Why Israel Was Justified in Attacking Syria


Binding United Nations Security Council resolutions over the last decade, including Resolutions 1559 (2004) and 1701 (2006), have called for the disbanding and disarming of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias in Lebanon, including in particular the disarming of the Islamic terrorist group Hezbollah.  The edict has gone unheeded.  These same resolutions also directed all member states to prevent the shipment of any weapons to such groups, an arms embargo which has also gone unheeded.

In fact, since Security Council Resolution 1701 passed in 2006 and ended the hostilities between Israel and Hezbollah that the resolution said were started by Hezbollah, Israel has stood by and watched the re-arming of Hezbollah by Iran with the assistance of Syria.  Hezbollah is now believed by Israeli Defense Force officials to have some 60,000 rockets and missiles – 10 times what it had in the 2006 Second Lebanon War.

Last August,  Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah threatened Israel with the use of precision rockets in Hezbollah’s possession which, Nasrallah warned, could turn the lives of “hundreds of thousands of Zionists to real hell, and we can talk about tens of thousands of dead.”

Yet the international community has not lifted a finger to enforce the terms of the Security Council resolutions requiring the disarming of Hezbollah, not to mention the embargo on further arms shipments to Hezbollah. With Syria in a virtual death spiral and more sophisticated arms on their way to Hezbollah in Lebanon, Israel saw little choice but to enforce the Security Council resolutions itself for the sake of protecting its own civilian population.

“The best thing that Israel has been hoping for a long time is that the West will take control of these weapons,” said Tzahi HaNegbi, an MP from the ruling Israeli Likud party, who is close with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “But the world is not ready to take such a decision…so Israel finds itself facing a dilemma which we alone can resolve.”

Thus, last week, after informing the Obama administration of its plans, Israel Air Force jets were reported to have bombed a convoy near Syria’s border with Lebanon, apparently targeting advanced Russian-made SA-17 anti-aircraft missiles destined for Hezbollah. The trucks were evidently not carrying any chemical weapons. However, Israeli officials had warned previously that it would not tolerate the transfer of any “game-changing” weapons systems to Hezbollah that could give Hezbollah the means to neutralize Israel’s military edge in conducting  air operations in the event of any future conflicts with the terrorist group.

“This episode boils down to a warning by Israel to Syria and Hezbollah not to engage in the transfer of sensitive weapons,” a  regional security source said according to Reuters. “Assad knows his survival depends on his military capabilities and he would not want those capabilities neutralized by Israel – so the message is this kind of transfer is simply not worth it, neither for him nor Hezbollah.”

Syrian state television meanwhile accused Israel of bombing Syria’s main military research center in Jamraya, between Damascus and the Lebanese border.  Work on biological and chemical weapons is reported to have occurred at this facility.

As more evidence of what happened becomes available, it appears that Israel’s attack on the convoy carrying the SA-17 missiles and their launchers also created some damage to the military research facility. To add to the confusion, rebel sources claimed that their forces were the ones who fired on the Jamraya facility and caused damage.

The Syrian government threatened retaliation for the attack. It also sent letters of protest to the United Nations Security Council and Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, but did not ask specifically for an emergency meeting of the Council.

One of Iran’s deputy foreign ministers was quoted by the state PressTV network as saying that “the Israeli regime’s strike on Syria will have serious consequences for Tel Aviv.”  Hezbollah, with its thousands of rockets and missiles already aimed at Israel’s population centers and seeking more arms to use against Israeli civilians, condemned the attack as “barbaric aggression.”

What was UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s first publicly stated reaction to Israel’s action to prevent the illegal transfer of yet more sophisticated weapons to Hezbollah?  In a press statement released by his spokesperson last week, the Secretary General noted  “with grave concern reports of Israeli air strikes in Syria.”  He said not a word about the imminent arms shipment to Hezbollah in continued defiance of the Security Council’s resolutions, which was the underlying reason for the strike.

Ban Ki-moon should know better.  After all, in his own April 2012  “Fifteenth Semi-Annual Report of the Secretary-General on the Implementation of Security Council Resolution 1559,” the Secretary General correctly pointed the finger at Hezbollah and its enablers, particularly Iran, for the illegal re-arming of Hezbollah.  He said that in several recent public pronouncements Hezbollah’s leadership had “stated that it has upgraded the strength of its military capabilities and will seek to continue to do so in blatant defiance of resolution 1559 (2004). In addition, it has disclosed publicly that, since the creation of the militia in 1982, the Islamic Republic of Iran has provided it on a regular basis with political, moral, financial and logistical support, in violation of relevant Security Council resolutions.”

