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New York Times: Where Was the Israeli Army on Oct. 7?

Israeli Defense Forces. Credit: IDF

That’s the question the New York Times asks in an extensive article posted early yesterday. What comes out is a picture of an Israeli army that was completely unprepared, both physically and psychologically, for the kind of assault that Hamas waged that Oct. 7 day. But there are also questions that are not even asked, such as, what role did the political orientation of Netanyahu’s coalition government (which was focused on the settlement project in the West Bank) play in the army’s lack of attention to the south? And there is the perennial question one must always ask when dealing with the “Gray Propaganda Lady”: Why did the notoriously lying New York Times run this story? Have they turned their sights on Netanyahu? What is the story that the Times is omitting?

“The full reasons behind the military’s slow response may take months to understand,” the Times says. “The government has promised an inquiry. But a New York Times investigation found that Israel’s military was undermanned, out of position and so poorly organized that soldiers communicated in impromptu WhatsApp groups and relied on social media posts for targeting information. Commandos rushed into battle armed only for brief combat. Helicopter pilots were ordered to look to news reports and Telegram channels to choose targets.

“And perhaps most damning: The Israel Defense Forces did not even have a plan to respond to a large-scale Hamas attack on Israeli soil, according to current and former soldiers and officers. If such a plan existed on a shelf somewhere, the soldiers said, no one had trained on it and nobody followed it. The soldiers that day made it up as they went along.

“‘In practice, there wasn’t the right defensive preparation, no practice, and no equipping and building strength for such an operation,’ said Yom Tov Samia, a major general in the Israeli reserves and former head of the military’s Southern Command.

“‘There was no defense plan for a surprise attack such as the kind we have seen on Oct. 7,’ said Amir Avivi, a brigadier general in the reserves and a former deputy commander of the Gaza Division, which is responsible for protecting the region.

“That lack of preparation is at odds with a founding principle of Israeli military doctrine. From the days of David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister and defense minister, the goal was to always be on the offensive—to anticipate attacks and fight battles in enemy territory.”

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