Sunday, 11 October 2015

Israel's Greatest Moments [3] Litani River Retaliation

The Litani River Retaliation

 was a six-day military campaign carried out by Israel in 1978. The operation was a retaliatory action to a series of terror attacks on Israeli targets emanating from Lebanon.The Coastal Road massacre. The catalyst for the operation was a Palestinian terror attack on Saturday, March 11, 1978 when an 11 man terror cell, lead by an eighteen year old female terrorist, Dalal Mughrabi, who infiltrated Israel via the sea, coming up on the shores of Kibbutz Ma’agan Michael. The cell took control of a bus traveling on Highway 1, connecting Tel Aviv and Haifa, holding passengers hostage. The terrorists made the bus driver turn towards Tel Aviv, handcuffing all male passengers, shooting and hurling grenades at passing cars killing four drivers. The hijackers seized a second bus, forcing its passengers to board their bus. Israeli security forces were finally able to stop the bus near Herzliya and a gun fight immediately ensued. Some of the terrorists burst out of the bus, firing at the Israeli forces, while others remained shooting passengers trying to escape. The terrorists eventually blew up the bus, killing 38 civilians including 13 children, injuring 71.

The Litani River Incursion

The Incursion. The Coastal Road massacre prompted then-Prime Minister Menachem Begin to order the IDF to attack terror groups hiding in south Lebanon. Operation Litani began on March 15, 1978, with what was considered to be an unprecedented air strike on terror hubs in the area. March 16 saw IDF ground troops venture deep into Lebanon, taking over the area between the international borderline and the Litani River, stopping just short of the Lebanese city of Tyre to create a military “belt” between Israel and Lebanon. The area would later be known as the Israeli Security Zone. The majority of Palestinian terrorists fled the area during the first hours of the operation with 300 of them killed, the IDF obliterated all the terror bases in the area. Nevertheless, terror groups continued shelling Israeli communities adjacent to the northern border with heavy artillery fire throughout the operation. The international community condemned Israel and on March 19, 1978. The UN Security Council passed resolutions calling for the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Lebanon. U.S. President Jimmy Carter threatened the Israel government to cut off military supplies. Three days later the IDF was ordered to pull its forces out of Lebanon. Israel lost 15 of her soldiers in the operation. 

The Rebbe’s Talk

Spoken 3 days after Litani incursion, Shabbos Parshas Pekudei 11.3.1978.

There were two reasons for the success of this military action. Firstly, realizing that this was a life-threatening situation, the government of Israel did not arrange multiple meetings and inquiries; did not proclaim a first second or third announcement threatening action. Instead military experts knowledgeable of the security situation of the North of Israel and ongoing activities in Lebanon decided to take action, doing so immediately without publicizing the incursion, and not asking the opinions of 120 members of Knesset amongst whom sit Gentiles, Muslims and those who make their decisions upon receiving their orders from Moscow.

 The action was such a success that terrorists were struck with dreaded fear. There was no holding back by the Israel government or fear of intervention from foes and enemies. Rather, as the verse in Torah describes: “they will flee from before you in seven directions”. It became clear [and now we can speak of this openly] that Israel’s action prevented future wars.

 If only Israel’s military actions for the future would follow this mode of no prior publicity! Additionally, it is vital that the Israel government continue their action with the utmost energy and continue to complete the action; not by taking one step forward and then sending delegations to the entire world to hear the response of the one who sits in Washington, or what will they say in Moscow, London or Paris etc., asking if we may go forward with the next step or not.

The success of the action was because they went forward with great speed taking no account the opinions of nations [“what will people say?”] because when Jewish lives are endangered, one does not ask the opinion of others. A further reason for the success of this action was that the government did not seek the advice of those Jews within whom resides a fear of the Gentile nations and who continue to call out: “do not upset neither small nations or world powers”, rather they say–  offer them honor, bow down before them as does a servant, and just do whatever they say! Upon hearing that a Jew is taking forthright action they immediately call meeting to inject uncertainties and recommendations that the IDF stop in their tracks [in Lebanon] and do nothing without asking world opinion; only if gentiles agree should we continue action for our security in accordance with the rules of Jewish Law.

 May it be the will of G-d, that just as until this time they stood with strength, now also they will conduct themselves in the future fearless of the Nations. Give no regard to those Jews who cannot extricate themselves from their inner exile of self effacement before the nations! Then they will no longer ask the opinions of a communist, gentile or Muslim or a Jew who cannot extricate himself from his inner disconnect, who wishes to drag down other Jews with him.

Instead, the government conduct must be with strength according to Jewish Law. Take full regard that the Jewish nation are One, a unified nation, an indestructible nation bound up with the One G-d, and conduct themselves in accordance with the One Torah. When they make a stand in this way then there will be a turn around and Israel will rule over their enemies, trepidation will fall upon them, and nations will come to the assistance of the Jewish people when they follow in the path of their faith! 
Tower of King David

Jerusalem belongs exclusively to the Jewish People who have lived there already one thousand year before the arrival of Christians and Muslims.