Saturday October 10, 2015
Israel Hayom
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Gonen Ginat

Real leadership

Everything we know about the reported airstrikes in Syria over the past few days comes from foreign sources. That's how it has to be: We live in a neighborhood where every spark, even a verbal one, could set off an explosion. But if the foreign reports are correct on the whole, if not in every detail, then this is a great achievement for our prime minister -- on the intelligence and operational levels, and primarily as a demonstration of leadership.

While some of our leaders are deeply immersed in Facebook squabbles, the real existential battle is being fought in the shadows: gathering intelligence, confirming intelligence reports, filtering out the actionable information from the background noise, and the targeted elimination of threats.

All this takes determination. Israel established red lines on the transfer of game-changing weapons from Syria to Hezbollah. These red lines were necessary because Hezbollah is an irresponsible organization. Adhering to these red lines is important beyond the danger posed by a particular weapon. It is important at the strategic, regional level. Especially when the United States may not be standing behind its own red lines.

If the reported events really occurred, then Israel's exemplary performance has significance beyond any specific weapons convoy. It communicated to the outside world that Israel is determined to take action in the face of threats and is not afraid to make operational decisions. We can assume that news of the airstrike also reached Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's Iranian allies. They certainly got the message that Israel is ready and willing to use force if there is no other solution.

Here in Israel, we have a tendency to deride our own decision-making ability. But in previous strikes, as reported by foreign sources, as well as the most recent ones, we have seen extraordinary intelligence capabilities, a high level of intelligence penetration, the highest level of operational skills, and decision-makers demonstrating exemplary determination.

If the foreign reports are accurate then the team comprising the prime minister, the defense minister, the chief of staff and the IDF did a very good job. They demonstrated leadership, resolve and determination. It's not clear how many people will remember to say thank you. It needs to be said.

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