Retired IDF colonel talks about Syria


On Oct. 31, retired IDF Col. Kobi Marom spoke to members of the community,  including Jewish Alliance staff and members of the Community Relations Council of the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island.  

In his speech at the Dwares JCC, Marom discussed the current geo-political situation around the world and in the Middle East, focusing on the tragedy of the Syrian civil war, the threat Hezbollah poses to Israel now and in the future, as well as the operations of groups like al-Qaida and ISIS. 

When speaking about the Syrian civil war, Marom said, “It is not a civil war, it is a terrible genocide. More than 700,000 people have lost their lives during this war, with over 1 million injured. There are currently 9 million refugees.” 

Mentioning the now famous photo of a bloodied child in Aleppo, Marom said, “There are thousands of children who have lost their lives in this terrible war, and nobody cares.”

Marom also touched on the threat Hezbollah poses to Israel. “Today, Hezbollah has over 100,000 short-range missiles,” he said. “These missiles have the capability to reach all of Israel.” In a future conflict, Marom said, “It is estimated that they [Hezbollah] will launch at least 1,500 missiles per day at Israel.” 

Marom had a long IDF career highlighted by the 1984 mission known as “Operation Moses.” During this operation, he led Israeli soldiers in the rescue of Ethiopian Jews from the Sudan, and then safely escorted them back to Israel. He is currently a research associate at the International Institute for Counter Terrorism of the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Israel. 

Some in the audience had traveled to Israel on the Alliance’s November 2015 interfaith mission. Colonel Marom led the group on a tour of the Golan Heights during their visit, forging a strong bond that eventually led to his trip to Rhode Island. 

According to Marom, when American Jews visit Israel and the Golan Heights, it “gives us [Israelis] the feeling that we are one strong Jewish family.” 

Kobi Marom, Israel