The Bloody and Futile Life of a Palestinian Terrorist Mastermind

In July, Ahmad Jibril, the founder and leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine–General Command (PFLFP–GC)—an offshoot of the once-Marxist PFLP—died in Syria of natural causes. Ksenia Svetlova, who interviewed him in 2006, reflects on his career:

Years before Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad were established, Jibril was the innovator and trendsetter among other terrorist organizations. His PFLP–GC was the first to use “living bombs” and to find a justification for suicide bombings in Muslim jurisprudence. In 1982 his organization demanded the release of 1,182 Palestinian and international prisoners in exchange for captured Israelis, setting a precedent that came to haunt Israel more than once since then. [He] ended up with the shadowy remnants of his once-proud organization fighting with Bashar al-Assad’s army against other Palestinians in Yarmouk camp [in Damascus] and dying an old man.

During the 1970s, when Palestinian terrorist organizations were operating freely from southern Lebanon, Jibril’s organization—believing that the PLO leadership was “too soft”—carried out several massacres [in northern Israel], notably the Avivim school-bus massacre in 1970 and the Kiryat Shmona massacre in 1974. During that interview in Damascus in 2006, Jibril’s eyes practically lit when he spoke of the Kiryat Shmona “operation,” in which terrorists from southern Lebanon entered a residential building and murdered eighteen men, women, and children.

While [Jibril] was busy producing advanced terror techniques and sending the bill to the Syrian regime, Israel was busy generating real innovations, in medicine, science, and high-tech. His political and military career had reached a cul-de-sac as his violent operations . . . did not promote the Palestinian cause of liberation and the establishment of an independent state even by one inch. His violent activity did not weaken Israel, and today the Jewish state is much more powerful—and accepted by much of the Arab world—than it was a few decades ago.

Read more at Jerusalem Strategic Tribune

More about: Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Palestinian terror, PFLP, Syria

American Aid to Lebanon Is a Gift to Iran

For many years, Lebanon has been a de-facto satellite of Tehran, which exerts control via its local proxy militia, Hizballah. The problem with the U.S. policy toward the country, according to Tony Badran, is that it pretends this is not the case, and continues to support the government in Beirut as if it were a bulwark against, rather than a pawn of, the Islamic Republic:

So obsessed is the Biden administration with the dubious art of using taxpayer dollars to underwrite the Lebanese pseudo-state run by the terrorist group Hizballah that it has spent its two years in office coming up with legally questionable schemes to pay the salaries of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), setting new precedents in the abuse of U.S. foreign security-assistance programs. In January, the administration rolled out its program to provide direct salary payments, in cash, to both the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and the Internal Security Forces (ISF).

The scale of U.S. financing of Lebanon’s Hizballah-dominated military apparatus cannot be understated: around 100,000 Lebanese are now getting cash stipends courtesy of the American taxpayer to spend in Hizballah-land. . . . This is hardly an accident. For U.S. policymakers, synergy between the LAF/ISF and Hizballah is baked into their policy, which is predicated on fostering and building up a common anti-Israel posture that joins Lebanon’s so-called “state institutions” with the country’s dominant terror group.

The implicit meaning of the U.S. bureaucratic mantra that U.S. assistance aims to “undermine Hizballah’s narrative that its weapons are necessary to defend Lebanon” is precisely that the LAF/ISF and the Lebanese terror group are jointly competing to achieve the same goals—namely, defending Lebanon from Israel.

Read more at Tablet

More about: Hizballah, Iran, Israeli Security, Lebanon, U.S. Foreign policy