Who knew! Israel almost started war with Hezbollah in 2015, IDF officer reveals at NY synagogue

US Politics
on 23 Comments

Israel’s dependence on American Jews produces some farcical situations, and this is one of them. An Israeli intelligence officer touring American Jewish spaces to brief American Jews about threats to Israel tells a bunch of old Jews (me included) at an Upper West Side synagogue what no one knew at the time: Israel was “really close to opening a war against Hezbollah” in January 2015.

The Stephen Wise Free Synagogue is a Reform synagogue on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with a reputation for liberalism, boasting of visits from MLK and Archbishop Tutu. But its Israel committee listed an event last night with an Israeli intelligence officer called Captain Nativ:

Take part in a discussion on intelligence information and terrorism led by the chief of an intelligence section in the Central Command of the IDF who focuses on acting against the terror threats that Israel faces from the West Bank.

“Captain Nativ” has had a busy week. He’d addressed this pro-Israel counterterrorism conference at the Yale Club on Monday, described as “Chief of an Intelligence Section in the Central Command of the IDF.” There, his identity was shrouded with the picture above. Nativ also spoke to the NYU Law Students for Israel— a closed event. And he spoke to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations earlier in the week.

But last night he was addressing a bunch of ordinary Jews on the Upper West Side. And he told the inside story about a Hezbollah attack of January 2015 that killed two Israeli soldiers in retaliation for an Israeli attack that had killed a Hezbollah fighter named Jihad Mugniyeh ten days earlier.

The news coverage of this attack did not reveal what the captain did last night: “we were really close to opening a war against Hezbollah that day.”

We had an intelligence alert that Hezbollah would retaliate from Lebanon. All the ground forces knew that something would happen. But sadly and I really remember that day, something went wrong and Hezbollah launched two antitank missiles. And hit an army vehicle. Two soldiers died, seven were injured. I remember sitting in my office getting– we have what we call red phones in your offices. And the red phone rang from the situation room. And they told me there was an explosion…. I remember really getting emotional. You have to understand that when you know that something will happen and still we couldn’t prevent that from happening, then you get frustrated. I remember sitting in my office getting frustrated at what happened, but at the same time I have a really important job. I have to get all the information, all the intelligence… [on] what Hezbollah wants to do next. I have to brief my boss, my commander, who’s a really important guy. Before he goes to brief the prime minister, or the minister of defense, or the IDF chief of staff, and then they will have to decide what they want to do, if they want to retaliate or not, how they want to retaliate. So you have to understand, that it’s really difficult… On the one hand you’re really emotional. On the second hand you have to be professional and do our job.

But just to end that story: We were really close to opening a war against Hezbollah that day. But luckily we had good decision-makers in Israel who acted right and managed to lower the flames. And we didn’t get into a war with them.

The New York Times did a substantial story on the killings of the Israeli soldiers in January 2015. It  reported that the Hezbollah attack was “the most severe eruption of hostilities in the area” since 2006. The Times also mentioned something Nativ did not, that Israel retaliated that day, and killed a Spanish peacekeeper in Lebanon.

I’ll have more insights from Captain Nativ in days to come…

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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23 Responses

  1. K Renner
    September 23, 2016, 3:23 pm

    LOL guess they shouldn’t be bombing Hezbollah then?

    I had a good laugh over those IDFers who got blown up by the AT missile back then. That’s what happens when you provoke violence from organizations you’ve made into your enemies.

  2. Annie Robbins
    September 23, 2016, 4:00 pm

    about a Hezbollah attack of January 2015 that killed two Israeli soldiers in retaliation for an Israeli attack that had killed a Hezbollah fighter named Jihad Mugniyeh ten days earlier.

    actually, israel’s initial attack killed top Iranian general Mohammad Ali Allahdadi and six Hezbollah fighters, one of whom was Jihad Mugniyeh https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jan/19/top-iranian-general-hezbollah-fighters-killed-israel-attack-syria

    • Keith
      September 23, 2016, 6:26 pm

      ANNIE- “actually, israel’s initial attack killed top Iranian general Mohammad Ali Allahdadi and six Hezbollah fighters, one of whom was Jihad Mugniyeh link to theguardian.com”

      As you correctly point out, a major Israeli provocation is blatantly misrepresented as a minor incident with Israel as the ultimate victim. This goes way beyond mere bias, rather, this is part of information warfare, one part of full spectrum dominance. It has reached the point where I am forced to give more credence to RT than to US/Israel media propaganda. Information as a battle space. Was it always this bad, and I too naive to see? Or have the fat-cats abandoned all pretense of decency as they drag us further into the heart of darkness of their obsession with power and hegemony?