Hezbollah’s “sizeable sophisticated military capabilities outside the control of the Government of Lebanon,” Ban Ki-moon reported, “creates indeed an atmosphere of intimidation” and “puts Lebanon in violation of its obligations under resolution 1559 (2004) and constitutes a threat to regional peace and stability.”

Israel’s military operation was surgical and limited in scope. It does not presage Israel’s entry into the civil war engulfing Syria.  It is not violating Syria’s national sovereignty by arranging for the shipment of arms to rebels in Syria to be used to topple the regime, as Turkey is doing, for example.  In fact, Turkey’s parliament last year approved a measure proposed by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, giving him broad powers to send soldiers into “foreign countries” – i.e., Syria – after Turkey had already invaded Syria’s airspace.

“The negative impacts of the ongoing crisis in Syria on our national security is visible in an increasing fashion,” Erdogan said in justifying his expanded war powers. “For that reason, it has become necessary to take precaution to act in a timely and quick manner against additional risks and threats facing our country.”

Israel, to use Erdogan’s words, took “precaution to act in a timely and quick manner against additional risks and threats” to its populace.  Its brief incursion into Syrian airspace was intended to block the shipment of dangerous arms out of Syria to the Hezbollah jihadists, who had menacingly warned Israelis that Hezbollah’s rockets had the capability of costing them “tens of thousands of dead.”

Yet Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu hypocritically condemned Israel for doing what Erdogan claimed he had the right to do, criticized Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for not striking back and vowed that his country would not allow Tel Aviv to attack a fellow Muslim state without retaliation.

Israel stopped its fighting with Hezbollah in 2006 upon assurances that effective steps would be taken to stop the flow of arms to Hezbollah.  The opposite has occurred.  Israel could no longer stand by and watch a flood of conventional and unconventional weapons leaving war-torn Syria and ending up in the hands of terrorists who had threatened to kill tens of thousands of Israelis.  Israel did no more than enforce the Security Council’s own resolutions.

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  • http://www.adinakutnicki.com AdinaK

    Justified is an understatement.

    This is the latest – http://adinakutnicki.com/2013/02/05/israel-is-fin

    Will world leaders thank Israel? Do pigs fly?

    Adina Kutnicki, Israel – http://adinakutnicki.com/about/

  • dev

    israel has every right to kill snakes in its backyard

    • Abdul Razaq

      God bless you Dev. you are right, world will be safe without any snake

  • Rostislav

    I'd like to say that the UN becomes uglier and uglier, but probably it's physically impossible already. In fact it's rather our governments who become uglier and uglier while supporting this international gang, which is entirely useless for honest peoples, and oh, so wonderfully useful for all kinds of murderers. Rostislav, Saint-Petersburg, Russia

  • Abdul Razaq

    Gen 12:2-3
    2 "I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.
    3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you."
    (NIV)

    • Daniel MacDonald

      G-D bless you Abdul.

  • The Thwart

    As the worst violators in history, Israel is the last country to be standing behind actions against other countries while using 'UN violation' talk.

    • SCREW SOCIALISM

      The worst violators in history are islamofascist regimes which kill people all over the world, yet, it takes YEARS for the hijacked UN to address islamofascist slaughter in places like Syria where 60,000+ have died.

    • chris gleason

      Where have you been living? Look at a map of the area. Israel is surrounded by enemies of immense size and power, enemies who have sworn to obliterate it. You are just another anti-Semite.

    • stern

      Oh shut up. That kind of claptrap doesn't work here.

    • aspacia

      The vast ME Muslim world initiated the violence when they attack Israel in 48, continue to violate IL. There is a disproportional amount of International condemnation against Israel when other nation, especially the ME Muslim dominated sections, China, etc. commit far more atrocities than tiny Israel; besides Muslims murder their brethren more often than any other entity.

      Just admit you are afraid to criticize the Muslim world because you will be targeted.

  • ali

    Israel is promoting violence in the name of chemical weapons and false allegation on its enemy nations especially on muslim nations. Everybody is watching its cruel intentions behind and all know that what they did in Palestine. Israel and US are the real trouble makers from the beginning. The supreme power is watching and HE will deliver the right judgement.

    • thomas_h

      "The supreme power is watching and HE will deliver the right judgement.

      Which "supreme power"?

      The supreme power I know about says that your "supreme power" doesn't know what he is talking about. He also thinks you should learn English before sending in comments.
      Otherwise He keeps on blessing Israel.

