Back in 2000, I was a madricha on a summer program called Achvah (a National Council of Young Israel Youth program). It was a 6 week camp for 16 year olds to tour and see modern day Israel.
The tour organizer somehow got Achvah ’00 the opportunity to see an Israeli Air force base somewhere near Mitzpeh Ramon. We were warned not to bring in any cameras, for then they would be confiscated as would the film be (and all of the camp pictures).
The kids were a bit excited but I was beaming with excitement. I am aware of how secure these bases are… and I have a serious fascination with fighter planes, especially those with the Israeli Air force insignia on it. The base took our program into one of the hangars with real F-16’s. This was the “garage” for the F-16’s. The soldier explained that these planes were still are very expensive so instead of buying new planes when new models come out… they refit the old bodies with the newest technologies. The hangar had 4 or 5 F-16’s. Some of the planes had markings on the side of the noses…. like a huge dot on them. And one of them had this weird picture of what looked like a house with a smokestack attached to it. One of the kids pointed out the weird looking house to the soldier. He gathered the entire group together and asked if anyone remembered the bombing of the Iraqi nuclear power plant back in 1981 and only the counselors raised their hands (the campers were born 3 years after the bombing occurred). He explained that we were touching the actual plane that dropped the bomb on the Iraqi nuclear power plant. Most of the kids didn’t truly understand the significance of what stood right in front of them but at that moment, I realized in awe what our army would do to protect our country. The world condemned the bombing yet Israel would not apologize for what they knew was necessary for the survival of this country.
I will always remember the day that I touched the F-16 plane that destroyed the Iraqi nuclear facility.
Attached is the video of the Israeli raid on the Iraqi nuclear power plant. It is a 45 minute historical film on the events that lead up to that day.