Inside Israel’s National Security Shitshow

With extra blowback coming to a town near you

Thomas Greene
5 min readJun 12, 2024
Our money’s on Hamas (public domain)

Israelis are renowned for their draconian but highly effective national security apparatus. So we would expect them to conduct counterterrorism operations efficiently, effectively, and in furtherance of state security.

Let’s test that. Assume that Israel’s goal is to secure the state effectively against future attacks, as it claims. Whether or not that happens justly or morally is a separate topic about which I’ve made my judgement clear elsewhere. For now, let’s focus on the brass tacks of this so-called counterterror op, and ask, just how competent are these people who presume to teach and train commando units from around the world?

1. Surely, by now, everyone has heard of the “Lavender” AI terrorist-targeting system, which enables the intentional murder of resistance fighters’ families at home. This is more than gratuitous cruelty: from a state security point of view, it’s a monumental blunder. Attacking entire families makes the survivors far more dangerous by taking away all that they’ve personally got to lose. People will fight to protect their society and their families, but they usually try to stay alive so that after the battle they can look after the ones they love.

Destroy their families, and you create a generation of inconsolably resentful enemies ready to die. Blowback from this is inevitable, and not just locally: every state that lends diplomatic cover or military support to Israel will be targeted. I expect to hear of suicide bombings throughout Israel of course, but also in the USA, Germany, and the UK. It won’t start tomorrow, but there’s plenty of time for the walking wounded to recover, organize, and devise various plans and execute them during the course of several years. Every Israeli resident will be appreciably less safe than they were on October sixth. This ironic outcome is guaranteed by the “Lavender” and “Where’s Daddy” AI abominations, the perversity of which was baked in from the start.

Tomorrow’s revenge attackers will enjoy support from Arab and Muslim-majority states that, today, would like to help, but won’t dare antagonize the West and risk the American dollars they rely on by supporting Hamas overtly. They certainly won’t mind helping Palestinians secure some payback via back channels, however. If you’re an ordinary, private citizen of Israel, the USA, the UK, or Germany, understand that you or someone you love might be in a shopping mall or on a subway platform during a seemingly ordinary day a few years hence when the bombs go off, thanks to Israel’s recklessness.

2. Israel’s indiscriminate killing of civilians, especially children, will eventually alienate the Western allies it clings to for survival. When the Israelis finally declare victory and re-open Gaza, it will look much like the liberation of the German extermination camps. Once the horror is exposed, the whole monstrous enterprise will be undeniable. It will be obvious that every inch of Gaza was a free-fire zone from the first day to the last. The hasbara grooming gangs will not be able to spin this one.

The good people of Europe and North America are nothing if not image-conscious, and they will therefore take a decidedly cooler approach to Israeli concerns, lest they be tarred with the same brush. No one will be able to afford, politically, to support a rogue state found guilty of full-on genocide. The model here is South Africa: apartheid was fine until it wasn’t. It turned almost on a dime, and suddenly, in the 1980s, the world couldn’t backpedal away from the National Party regime fast enough.

This will almost certainly happen again — gradually at first, then all at once. Israel’s defense and trade arrangements with the West will be downgraded substantially, and that will mean a weaker, less secure state.

3. Because it is needlessly adversarial — ever the little barking dickhead whose older brother will beat you up — Israel has earned the enmity of nearly everyone in the region. This leaves it vulnerable to a coordinated sneak attack supported by its largely hostile neighbors. A long-term area-denial attack is quite plausible. The sort of budget that a nation-state would consider a bargain could buy enough uranium and quad-copter drones and plastic explosive and bribes and undercover operators to detonate tens of small dirty bombs.

This can be done with minimal human casualties and virtually no direct property damage. Radioactive dust will bring the most harm to those who might ingest or inhale it, although that danger will pass relatively soon. But prolonged exposure to a radioactive environment will dramatically increase the probability of developing cancer for millions of people.

Such an attack could make a city like Tel Aviv uninhabitable for a decade or longer. Some people might never return because they won’t trust government claims that the area has been decontaminated successfully. This would be a devastating economic attack that would cost little in terms of conventional military spending — so, truly asymmetrical.

The uranium is available fairly locally, as are the drones, which won’t be detected in the air because they need only to pop up and explode. It could all be over in an hour’s time. The threat here is immense, although, admittedly, the risk is relatively low.

There are numerous routes to failure for the attackers. The bribery budget would have to be generous, and the smuggling op would have to be quiet, building up slowly and patiently for years, while storage and maintenance would be crazy difficult too — all of which amounts to a severe challenge for the attackers and their sponsors. Nevertheless, I consider this a plausible threat because everything required, including the budget, is available through underground arrangements with states and non-state organizations that would be delighted to see Israel flushed down the cosmic drainpipe once and for all.

So, this is the country that many believe has got the cleverest and most intimidating national defense apparatus in the world. I think it might once have had the cleverest propaganda apparatus in the world, although it really has lost its shine of late.

If you thought Israel had its act together in terms of security, think again; its flailing under pressure and its extravagant, emotional violence betray a very different reality. The Israelis have made a pig’s breakfast of their Swords of Iron operation. Sadly, they will not be the only ones forced to pay for these spectacular blunders.


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