The Fatal Attack on the Israel-Egypt Border Should Lead to Concern, but Not Panic

Early Saturday morning, an Egyptian policeman snuck through gate along the Israeli-Egyptian frontier and killed three Israeli soldiers. Cairo initially claimed that the shooter entered Israeli territory chasing smugglers—who are endemic to the area—but there is now some evidence that he was motivated by jihadist ideology. Whatever the exact circumstances, Yonah Jeremy Bob contends that there is no reason to conclude that the arrangements in place for guarding the border are fundamentally flawed:

The biggest question arising from the incident, though there are many, is whether the IDF failure during this episode was tactical, and mostly limited to the unusual particular circumstances, or strategic, exposing a much greater threat that has been ignored until now. Despite how shocked the country was that the quiet prevailing for 45 years over its border with Cairo was suddenly shattered, so far the clear signals are that the problems here were tactical and not strategic.

The details that have come out so far include that there was a small border opening which was poorly secured, but that was done on purpose to make it easier for IDF forces or maintenance workers to get through quickly to complete a short and specific mission. Also, the soldiers on guard duty had shifts that were too long and they may not have been protected enough from someone seeking to attack them.

So far, there are indications that the Egyptian police officer was quietly a radical jihadist who was using his position to stage a terror attack or maybe was trying to perpetrate both smuggling and some killing. The point is that, at least to date, the attacker was a fluke—a statistical anomaly.

However, what is most likely is that some weeks or months from now, nothing will have changed much, there will have not been many violent copycats, and Israel’s other borders—which really are still far more dangerous—will need most of the resources as usual.

Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Egypt, Israeli Security


Israel’s Covert War on Iran’s Nuclear Program Is Impressive. But Is It Successful?

Sept. 26 2023

The Mossad’s heist of a vast Iranian nuclear archive in 2018 provided abundant evidence that Tehran was not adhering to its commitments; it also provided an enormous amount of actionable intelligence. Two years later, Israel responded to international inspectors’ condemnation of the Islamic Republic’s violations by using this intelligence to launch a spectacular campaign of sabotage—a campaign that is the subject of Target Tehran, by Yonah Jeremy Bob and Ilan Evyatar. David Adesnik writes:

The question that remains open at the conclusion of Target Tehran is whether the Mossad’s tactical wizardry adds up to strategic success in the shadow war with Iran. The authors give a very respectful hearing to skeptics—such as the former Mossad director Tamir Pardo—who believe the country should have embraced the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. Bob and Evyatar reject that position, arguing that covert action has proven itself the best way to slow down the nuclear program. They acknowledge, however, that the clerical regime remains fully determined to reach the nuclear threshold. “The Mossad’s secret war, in other words, is not over. Indeed, it may never end,” they write.

Which brings us back to Joe Biden. The clerical regime was headed over a financial cliff when Biden took office, thanks to the reimposition of sanctions after Washington withdrew from the nuclear deal. The billions flowing into Iran on Biden’s watch have made it that much easier for the regime to rebuild whatever Mossad destroys in addition to weathering nationwide protests on behalf of women, life, and freedom. Until Washington and Jerusalem get on the same page—and stay there—Tehran’s nuclear ambitions will remain an affordable luxury for a dictatorship at war with its citizens.

Read more at Dispatch

More about: Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, Joseph Biden, Mossad, U.S. Foreign policy