יוסי יהושוע
Yossi Yehoshua
Photo: Hadar Yoavian

Israel's mission to track down Ron Arad only endangers our security

Opinion: Despite Bennett's grandiose unveiling of Mossad's operation to find remains of Israeli POW, the mission appears to have been a failure that only served to agitate the Iranians even more and win the premier some political points

Yossi Yehoshua |
Published: 10.06.21, 23:30
The constant bickering over political credit between the offices of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Defense Minister Benny Gantz is a serious danger to Israel's security that results in unnecessary and mostly false infrormation leaks that only exist to serve a specific narrative.
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  • In the middle of this superfluous political feud is the latest revelation by the premier about a covert operation by the Mossad to track the remains of long-lost Israeli navigator Lt. Col. Ron Arad.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    bennett ron arad
    bennett ron arad
    (Illustration: Yotam Fishbein )
    A senior security official said that the operation was "extraordinary," marking "real progress in the decades-long effort to solve the mystery."
    Despite all of this, it is highly doubtful whether Bennett had to expose it to everyone on the Knesset floor.
    When his predecessor Benjamin Netanyahu did the same – unveiling to everyone Israel's successful covert ops abroad - those who were in the opposition and now in the government dressed him down without even a shade of remorse – the very definition of hypocrisy if there ever was one.
    Past accusations of using Israel's security forces for cheap political credit have now been replaced by abject silence.
    Bennett's confidants have a different outlook on the situation. According to them, the operation was merely a humanitarian undertaking meant to solve one of Israel's saddest affairs and not part of the country's cold war with its neighbors.
    According to this narrative, Bennett's announcement was meant to clarify to Iran it was not a retaliatory operation for their alleged assassination plots aimed against Israeli citizens in Cyprus and Colombia.
    This is a rather puzzling version of events since the Revolutionary Guards are not really interested in what motivated the Mossad to carry out a particular operation, one of which allegedly included the abduction of an Iranian general.
    Despite reports that the operation was unsuccessful, Mossad Chief David Barnea said at a military ceremony on Tuesday that he never said it was, and that if anything, the opposite was the truth.
    During that ceremony, marking the appointment of Maj.-Gen. Aharon Haliva as the IDF's new Military Intelligence Director, army chief Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi announced that the "operational plans against Iran’s nuclear program will continue to evolve and improve."
    "Whatever may come - it is our duty to provide an effective and timely military response," said Kochavi.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    centrifuge machines in the Natanz uranium enrichment facility in central Iran
    centrifuge machines in the Natanz uranium enrichment facility in central Iran
    Centrifuge machines in the Natanz uranium enrichment facility in central Iran
    (Photo: AP)
    Despite this announcement, it should be noted that such plans take a long time to truly get off the planning table and Tehran is as close as it ever was to a nuclear weapon.
    The Islamic Republic has over the past years greatly improved its nuclear program and decentralized it, by spreading out its development to as many locations as possible.
    An independent Israeli strike against these facilities, without the Americans (who are not even remotely interested in such actions), would be a massive and expansive undertaking that could cost billions of shekels, while chances of such operation being succesful are slim to none.

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