By Daphne Anson
|An Etihad Airways plane on the tarmac|
“The Israeli intelligence services thwarted the downing of an Australian plane, an unimaginable slaughter. This would have caused a major disruption in global air transport and this is only one of dozens of terrorist attacks we have foiled around the world. I think that Israeli intelligence must be thanked for protecting not only Israelis but many civilians around the world.”
That’s what Binyamin Netanyahu has revealed today.
To quote the Sydney Morning Herald (one of the Fairfax stable of Aussie newspapers, not known for their love of Israel):
‘His comments, during a speech in Jerusalem to US Jewish leaders, followed a statement from the Israeli army that a branch of military intelligence known as “Unit 8200” had foiled an “aerial attack abroad by Islamic State”.
Israeli media said the army statement referred to an attempted bombing in July of an Etihad Airways flight due to leave Sydney for Abu Dhabi, which was foiled by Australian security forces before the plane took off.
An Australian man had sent his brother to Sydney Airport to catch the flight carrying a home-made bomb disguised as a meat-mincer, built at the direction of a senior Islamic State commander, Australian police said.
He caught the flight without his checked baggage after it was rejected at a Sydney Airport check-in counter because it was too heavy.
He then travelled to Lebanon, the Lebanese interior minister said.
Days after the alleged plot was revealed, Lebanon’s interior minister said Beirut had monitored the brothers for more than a year and had worked with Australian authorities to disrupt the attack.
A number of men were arrested in raids across Sydney last July relating to the alleged plot.
Two have been charged with acting in preparation for, or planning, a terrorist act.’
More of Bibi’s remarks to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations:
“I’ll start with three thank-yous. The first one is to President Trump. This is the first convening of the Conference of Presidents after his historic decision on Jerusalem, which touched all of our hearts. The second thank you is to you for your continual support for the State of Israel over many years. I’ve known it personally. I’ve known you personally. And I know how that animates you and motivates you and forms the essence of your beings. The third thank you is to the Israel intelligence forces. We revealed today that Israel’s intelligence services prevented the shooting down of an Australian airliner, and I can tell you that this is one of many, many such actions that we did preventing terrorism around the world. They deserve all your support, not only for protecting the people of Israel, but protecting people everywhere around the world.
Our relationship with the United States is the indispensable alliance and it is different from anything else. It is an absolute foundation of our security. We enjoy the support of the American people and it’s actually been growing, growing, growing steadily.
I think part of the reason is sitting in this room. Because I think you form the indispensable link to the indispensable alliance. The other is in the people who I just met in the other room. They are Christian friends of Israel, and the others are the broad American public that understands that Israel stands for what America stands. That Israel in many ways is what the enemies of both our countries believe. We’re part and parcel of that same civilization. And I think this alliance is one of the things that makes a better world and a safer world.
I want to thank you for nurturing it. I want to thank you for standing up for Israel, standing by Israel, standing up for the truth time and again.
We’ll meet again next year right here in Jerusalem, the united capital, forever united, of the State of Israel. Thank you for your support. I appreciate it deeply.” (Emphasis added)