NETU’A, Israel—Two Israeli illusions burst on Saturday—a warm and spring-like day in which droves made the trek north here to the Galilee, a parcel of green hills and valleys currently swathed in a Klimt-like blanket of wild flowers, with falcons and cranes gliding by.
The first bit of artifice to bite the dust was that Israel will be able, in the long-term, to remain untouched by the Syrian civil war that continues to tear its northern neighbor apart.
The second shattered mirage was the hope, propagated as truth by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, that the United States under President Donald Trump remains Israel’s most reliable ally.
Twelve hours after Iran and Israel engaged in the first actual military skirmish in their troubled history, which ended with a downed Israeli F-16, the U.S. president remained silent.
Israel’s weekend quiet ended at 4:15 a.m., when air raid sirens sounded in the southern Galilee agricultural communities of Beit Shean, triggered by a winged Iranian drone launched from Syria which flew into Israeli airspace with the apparent aim of collecting intelligence.
Israeli army spokesperson Lt. Jonathan Conricus speculated in a conversation with journalists that “whoever sent it may have thought we’re not alert on Saturdays,” the Jewish Sabbath.
According to the Israeli army, the drone was tracked from its Syrian launchpad and allowed to fly over Israel for about 90 seconds before being shot down by Apache helicopters