistan after 9/11 – a rightous act.

    • Man From Atlan November 14, 2011, 6:21 AM

      And you know the attack was planned from Gaza how?

      • Nir November 14, 2011, 9:45 AM

        The same way Richard knows the Mossad was behind the explosions in Iran 2 days ago.

      • yankel November 15, 2011, 2:56 AM

        The fact is that, following the bloodshed on the road, the IDF attacked Gaza, killing some Gazans.
        For many (most?) Israelis this is a sufficient evidence of Gazans’ guilt.

  • ann November 14, 2011, 5:24 AM

    i love it that you’re probably Muhamad or something and you call yourself Silverstein

    • Man From Atlan November 14, 2011, 6:22 AM

      I love it that your name’s probably Dov and you call yourself “ann” ;)

  • Bob Mann November 14, 2011, 5:47 AM

    If a group of Israelis entered Egypt from Israel and killed several Egyptians at a resort inside of Egypt, what would the Egyptian response have been?

    And what about the response from the UN and the international community?

    With the details started to emerge in the Eilat incident, would you say that the attack was an act of war by Egypt?

    Would Israel have been justified in any kind of response vis-a-vis Egypt (rather than Gaza)?

    • Elisabeth November 14, 2011, 7:13 AM

      Are you suggesting Egypt planned this attack? What a silly comment…

      • Bob Mann November 14, 2011, 9:31 AM

        Not sure where you would see that suggestion.

        The article suggests that Israelis crossing over to Egypt to try to apprehend the criminals constitutes “invading Egypt” – even though there wasn’t a “planned attack” involved.

        My question is just with respect to what Israel ought to have done instead.

        • Elisabeth November 14, 2011, 10:33 AM

          Oh come on! You ask if it is an ‘act of war’ by Egypt! If that is not ‘suggesting’ Egypt is behind it I don’t know what is. Quit playing the innocent with your supposedly ‘neutral’ questions.

          • Bob Mann November 14, 2011, 11:13 AM

            I only asked that because of the implication in the original blog post that the Israeli forces entering Egypt in pursuit of the attackers was akin to an “invasion” of Egypt.

            I certainly don’t claim to be neutral – but I do think the questions I am asking are fair ones.

        • fiddler November 14, 2011, 10:56 AM

          You asked “would you say that the attack was an act of war by Egypt?”, that’s where I, and perhaps Elisabeth, see the suggestion. Nobody ever said these guys had been acting on behalf of the Egyptian state – is that really what you believe? Private citizens of state X engaging in terrorism on the territory of state Y aren’t committing acts of war, they’re committing crimes.

          Why is it that every time a terrorism suspect happens to be Muslim, the matter is invariably addressed in terms of warfare? I haven’t heard such rhetoric anywhere else, not with Timothy McVeigh, not Anders Breivik, not the recently arrested Neo-Nazi terrorist suspects in Thuringia.

          • Bob Mann November 15, 2011, 3:16 AM

            It was just a response to the claim that Israel invaded Egypt by chasing the attackers into their territory.

            Personally, I think neither the Egyptians attacking Israelis nor the Israeli forces pursuing the attackers into Egypt were acts of war.

        • Richard Silverstein November 14, 2011, 6:59 PM

          Much as the IDF wants to get the attackers it simply has no legal right to trespass on Egypt’s sovereignty without approval of Egypt to do so. If Israel does so then Egypt has a right to violate Israel’s sovereignty whenever it sees it in its interests to do so.

  • Nurit November 14, 2011, 5:59 AM

    Maybe news from Israel is not reaching you. I also remember Egypt being fingered after the attack. Furthermore, Barak apologised for the killing of Egyptian police long before the Grappel deal.
    It is well known here that the Sinai is full of elements wishing to damage Israel – this is nothing new.
    I’m not sure if any soldiers actually entered Egypt “in hot pursuit” as shots were being fired back and forth across the border which has no barricade.
    I certainly disagree with your opinion of the IDF and perhaps being the parent of a serving officer makes my opinion more knowledgable.
    I wont be returning to this site. Just sensationalist, misleading anti-Israel rubbish.

    • Richard Silverstein November 14, 2011, 2:57 PM

      No, he apologized only a few days before a deal was negotiated. Grappel was released after the deal to free him was completed. Israeli news reported the deal was completed & one report noted that the apology was part of it. It’s all in my blog & linked to the source. Read up.

      Yes, they actually entered Egypt & that was reported as well.

      The fact that you’re the mother of an IDF officer makes you more knowledgeable?? Perhaps more subjective & self-interested & protective. But not more knowledgable unless you’re receiving intelligence information of the quality that I am.

      • ProudZionist777 November 14, 2011, 4:53 PM

        So Richard. Was Ron Ben-Yishai wrong when he fingered Islamic Jihad as being behind the Sinai attacks?

        You have to admit that Ben-Yishai’s journalistic credentials are impeccable.

        So will you retract your charge that Israel lied about the Sinai attack?