      • hophmi
        September 23, 2016, 11:21 pm

        No one’s forcing you, and every one of your stupid comments suggests that you always gave more credence to antisemitic conspiracy sources like RT.

      • lysias
        September 24, 2016, 9:56 am

        The increasingly blatant mendacity of Western media has provided Putin and Russia with an opportunity that they have not hesitated to seize.

        What the BBC was during World War Two, RT is now.

      • Waterbuoy
        September 24, 2016, 12:45 pm

        Quite astounding the unconcious bias in the NYT article. Thanks for the link.
        The headline (which is all many will read) was about an assault by Hesbollah on some unfortunate Israeli soldiers.
        “Hezbollah antitank missiles killed two Israeli soldiers as they drove in a disputed area along the Lebanese border on Wednesday, a sharp retaliation for Israel’s deadly drone strike last week that killed six Hezbollah fighters and an Iranian general.

        The attack was the most severe eruption of hostilities in the area since the fierce enemies’ devastating monthlong war in 2006 and threatened to incite a significant escalation…”

        Most severe eruption since 2006…. well except, of course, for the ‘eruption’ a week earlier which killed six…. but, of course that doesn’t really count, does it? (at least in the mind of J.Rudoren et al)

      • Rashers2
        September 25, 2016, 4:30 am

        A thinking person, @hophmi, is “forced” to seek out alternative sources of information if it becomes apparent that readily-available MSM sources provide information which is unreliable, incomplete or is subject to censorship, whether imposed or self-imposed. One; but only one; of my main sources nowadays is Aljazeera because its coverage of M-E and I/P provides counterbalance to the weighted coverage from NewsCorp, CNBC, a now-dumbed-down BBC, et al. Yes, AJ covers the M-E region (unsurprisingly) far more from an Arab perspective and, yes, it covers I/P far more from a Palestinian perspective. That doesn’t of itself make it (or RT) “antisemitic” [sic]; but then you had to work that in, didn’t you?

    • inbound39
      September 23, 2016, 7:52 pm

      Most unrest in the Middle East is created by Israel to destabilise surrounding states so they become incapable of mounting attacks against Israel. America accompanies Israel in these events because Israel for some time has had complete control over the American Government. Syria was destabilised initially by Israel smuggling weapons in and building rebel groups up to topple Assad because Assad every year demanded the Golan Heights be returned. Libya was taken out because they support Palestine. Lebanon same reason. Shah was best mates with Israel when he was put in charge of Iran.

      • hophmi
        September 23, 2016, 11:22 pm

        “Most unrest in the Middle East is created by Israel to destabilise surrounding states so they become incapable of mounting attacks against Israel.”

        Where do you morons get these conspiracy theories from? Yeah, 500,000 people are dead in Syria because, Jews.

      • Waterbuoy
        September 24, 2016, 12:53 pm

        Actually, Syria was a secular democracy until 1947 when they refused a pipeline and Standard Oil of New York managed to get the CIA to overthrow them…. just 5 years before Iran’s secular democracy was overthrown by the CIA (and British Secret Service) to install THEIR murderous dictator…. of course that led to the Islamic Revolution.
        Then ‘we’ stood idly by while the terrorist Hagannah, Irgun, Stern Gang did their genocide and ethnic cleansing.
        No, Hophmi, Israel isn’t entirely responsible for the situation…. but they certainly do what they can to destabilize. They want (more of) Syria and Lebanon’s water, Gaza’s gas… etc.

