The Kibbutzim/Concert Massacres of October 7 are not an October Surprise but an October Shock Wave -- a continuous stream of shock waves that have reset the world. Suddenly -- but before the body parts of 1,350 innocents slaughtered in Israel by Hamas terrorists could be gathered by ZAKA -- our streets and campuses and internet platforms were flooded with rivers of Jew Hatred masquerading as a historical debate over the very existence of the modern state of Israel, now 75 years old. Suddenly, the 1973 Yom Kippur War was back. Suddenly, the Palestinian "nation," which never was, was back, too. So was "devilry" of "Zionism" -- not that it ever went away. Suddenly, no other disaster, no other crime has the same weight, the same right to exist, if you will, anymore. Bravo, controllers behind the curtain. It is as if the people of the world have been reimagined as pulsating ganglia, emitting cries of "Stand with Israel" or "Israelis Are War Criminals"; "Kill Hamas" or "I'll Never Support Israel Again." We are all of us nearly completely fried from having Hamas's video trophies of murder and blood burned into our brains, and are thus unable to see what is really happening. As usual, you might say, only worse.
What I can't move from is the origin, the trigger of this fresh, paralyzing madness. I am unable to move from the unexamined and unexplained failure of the Israeli government to protect Israeli citizenry from an extremely well-prepared force of 2,000 Hamas terrorists that crossed Israel's border fence with Gaza and operated freely across 30 square miles of Israeli territory for six, eight, and even twenty hours. I am left with terrible questions about the ultimate responsibility for the lives lost, the lives shattered, and the sanctity and the way of life that these killers from Hamas have destroyed forever.
As I explore this uneasiness, I am even willing to accept, temporarily, for the sake of argument, the ridiculous explanation for Hamas's complex series of breaches of all Israeli defenses: the so-called "intelligence failure." Like magic words, the phrase is supposed to make all questions disappear. OK. I'm not buying, but OK. Let's turn our faculties of curiosity and reason onto the even more shocking unexamined and unexplained failure of the Israeli government to deploy the Israeli military to defend Israeli towns and cities under prolonged assault by a veritable terrorist army.
We might start by glancing at the timeline above, compiled by the New York Times (expand by pressing "command" and "+"). It continues here. I think it speaks volumes best summed up in a question: Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? What do you mean the IDF didn't arrive at the killing fields for 8 hours, 13 hours, 20 hours? At the very least, F-16s could have flown to the battleground to buzz and strafe and kill or scatter terrorists. At the very least. How far away could Israeli war planes have even been? How long does it take to scramble them? (Yes, echoes of Benghazi.) The New York Times reports that air assets were in fact "minutes away." Minutes. Not hours. Note also that the terrorists do not seem have to murdered and maimed across 15 Israeli towns and cities in haste. They seemed to have taken their time to do whatever they wanted, including the ritual humilation of their victims. What was happening, what was being said at Israeli HQ even as the slaughter, innocent by innocent, of 1,350 human beings was underway, as 199 hostages were being dragged, driven, and carted off to Gaza? Did the words "stand down" come from the mouths of Israeli commanders? Government Ministers? Binyamin Netanyahu? Why aren't more people, including reporters, asking this obvious question?
I am reminded of Benghazi. There, on September 11, 2012, Americans under attack at the US consulate were betrayed by the Obama-Biden-Clinton administration, which failed to send relief -- which issued "stand down" orders to prevent US or even, as I recall, allied military assets from responding. Stationed at the nearby secret CIA Annexe (likely running guns to "ISIS" elements in or near Syria), former Navy SEALs Ty Woods and Glen Doherty disobeyed such orders to race to defend the consulate. They were killed fighting there, along with US Amb Christopher Stevens and Sean Smith.
As in Benghazi, in Israel, too, individual soldiers,defied -- ignored may be a better word -- what has been described as the absence of orders to rush toward the attack in the Israel-Gaza region. Brig Gen Dan Goldfus has become something of their spokesman. Below are excerpts from his story as related to the New York Times and Haaretz.
On October 10, The New York Times reported:
Brig. Gen. Dan Goldfus said he drove south without knowing where exactly he should go.
General Goldfus, 46, a paratrooper commander, had been on leave at home, jogging in his neighborhood north of Tel Aviv. Then he saw a video from the south, showing terrorists cruising through a city, entirely unimpeded.
Without waiting for orders, the general said he ran home, changed into his uniform and headed south.
He picked up guns and two soldiers from his base in central Israel, and called friends and colleagues to find out what was happening.
Only a few picked up. Of the rest, “There was nobody really understanding the full picture,” General Goldfus said in an interview.
Only a few picked up? Nobody really understanding? Excuse me, is this the help desk of a refrigerator company or is this the Israel Defense Forces? Somehow, I don't think valiant BG Goldfus is telling the whole story. Nor is the New York Times terribly curious about it. The paper continues:
The speed, precision and scale of Hamas’s attack had thrown the Israeli military into disarray, and for many hours afterward civilians were left to fend for themselves.