        • Richard Silverstein November 14, 2011, 6:54 PM

          No one in the Israeli government or military blamed Islamic Jihad for the attack. So why would Ben Yishai? I’ve read thousands of words about that terror attack & never heard IJ blamed. Your claim sounds totally weird.

          • ProudZionist777 November 15, 2011, 4:40 AM

            Ben Yishai said, “Another path taken by the group is the boosting of activity from the Sinai. At the end of August, an Islamic Jihad attempt to carry out a large abduction operation from Sinai was thwarted.”

            Why does Ron Ben Yishai’s claim sound ‘totally weird’.

            Ben Yishai is arguably the best journalist in Israel.

          • Richard Silverstein November 15, 2011, 1:48 PM

            HOw is this claim associated with the Eilat terror attack unless he’s claiming the Eilat attack was an abduction operation which it clearly wasn’t? This is no way connects Islamic Jihad to Eilat.

  • pabelmont November 14, 2011, 6:15 AM

    Twice, in this matter, IDF shot first and asked questions later. First, they shot Egyptian soldiers or police (recalling the USS Liberty massacre). Second they killed the Gazans. But there was no need to hurry. The Gazans were not going anywhere.

    The Israeli press and IDF immediately announced “who done it”, without a shred of evidence, and without any need whatever to hurry.

    What was the hurry? Why this rush toward killing and blaming? One can only conclude that the Israeli government (and press) mind-set is unbalanced in favor of unjustified killing and immediate response, however unreasonable.

    Wish they’d grow up.

    • Bob Mann November 14, 2011, 6:18 AM

      What would have been a more reasonable response?

      If a group of people conducts a terror attack inside of your country and those attackers try to flee to another country – what ought to occur?

      If you were calling the shots in Israel, what course of action would you have recommended?

      • Man From Atlan November 14, 2011, 6:24 AM

        Shoot the militants and not the police? Some might say that was a deliberate act.

      • shmuel November 14, 2011, 7:04 AM

        Bob

        It all depends on the relationship between the two countries involved in the incident.

        If the peace agreement, or other agreement, with Egypt allows a “hot pursuit” by Israeli troops into Egypt after terrorists who attack Israel from Egyptian territory, then there is no problem.
        But if there is no agreement then “invading” another country with your troops even for the sake of a good moral cause is against the law, and could even be considered a causus belli.

        Imagine, for instance, Canadian troops entering US territory by force to chase after Al-Qaida terrorists who did a terrorist act on Canadian soil after entering Canada from the USA. Unthinkable! The correct way would be an urgent request to the US to take up the chase from the border.

        Back to our case, unless someone proves the existance of a “hot persuit” agreement between Egypt and Israel, then Israel doesn’t have an international legal leg to stand on!

        • shmuel November 14, 2011, 7:12 AM

          And the “correct” Israeli response? Use drone technology or other electronic warfare to track their flight path and give the intel to the Egyptians. (Which is probably what they did if the Egyptians captured the leader as reported here).

          Israel sometimes “forgets” thet it is at peace with Egypt and Jordan – that doesn’t nescessarily mean eating humus together in Cairo or Amman, but it does mean respecting the integrity of each other’s territory.

          • Elisabeth November 14, 2011, 7:16 AM

            You make some very good points there.

          • Nir November 14, 2011, 9:51 AM

            According to israeli soldiers who were at the scene, a few eygptian soldiers aid the millitants and shot towerds Israel and the Israeli soldiers while the militants tried to escape. That alone gives Israel the right to shoot back – even though there is a peace agreement between the two countries.

            You can claim that the Israeli soldiers are lying – and you can claim that eygpt is lying. You have no ground what so ever to determine which side is right.

          • Elisabeth November 14, 2011, 10:36 AM

            They were on Egyptian soil. They had no business being there. Get it?

          • shmuel November 14, 2011, 12:13 PM

            Right to shoot back, yes, but not to cross the border.

          • Richard Silverstein November 14, 2011, 7:04 PM

            Couldn’t agree w. you more. WOrking with neighboring countries in pursuing one’s objectives is always slower & more complicated than one would wish. But the alternative is chaos. You violate my territory & I do the same to yours. In the long run, it simply doesn’t work as policy.

  • free man November 14, 2011, 2:13 PM

    An Attack by Egyptians on Israel soil is an act of war.
    It does not matter if the ruler of the land had sent them or not. Egypt is responsible for their people acts.
    Wars have started from such incidents.
    One example that pops in mind is first WW. It started from an act of a single person who was not sent by a state.

    • Richard Silverstein November 14, 2011, 2:48 PM

      Hmmm, seems Ehud Barak disagrees w. you because he apologized for the Israeli attack & killing of the Egyptian policemen. He didn’t say anything about being angry with Egypt for permitting the attack. Nor did Bibi. Wonder why?

      You might want to run for PM and when the next such attack occurs then you can declare war on Egypt. It would be strategic genius!

      • free man November 15, 2011, 7:22 AM

        Do You really fail to understand the difference between an “act of war” and “declaration of war”, or did you learn this way attributing words to someone who had never said them in some cheap propaganda course ?

