Looking back at Osirak

Israel’s 1981 operation destroying Iraq’s Osirak nuclear reactor is the subject of a fascinating column by Jerusalem Post editor David Horovitz. Horovitz shows what a difficult and near-run thing the operation was, “though perceived as peerlessly clinical.” And yet, he also shows, “compared to the challenge that Israel would face if it attempted something similar against Iran’s nuclear facilities, Osirak was a walk in the park.”

Toward the end of the column, Horovitz provides an update on a few of the key players in the Osirak operation:

Interestingly, 27 years later, Amos Yadlin, the pilot who cut in under his commander’s slightly errant F-16 to drop the first pair of bombs on Osirak, is now Maj.-Gen. Yadlin, head of IDF Military Intelligence.

Interestingly, too, David Ivri – the IAF commander who oversaw the Osirak raid, subsequently served as Israel’s ambassador to the US and is now Boeing’s Israel representative – is currently refusing to give interviews, as are many of the senior Israeli military figures who might have keen insights into the challenge posed by Iran’s nuclear drive.

Horovitz cites and relies on Rodger Claire’s Raid on the Sun for much of the story he tells.

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