IDF Planning for Syrian War
Perhaps in a move designed to warn the Syrian regime that it’s playing with fire if it continues allowing Nakba-Naksa style protests on the Golan Heights armistice line, the IDF website publicized an annual war game exercise which simulates war with Syria. It’s armored and engineering forces massed to mimic a Golan Heights attack on Syria and, according to the canned army-speak “accomplished [a more precise, and telling translation would be “conquered”] their objectives.” I don’t think a single soldier or commander asked himself what he would do once he reached Damascus, thus achieving his objective. Would Israel then set up a puppet regime and create new settlements even closer to Damascus? Perhaps Israel would bring a new democratic regime to Syria (à la Bush in Iraq), that is currently in the throes of rebellion?
A similar simulated war was conducted last year which I covered here.
What follows is a summary of the Hebrew version of the article, with but a small amount of “interpretation” interpolated by yours truly.
The story begins with a loving account of how the presence of an officer injured in the recent Nakba Day protests rallied the troops. No, not shot, injured by stone throwers, those wicked assassins. There was a chair for the wounded soldier’s resting foot and a worried doctor, but the officer treated it all as if nothing had happened. And of course there’s the requisite heroics about how during the Nakba Day “fight” the injured commander refused a medic’s attentions and only when the storm of battle was ended did he consent to treatment. And this dedication to the mission aroused nothing but admiration in the beating hearts of his men (of course).
Not a word about the 15 unarmed Syria-Palestinian demonstrators who were mowed down by IDF bullets.
Another “lightly wounded” officer describes (erroneously I might add) being confronted by “thousands” of Syrian demonstrators and quickly feeling “surrounded.” Of course he doesn’t mention that the IDF forces were quite distant from the victims when they opened fire. Otherwise, you might think that this was hand-to-hand combat like Jim Bowie at the Alamo. He continues (almost certainly exaggerating once more) that rocks rained down on his comrades for half an hour and that this tested their mettle as IDF soldiers, reminding them of why they trained. Yessir, one of the world’s allegedly finest fighting forces lives to face down stone-throwing Syrians and perform other acts of national deliverance on behalf of Israel and the Jewish people.
In a similar development, the Israeli navy has been practicing as well for its planned abduction of the human rights activists aboard the Gaza flotilla boats soon to set sail for Gaza. The military is telling the world media that every precaution will be taken to keep injuries to a minimum. Why there should be any is beyond me. Since nine were murdered last time, I suppose anything less would be a blessing (though given the mayhem in the Golan this may be wishful thinking).
In case any of you are wondering what the Israeli Embassy is tweeting just about now, of course they’re telling us about the stellar U.S. basketball talent that’s headed to…no, not Gaza, silly. But to good old Israel, of course.
26 thoughts on “IDF Planning for Syrian War – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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Funny. You take an army regular practice and turn it into a huge story how the IDF is “planning a war”.
Guess what, Mr. Silver, practice is what an army is supposed to do.
No story, end of story.
Would any competent military commander not prepare his troops
in light of the threat of further unrest on the Syrian border.
Does such a exercise demonstrate caution or are Jews in Israel expected to stoically
take whatever is meted out to them.
1) UN: Syria didn’t stop demonstrators from crossing into Israel
2) Syria: ‘Naksa Day’ events just a preview
3) US: Syria ‘clearly’ inciting Israel border protests
4) Assad’s cousin: If you push, Israel will suffer
It just seems funny, what with parts of Syria in revolt….people more paranoid than yours truly would say that the Zahal is preparing to cross the border “to quell uprisings” or some such embassy boilerplate.
Hadn’t thought of that. Maybe the IDF is planning on invading to put down the anti-Assad uprising, thereby preserving his rule. That should get them a sweetheart deal for the Golan.
Remember Lebanon; if the IDF gets involved with Syria, it might have the chance to form yet another puppet army like the SLA, or help create an Alawite paramilitary force, or whatever the situation “calls” for. My rule about governments is that if they have done it once, they may try it again in a different form. But if the Zahal defends Syrian Ba’athism, the hatred of the Syrian people toward the government would grow, and the popular revolt could take on a religious tinge. All the elements are there, if someone were willing to provoke them; a powerful Christian minority, an authoritarian regime run by a family in the Alawite minority, a large Sunni population, a smaller Shia population. All of this is conjecture, but I know what happened in the past, and I fear it happening again.
The only thing missing from the hero’s story, is a beautiful female IDF soldier that treats his wounds and ends up kissing him under the ferrocious fire of flying stones. This would’ve made a nice movie in the 1950’s or so 🙂
Ari Ben Canaan would be his screen name no doubt.
Does the Egyptians plan to Invade Israel ?
after all there military exercises concentrate on Israel as the “enemy” http://www.jpost.com/Headlines/Article.aspx?id=176217
and the difference between the exercises is that there is a peace between Israel & Egypt, and a state of war between Israel & Syria.
There wasn’t a state of war between the USA and the USSR, yet they always used each other as imaginary enemy in military exercises. It was something called Cold War. Formally we were at peace with each other.
I don’t know, but the Egyptian did kidnap an Israeli tourist who entered Egypt by his name, with his Israeli passport, applied for visa in Tel-Aviv while he holds an American passport as well. He walked Egypt with an Hebrew-Arabic dictionary, he told everyone he was Israeli. The Egyptians hold him caliming he is a spy and that he was partly responsible for the Egyptian revolution, no less.
