Israel’s special-ops units are the missing element
Considering its grave consequences − with more than 1,000 dead, disasters like the downing of a passenger plane, missile hits on hospitals and population centers, and the casting off of certain taboos (because chemical weapons were employed) − it is surprising that the next war has come and gone without leaving any traces.
After conflict raged in the recent Israel Defense Forces’ Turning Point 5 war game, all that is left of it are summaries of the lessons learned by the National Emergency Authority, and photos of Home Front Defense Minister Matan Vilnai taken at a site to which bombed inhabitants would be evacuated in the event of a real war.
This week Vilnai was acting defense minister (Ehud Barak was on vacation abroad). Prior to the takeover of the ship Dignite al-Karame, he spoke with Chief of Staff Benny Gantz and approved the navy’s action plan. In a real war, not a simulation like Turning Point 5, Vilnai is supposed to guard Barak’s back, carrying the responsibility of the home front, because the defense minister will be busy fighting at the front.
According to the Turning Point scenario, the next war will start with Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah’s attempt to distract attention from his movement’s responsibility for the assassination of Rafik Hariri, as was recently determined by a special UN tribunal in the Hague. The distraction is a terror attack on the Israeli Embassy in Argentina, nominally as retribution for the assassination of Imad Mughniyeh; in the (virtual) attack, which takes place while a Jewish holiday celebration is under way, 15 Israelis and 10 locals are killed.