Guardian angels who deserve our thanks

Angel credit Getty Images

The Israeli PR machine, if there actually is one, does a pretty stink job. Israel’s public profile is not rated important enough for serious attention. They just don’t care what the rest of the world thinks of them.

Presented as the monster of the Middle East, Israel is constantly berated by the UN, labelled a bully and held responsible for the Palestinian’s inhumane existence. Most UN members fall into line, including New Zealand who foolishly supported several anti-Israel UN resolutions. The current government, unless it actually does its homework, will continue to do so. Reprimands and attacks on Israel are political puffery and nonsense, except to the ignorant.

Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, said Israeli intelligence foiled an ISIS attack on Australian soil last year.  

Netanyahu’s claim has substance:

“Last year two brothers were arrested in Sydney – Khaled Khayat and Mahmoud Khayat – and charged with plotting to bring down an Etihad Airways passenger jet destined to fly to Abu Dhabi from Sydney. 

They were accused of trying to smuggle an improvised device inside a meat mincer onto a plane due to leave Sydney on 15 July, but the attempt was aborted before they reached security.

Australian police said the plot had been orchestrated by “a senior member of the Islamic State” based overseas. It was prevented when foreign intelligence agencies intercepted communications from the Syrian jihadist, police said.

This would have caused a major disruption in global air transport and is only one of dozens of terrorist attacks we have foiled around the world,” Netanyahu said, later referring to the alleged plot as an Isis operation.

The Israeli army said one of its intelligence units, named 8200, provided the information in 2017 leading to the arrest of Isis militants who were working “toward the execution of the attack”.  

The elite unit gathers and analyses intelligence using sophisticated information technology. The Israeli military said thwarting the alleged attack “saved the lives of dozens” but did not say which flight had been targeted. 

It’s quite likely New Zealanders were on board this particular Etihad flight, and also on the dozens of flights where passengers were spared a terrorist attack, thanks to Israeli intelligence.  

Will there be public acknowledgement of Israeli intervention that saved lives?  Not likely.

We will be lucky to spot mainstream media coverage, let alone expect a word of thanks.


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The subject evoked in the collage is the debating of political issues with friends in a public place

Pablo Picasso
Glass and bottle of Suze (after 18 November 1912)
pasted paper, gouache and charcoal

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