Disarray. That's it. That takes care of the IDF no-show at the most catastrophic terror attack on Israelis in history.
Using the few scraps of information he could glean --
Hey, but that was better than Mossad (we're supposed to believe) --
General Goldfus said he and the soldiers headed to a village north of Nahal Oz, and then gradually worked their way south.
It was around 10 a.m. All around him was carnage and atrocity.
It was around 10 am. Netanyahu was informed of the attack, Axios reported, at 6:29 am. Again, Goldfus and his Rover Boys had sufficient time to arrive on the scene, but not the IDF. But consider: It was at this same hour, precisely 10:06 am according to the NYT timeline, that Israel's Defense Minister declared Israel to be in "a state of war." My question is, How could there be sufficient understanding of the "full picture" to declare a state war, but not enough to send quick-response assets -- again, even war planes to disrupt the terrorists on the ground -- and not for five, ten or even more hours?
The Times will pick up Goldfus's story again below:
The attack by Hamas had unleashed a violent free-for-all. Some residents of Gaza had poured over the undefended border after it was breached, at times streaming what they were doing on their phones. Gazans were looting and ransacking homes, taking computers, clothes, crockery, televisions and phones, survivors said.
I hadn't read about the "free-for-all" (pillaging) before.
In some Israeli villages, residents had been burned alive in their homes, while terrorists stalked civilians at every turn, looking for people to capture and kill. Grandparents, toddlers and a nine-month-old baby were seized and taken back to Gaza, some of them squeezed between their kidnappers on motorcycles.
And during much of the mayhem, the Israeli army was almost nowhere to be seen.
Near Kibbutz Reim, General Goldfus said he ran into another senior commander by chance. Like him, the officer had rushed to the scene on instinct, without any instructions, and had assembled a small group of soldiers.
I wonder if IDF orders were not to "stand down," but rather to await instructions -- with the best and bravest heading for battle without them. It seems possible. Something forceful had to be gluing the army to its seats, the air force to its runways. And whatever that was had to be coming from the top. I can't think of any other explanation. Can you?
Back to our pair of heroic commanders -- soon to be joined by a former general driving up in his Audi.
There and then, the two men came up with their own ad hoc strategy.
“There’s no orders here,” General Goldfus said. “I said: ‘You take from this place and further south — and I’ll take from this place and further north.’”
That was how some of the Israeli counterattack took place: soldiers or civilian volunteers — including retired generals in their 60s — rushing to the region and doing what they could.
Israel Ziv, a former general, reached a nearby battle in his Audi.
Yair Golan, a retired deputy chief of staff and former leftist lawmaker, said he took a gun and began rescuing survivors of a massacre at a rave, who were hiding in nearby bushes.
“We are brought up to run as fast as possible toward the fire,” said General Goldfus. “So that we can be the first one there.”
A staggering thought takes shape: how much worse the Hamas assault would have been without these brave men.
Haaretz (via Revolver), too, carried BG Goldfus's story. It was the day after the New York Times article appeared (October 12), and now Goldfus was speaking at a "briefing for military reporters." (Sounds as if the government might hav been trying to cover itself in reflected glory.) In the excerpts below -- I haven't read the full story behind a paywall -- it is noteworthy that the astounding story of how Goldfus stopped jogging in Tel Aviv to drive to the battle near Gaza is missing.
Senior commanders were killed in the first battles, soldiers arriving at kibbutzim were ambushed by Hamas and the IDF was totally surprised by the number of Hamas combatants. Those were some of the details that Brig. Gen. Dan Goldfus shared in a briefing with military reporters on Tuesday, the fourth day of Israel’s war with Hamas.
Goldfus commands one of the Israel Defense Forces reserve infantry divisions that has been engaging Hamas fighters since they infiltrated Israel through the Gaza border Saturday morning. “We’ve been hit hard,” he said, adding, “we’re now in the attack phase. Grim questions will come afterward, about how we functioned and our commitment to the State of Israel. You [the reporters] will tear us apart then, and rightly so.”
“No one had a sense of the big picture,” he says. “There were actual battles being waged inside the Gaza Division headquarters. I ran into the Giv’ati recon battalion chief and adopted him, took him with me. I’d come across people, give them a company and tell them – do your best. It was me and three or four of my men against dozens of Hamas fighters at every encounter.”
“Soldiers that were trying to get to the invaded kibbutzim came across Hamas ambushes”, said Goldfus. The numbers of Hamas fighters took the IDF soldiers by surprise, with 12 to 20 comprising each force. “It’s not one or two terrorists, it’s dozens and hundreds, we’re fighting under heavy fire, and I’m personally moving soldiers between communities.” Goldfus says that his division, normally subordinate to the IDF’s Central Command, lost about 30 of its soldiers, with around 150 more injured.
Again, how much worse the massacres would have been without these Israelis who didn't wait for orders from the Netanyahu government.
What reason -- what good reason -- could there have been for the government's unconscionable delay?
To be cont'd