      • Waterbuoy
        September 24, 2016, 12:57 pm

        ‘hopmi’: It is you, not ‘inbound39’ who is conflating Israeli behaviour with ‘Jews’. What are you? Some kind of bloody hateful Antisemite?

      • inbound39
        September 24, 2016, 8:55 pm

        I made no mention of Jews persay. So I did not conflate Jews. I did conflate the Israeli Government and American Governments. They are ALL BUT one and the same these days given Israeli interference and infiltration into the US Government.

      • REALITY CHECK 101
        September 24, 2016, 11:52 pm

        I will address this to hophmi:
        Misdirecting the blame..or at least spreading it around (to Obama, Bush/Cheney, Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia) so that the real prime movers (Jews) are invisible in the mix, is the job of the media and israel’s hundreds of internet shills…like hophmi..

        According to (Israel’s) Haaretz correspondent Aluf Benn writing on the eve of the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, Sharon and his cohorts “envision a domino effect, with the fall of Saddam Hussein followed by that of Israel’s other enemies: Arafat, Hassan Nasrallah, Bashar Assad, the ayatollah in Iran and maybe even Muhammar Gadaffi.” By presenting the US with facts-on-the-ground and using its US lobby, Israel would keep itself at the heart of American plans for the Middle East.

        The ouster of Assad could represent an “opportunity for us.” -Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador to the U.S. -Christian Science Monitor 10/25/11

        “One can only hope that we turn the region into a cauldron, and faster, please, That’s our mission…” -Jewish Neocon Michael Ledeen 2002

        “Western powers should guide enemies to stalemate by helping whichever side is losing, so as to prolong the conflict.” -Jewish NeoCon Daniel Pipes in National Review 4/12/13

        “Let them both bleed, hemorrhage to death: that’s the strategic thinking here.” -Alon Pinkas (Former Israeli Consul general)

        This is a very abbreviated list and there are even more damning statements I could add here…but I believe they are all Jews.

  3. Talkback
    September 24, 2016, 3:56 am

    Terrorism is the presence of an occupier.

    • mcohen.
      September 24, 2016, 8:05 am

      talkback says

      “terrorism is the presence of an occupier”

      job is the repentance of a sinner

      mall shooter is the cosequence of a terrorizer

      sleepless in seattle says mooser

      erl

  4. CigarGod
    September 24, 2016, 9:53 am

    “I have a really important job.” and “My boss is a really important guy.” and I got really emotional.” and “we got really close to opening a war.”

    That guy has to be one of the funniest “intelligence” officers I have ever heard of. I wonder if he made a phone call after the event. “How did I do, Dad”?

  5. a blah chick
    September 24, 2016, 11:33 am

    “I have to brief my boss, my commander, who’s a really important guy.(!!!!!) Before he goes to brief the prime minister, or the minister of defense, or the IDF chief of staff, and then they will have to decide what they want to do, if they want to retaliate or not, how they want to retaliate.”

    I think we have the definitive answer as to why those Lebanese athletes didn’t want Israelis on their bus.

    • CigarGod
      September 24, 2016, 4:01 pm

      No doubt.

    • MHughes976
      September 24, 2016, 5:43 pm

      You mean that they talk like comic strip characters and might get insufferably tedious? Must say, though, that Captain Nativ is a terrific stage name.

      • inbound39
        September 24, 2016, 8:58 pm

        He certainly loves theatrical and fictional melodrama.

  6. gamal
    September 24, 2016, 6:29 pm

    woeful, the picture is all israel stylee but he has no idea how to do it 12 tribes stylee listen and learn, Nativ I am doing my best for you little petal but this is manly stuff, Israel stylee, do try to get a fucking grip, don’t try the dub till you are sure your testosterone levels are adequate for such exertions,

    12 tribes stylee,

    https://youtu.be/ptvagx_xboM

    • Mooser
      September 24, 2016, 6:56 pm

      I don’t pop no style, myself. I’m strictly roots.

      • gamal
        September 24, 2016, 10:06 pm

        “I’m strictly roots.”

        i knew it, its a roots ting,

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