    • EarlyBird

      Ali, you are wrong. There is absolutely no reason Syria or Hezbollah should hate Israel or want to hurt that country, except for some warped idea of Islam. Israel had every right in the world to take out those missles, sent by Syria to Hezbollah.

    • Indus Valley

      Got a lot a of questions after reading your comment……You said "Everybody is watching its cruel intentions behind and all know that what they did in Palestine" – Who is this 'Everybody' ? guess the Jew hating Muslims & their leftist enablers. What are they 'watching'? may be Al-Jazeera or some PA or Al-Manar channels. Who is this 'all' & what do they 'know' ? succumbing to propaganda is not the same as seeking genuine knowledge about an issue.

    • Pontotoc Bill

      Israel is promoting violence in the name of chemical weapons and false allegation on its enemy nations…

      What a laugh!!! Islam is the reason for the violence in the Middle East. Islam and Islam alone is responsible.

      Islam is nothing but a false religion, given to MooHammad by the lying angel. It was not Gabriel, rather Islam was given to MooHammad by Lucifer. Therefore, Islam is a satanic religion.

    • Ghostwriter

      And hopefully,ali,there'll be a plague of locusts all over the Middle East. These are the same people who celebrated the mass murder of Americans on 9/11. They don't exactly get a whole lot of sympathy from me.

    • Drakken

      Can't wait until one of you muslim savages goes to far and they throw the whole bloody rotten lot of you sub human savages out of Gaza and the west bank for good. Good luck muzzy, I see a nakba in your immediate future, so good bloody riddance.

    • SCREW SOCIALISM

      ali, Your pals are killing and raping each other in Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran,

      yet you dumbass blame Israel for your own blood thirsty savagery.

      Please keep doing what you do best, killing each other and showing the world that Islam is a religion of hate.

    • aspacia

      Read the facts regarding how most Arabs living under Israeli law have longer life spans, enjoy more freedoms and are better educated than their brethren. In contrast Arab refugees are horribly discriminated against in the vast Muslim majority world.

  • Demetrius M

    Why not? Those muslim nations surrounding them enjoy attacking them either directly or with proxies when they themselves are strong, but play the victim when they are weak. as Syria is right now.
    I would be a happy gentile to see Israel thinking ahead and being proactive with their national security needs by disrupting Hamas, the Hizb or the Brothers at any opportunity given.
    EU and UN be damned, Israel will live on forever – Muslim free hopefully.

  • cxt

    Unbelivable………glad the article was written but deeply troubled that it NEEDED to be.

    That we have come to point where a nation that is surrounded by fanatical foes, that take pride in murdering innocent people sitting in pizza shops or on buses, that take pride in lobbing largely unguided rockets when-ever-they-please, that take pride in the murder of children; can't take pro-active steps to keep chemical/biological weapons out of the same hands that take such dancing-in-the-streets glee as the 9-11 attacks is deeply disturbing.

    As a tip–maybe if the "murder all the jews" crowd could cool it a bit and start behaving like civilized human beings and a less like a gang of blood-thirsity animals then perhaps Isreal wouldn't feel the need to take such steps…….just a tip. Not that have much hope……after all the foes of Israel mae of point of stating "we love death more than we love our children." (my paraphrase)

    Sadly…if death is ONLY choice you are offering then at least man-up and stop whining when people chose to kill you instead of waiting around for you kill them.

  • wsk

    "after Turkey had already invaded Turkey’s airspace."
    Huh?
    Proofreading, people.
    That being said, bomb the crap out of those terorists.

    • Joseph Klein

      Good catch – thank you.

  • mcmorrowpc

    To paraphrase Franklin Roosevelt, you don't wait for a rattlesnake to strike before you cut off its head.

  • Marty

    Israel, of course, acted in national self-defense. But its actions in syria are intolerable to muslims and much of the global community. Jews protecting themselves is something they cannot abide and automatically condemn. Hopefully, Assad's thugs and islamic sociopaths will continue with their mutual massacres and syria will disintegrate into several enclaves in conflict with one another into the indefinite future. Such a result will help make Israel safe. iraq is also beginning to disintegrate rather nicely. We should encourage these failed states to keep at it.

  • marios

    Israel defend not only itself but all of us, all non-Muslim, all Western civilization. Wait a minute, Israel defend Muslims who are not devouted to Islam but aftaid to convert (as for it death penalty by Koran) and want to live peacefully but not be martyrs. G-d bless Israel!

  • Mary Ann

    Oil, oil, oil.

  • http://twitter.com/TophStewart @TophStewart

    There are more facts in the first paragraph of your articles than there is in almost all mainstream media articles about the conflict(s) in the middle east put together.
    Keep up the great work