        • Johnboy November 15, 2011, 1:15 PM

          “Do You really fail to understand the difference between an “act of war” and “declaration of war”,”

          Such outdated thinking.

          Nobody “declares war” any more, or haven’t you noticed?

          The USA has fought innumerable wars both large and small since the end of WW2, and not once has Congress met and “declared war”.

          The UN Charter does not allow nations to “declare war”, and so the entire concept has been replaced by “armed conflict” i.e. if you come under an armed attack then you can defend yourself.

          Q: Was that assault against Israelis an “armed conflict”?
          A: No, it did not rise to that level.

          Q: So was it an “act of war”?
          A: No, it was a “terrorist attack”, no more, no less.

  • Chayma November 14, 2011, 4:07 PM

    When yesterday, they could’ve had an Israeli source telling them the same thing. But it would’ve meant acknowledging my reporting, which apparently is verboten in the pages of Israel’s so-called quality liberal paper.

    Or maybe Haaretz had another reason, if Ynet got there first,

    Haaretz, is supposed to be the leader, with scoops not the follower of a ‘tabloid’ like Ynet LOL

  • dickerson3870 November 14, 2011, 10:38 PM

    RE: “There may once have been an IDF that believed in tohar neshek…” ~ R.S.

    MY COMMENT: The times they are a changin’*!

    SEE: West Bank rabbi: Jews can kill Gentiles who threaten Israel ~ By Haaretz Service, 11/09/09

    Book by Rabbi Yitzhak Shapiro of Yitzhar permits even the murder of babies and children who pose threat.

    Just weeks after the arrest of alleged Jewish terrorist, Yaakov Teitel, a West Bank rabbi on Monday released a book giving Jews permission to kill Gentiles who threaten Israel.
    Rabbi Yitzhak Shapiro, who heads the Od Yosef Chai Yeshiva in the Yitzhar settlement, wrote in his book “The King’s Torah” that even babies and children can be killed if they pose a threat to the nation…

    SOURCE – http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/news/west-bank-rabbi-jews-can-kill-gentiles-who-threaten-israel-1.4496

    * IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: The dropping of the ‘g’ at the end of the word ‘changing’ is not meant to allude to, or to offend, any racial, ethnic or socioeconomic group. Cross my heart and hope to die!

    • dickerson3870 November 15, 2011, 12:04 AM

      RE: “The times they are a changin’*!” ~ me, above

      ALSO SEE: A new Israel in the making ~ By Gideon Levy, Haaretz, 11/13/11
      The future is now. The revolution is in progress; just wait for what’s to come.

      (excerpts) One day not long from now we will wake up to a different kind of country…
      …The way of life in the new Israel where we will live and die won’t remind us in the least of the country we’re used to. Even this article won’t be publishable. Only proper opinions will be put into print, the ones approved by the new government-sponsored journalists’ association, whose people will sit in every newsroom so there is no divergence from the accepted chorus of opinion.
      Laws and regulations (clearly they will be passed as “emergency” regulations) will bar publication of anything that could, in the eyes of the authorities, harm the state. A new law will bar defamation of the state, and the newspaper you will hold in your hands will be different. It will only report good news.
      Radio and television broadcasts won’t be what you’re familiar with either. No media outlet will be able to go beyond the bounds of the law due to the draconian penalties for running afoul of them. The word “occupation” will be illegal…
      …In the not too distant future, the urban landscape will look different. What is happening today in Jerusalem will play itself out in the whole country tomorrow, when the likeness of women will be banished from public view. Today Jerusalem, tomorrow the whole country. Separate buses and streets for men and women. Radio and television will only broadcast men singing. At some point, women will be required to cover their heads. Then it will be the men’s turn. They will be barred from appearing clean-shaven or without a head covering. That day is not long in coming…

      ENTIRE COMMENTARY – http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/a-new-israel-in-the-making-1.395241

      * IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: The dropping of the ‘g’ at the end of the word ‘changing’ is not meant to allude to, or to offend, any racial, ethnic or socioeconomic group. Cross my heart and hope to die!

  • Sergio Dario November 15, 2011, 1:55 AM

    Richard, if you want to blast Israel at least stick to the facts. Your post is “no news”. This information was already published on September 21st, and it seems like nor you not your enthusiastic followers noted. The IDF published a report that describes how the attacks were planned and logistically supported by the palestinian Popular Resistance Committee (your “freedom and peace fighters”) and carried out by Ansar Jerusalem, an egyptian organization affiliated to Al-Qaeda. And that the egyptian soldiers were killed following Abrahami’s assassination by an egyptian’s military sniper. It has even been published in wikipedia, so your post is no-news and your enthusiasm for blaming Israel for lying is actually as pathetic as yourself. This post tells us more about who you are, rather than about what Israel is or does.

    • Richard Silverstein November 15, 2011, 11:24 PM

      Alex Fishman reported on this secret IDF report which I wrote about here. He was the first reporter to do so & his coverage has always specifically rejected any possibility of involvement by the PRC. It’s easy to say things, much harder to back them up. What credible source do you have that confirms your claims?

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