Friday, October 25, 2013


This week’s topic comes from Maria.

Retribution. AKA payback’s a bitch.

In 1972 8 members of a Palestinian group called Black September killed a pair r of Israeli athletes in their Olympic Village building and took 9 other athletes & coaches hostage. After a standoff and failed negotiatios the terrorists demanded aircraft to transport the hostages to Cairo.

The German’s had a plan – Operation Sunshine – to attack the terrorists in the building wherein they held their captives but that was dropped when the terrorists learned of the plan via television. Imagine that. A plan was hatched to attack the terrorists on the way to the airport. Again – foiled when the terrorists learned of the attack plan. Finally the Germans decided to attack at the airport.

Upon their arrival to the airport German snipers began firing and a pair of terrorists were killed – along with a German policeman. Within hours the remaining 9 hostages – being held in the helicopters that had transported them – were killed by the terrorists. In the ensuing shootout 3 terrorists survived and were taken into custody. Within 2 months those 3 terrorists were released by the Germans when Black September terrorists hijacked an airplane and threatened to crash same. Their price for the horrific crime – 2 months in a German peison.

Retribution. If the world has learned anything over the last 60 or so years it is that Israel does not take things lying down. They are nothing if not zealous in their responses to actions or perceived threats. Thus were Operation Wrath of God and Operation Bayonet conceived. Authorized by Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir in 1972, the operation is believed to have continued for over 20 years – according to Wikipedia.

Over the years, direct assassinations, letter bombs and the like were the tools of the Israelis and Mossad as they extracted their retribution on Black September. The story has been told on screen and in books . Steven Spielburg’s movie Munich is one such chronicling of the events – based on the 1984 book Vengeance: The True Story of an Israeli Counter-Terrorist Team, by Canadian journalist George Jonas . An interesting film with the usual poetic license taken but well worth watching.

So that’s one example of retribution. I’ll leave it to you to decide if the response was appropriate to the affront. Check out what the other LBC members have to say.


  1. Having lived in a terrorist torn country for thirty six years (and it is not over yet. If anything it is escalating, you just don't hear about it any more.) I have no time for the tit-for-tat carry on of either side. It is a waste of life, and a plug pull on investment, and the cause of young talent leaving to work well away from this corner of Ireland.

    1. I absolutely understand where you are coming from. Part of the reason I have no use for religion actually.

  2. Tricky thing - retribution. As GrannyMar said. Just sticking with your example - where to start? And which retribution to include?

    Back in 1948? Apparently Black September called the attack on the Israeli athletes operation "Ikrit and Biram", after two Christian Palestinian villages whose inhabitants were expelled by the Haganah.

    Leaving aside the assassins killed in Germany or later by the Mossad - should we include the reported 200 people killed in post Munich air attacks on PLO bases in Syria and Lebanon?

    Or the Moroccan man misidentified as one of the Munich gang and killed by the Mossad in Norway?

    On a side note - the whole affair and the aftermath was handled shamefully by the IOC - a longstanding stain only recently addressed.

    1. Paul you picked up on the message - in fact Muslims are blaming much of their current activity on things that happend as far back as the Crusades. One man's retribution is terrorism to another. The other obvious example is our assault on Iraq after yh 9/11 attack. Ultimately Marie is correct but unfortunately those in positions of authority around the world seem to disagree.

  3. Such a sad mark in Olympic history. Evil exists in every nation. It's sad.

  4. That kind of retribution, with which Indians are familiar, becomes a reinforcing loop Shackman. I do not see any ending of the tit for tat that has been going on for what seems to be for ever to me.

  5. I admire a country that takes terrorists head on and doesn't back down - it beats being a soft target any day.