So, as you can see, it is very hard to know what the Egyptians are planning.
Where did the Egyptians kidnap that guy ? Outside Egypt ? So following you logic – or rather absence of logic – all Palestinians withheld by the Israelis while waiting for a proces are considered ‘kidnapped’. Nice to know. For once we agree on something.
Your statement on the Egyptians holding Ilan Grapel partly responsible for the Revolution is just another proof of Israeli ethnocentric megalomania or paranoia.
I assure that if this person had a U.S. passport I’d have heard about him & I haven’t. So I’d appreciated confirmation of yr story fr. a reliable source.
The guy name is Ilan Garpel.
“At a time when the country is suffering an economic crisis, there is uncertainty about its leadership and there is a general breakdown of the rule of law, there is nothing better than finding an Israeli spy and concocting a story around it,” Baker said. “If it weren’t so tragic, it would be a joke.”
His mother and a fellow student said he arrived in Cairo only in May. Late Monday, the official Egyptian News Agency said the investigation showed he arrived in Egypt just before the protests began on Jan. 25 and was in the square where the protests were centered every day, “inciting sedition, spreading rumors, and urging protesters toward friction with the armed forces and to commit acts of violence.”
No, not “Garpel,” but Grapel.
And quoting JPost isn’t exactly convincing as it’s Israel’s leading right wing English language tabloid.
@ Leonid, thank you so much for the insight.
could you please explain, based on what you just stated, why a routine military exercises is so important ? or what makes it so significant to grant an article at tikun olam ?
I’m not the one to answer this question, as it should be addressed to the author. I just responded to your argument about Israel and Egypt.
Apparently, the author found this worth writing about.
Are you my editor? Do you make decisions here as to what’s worthy of discussion or isn’t? If not, I suggest you get yr own blog & make yr own editorial decisions. When I need yr advice I’ll ask.
You know, I thoroughly enjoyed this article and had a good laugh too at the expense of the Israeli Army flexing their “muscles” in virtual combat. I’d just love to see them in hand to hand combat without their toys. That would be much more amusing. I imagine that reading about a bunch of assassins bragging about fending off unarmed protesters and a few stone throwers defending themselves against rounds of live fire and then thumping their chests is enough to cause so much revulsion as to inspire quite a bit of well-deserved sarcasm.
The IDF are good at bullying poor Palestinians around but in EVEN combat they wouldn’t be so smug. On an even playing field no doubt they’d be running in the opposite direction.
I was asking for your opinion on the matter
So let me ask again, do you see any substance in the fact that Israel was holding an exercise simulating fighting against Syria. Do you interpret it as an Israeli intent to start a war ? ?
Kim, thanks for asking for my personal opinion. It doesn’t often happen that people are sincerely interested in each other’s opinions.
I didn’t pay much attention to this story. As any other person, I find some stories more interesting than others. In your question, you’re probably refering to the title, but it doesn’t say that Israel is planning to start a war with Syria. It just says that Israel is preparing for such a war.
What I found amuzing in this story is how the army website describes the exercises. It sounds to me like a report from my childhood days in the former USSR, with a lot of propaganda and heroic speak. A brave commander who defies his injuries and neglects his health in order to lead his me into battle. As I commented earlier, the only element of a perfect melodrama that’s missing is a brave female soldier and lover.
Israel doesn’t need to declare an “intent to start a war.” Everyone including Israelis & Syrians know that Israel is prepared to start a war if necessary just as it did in Lebanon. If there is an attack on Iran & Syrian counterattacks Israel will wage war against Syria. Everyone knows that.
As I said before, this is not a debating society nor a college lecture course where you are the professor. Neither is it an interrrogation. You ask a question once. You get no answer you don’t remind people you haven’t received one. If you get an answer you may proceed to continue the discussion as long as it is on topic.
@ Richard, you are saying that everyone knows that if Syria fire missiles on Israel,as Part of Irani retaliation against an Israel attack on IRAN’s nuclear facilities Israel will retaliate,
and you blame Israel for being the aggressor ?
so if you have a dispute with neighbor X, and he will send number Y to smack you, and you would retaliate against neighbor Y you would be the aggressor ?
Your logic is so divine i don’t understand. Care to explain ?
Of course I blame Israel for being the aggressor. By defintion, when one country is the first to attack another that country is the aggressor. Are you saying that just because Israel attacks Iran that Iran & its allies don’t have a right to counter-attack? If so, then you’re denying the Allies of WWII the right to counter attack en masse against Hitler once he invaded Poland and France & threatened the U.S.? And you’re saying the U.S. had no right to intervene in the conflict on the side of the Allies who were attacked?? Is that really what you’re saying? Or are you saying that only Iran has no right to have allies who would defend it in case of an Israeli attack?
Your logic is not so divine & I don’t care to explain anything to you. So don’t bother asking.
IDF planning for war with Syria? Gee, who would have thunk?
Ya think they might have contingency plans to fight Iran as well?
Seriously, just because a plan exists doesn’t mean war is imminent. Besides, contingency planning is wise!
I would bet the USA has plans to invade mexico. I doubt that will happen, but in the unlikely event it does, at least the pentagon would have a war plan ready to go – ‘off the shelf’.
Actually, we already invaded Mexico & stole all their land we wanted then. We don’t need to go to war w. them again. What would we want to steal?