Intellectual Failure Alongside Israeli Intelligence Lapses: Experts Analyze October 7th Attack and Ensuing Conflict


Chandigarh : The October 7 mayhem unleashed by Hamas in Israel was a total failure of Israeli agencies to act in time, both at the intelligence and intellectual level. The views were echoed by experts here today during a panel discussion on the second and concluding day on the 7th Military Literature Festival 2023.

The session on ‘The Israel-Hamas War and its diplomatic and military lessons for India’ was amongst the most engrossing discussions with noted speakers including veteran of Israeli defence forces Rafi Sella involved in design and manufacturing of the Merkava Tank for special operation forces, and noted editor and history buff Sushant Sareen.

Moderated by former Western Army Commander Lieutenant General K J Singh, the session evoked insightful observations with strategic affair analyst Sushant Sareen rejecting the failure as merely from the standpoint of intelligence.

It is fashionable and always convenient to pin blame on the intelligence failure. Intelligence works up to a point and in this case there was intelligence about Hamas plans but this was a greater failure in the sense that of anticipation of what a terrorist would do. Juxtaposing it with 9/11 attacks on the US soil, Sareen said had anyone remarked that US planes would be hijacked in this manner everyone would have laughed that out, while underlining that greater threat is to counter the ideology of a terrorist organisation than just shadow boxing to annihilate the physical infrastructure of the militants.

In a sense, just like 9/11 was a victory for Osama for he managed to spread his dangerous ideology, the October 7 is a victory of Hamas if actions are not taken to oust these organisations intellectually too, Sareen said further.Delving into the realm of fixing failure in the political class, Israeli analyst Rafi Sela said that the centrality of decision making in Israel was a major factor.

The Prime Minister was on a vacation that day and he took close to 7-8 hours before reaching the command position, Sela said underlining that it is the PM without whose orders military decisions are not possible.

On the alteration in the Middle Eastern landscape due to the Israeli reaction, experts were of the opinion that there has been a near irrevocable situation with no chance of peace return in the close future. Israel will finish the task of eradicating Hamas even at the cost of upsetting its equation with the US, Sela remarked.

On the issue of conspiracy theories on social media about Israel staging these attacks, just like US was alleged to have done 9/11 on themselves, the panellists debunked it as a wasteful norm in this age of hyper social media activity. There is a social media trend of dumbing down everything these days which we all must avoid, Sareen said while particularly addressing the youngsters in the large audience.






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