The United Nations and the Press Snap into Action to Condemn Israel

During and after the IDF’s brief surgical campaign against Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) in the Gaza Strip, “the usual suspects”—as Richard Kemp terms them—rushed to express their dissatisfaction with the Jewish state. The condemnations began with the initial strike that killed Tayseer al-Jabari, the terrorist group’s senior figure in Gaza. Kemp writes:

UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland was “deeply concerned” by “the targeted killing today of a Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader inside Gaza.” . . . Wennesland’s “deep concern” was aggravated by comments from Francesca Albanese, UN special rapporteur on the “Occupied Palestinian Territories,” who managed in one tweet both to condemn Israel and contort its actions into a darkly malign parody of reality—so far, so UN. [Without evidence], she claimed that Israel’s actions were to “deter Islamic Jihad’s possible retaliation for its leader’s arrest,” going on to describe the strikes as “flagrant aggression” in breach of international law.

This is pure fiction. Israel has not claimed its operation in Gaza—codenamed Breaking Dawn—is to deter. The government has made it clear that the strikes were to prevent an imminent threat to the Israeli population. It had hard intelligence that PIJ, led by Jabari, was planning attacks across the border from Gaza. Protecting its people from violent external attack is not only permitted under international law, it is the duty of every government. If deterrence of such attacks were possible, Israel would have taken action to deter.

Jabari’s illegal attacks were to be in retaliation for the IDF’s arrest of Bassam al-Saadi in Jenin last week. Saadi is the leader of PIJ in Judea and Samaria, and since May last year he has been consolidating his terrorist bases there, bringing together an assortment of other terror gangs including Hamas, the Fatah-linked al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

This left PIJ’s city strongholds, mainly in the north, largely ungovernable by the Palestinian Authority, with their Kalashnikovs calling the shots and PA security forces afraid to enter. The deteriorating situation contributed much to the wave of terrorist attacks against Israelis that [left] nineteen dead in March and April this year.

Read more at Gatestone

More about: Gaza Strip, Israeli Security, Laws of war, United Nations


Only Hamas’s Defeat Can Pave the Path to Peace

Opponents of the IDF’s campaign in Gaza often appeal to two related arguments: that Hamas is rooted in a set of ideas and thus cannot be defeated militarily, and that the destruction in Gaza only further radicalizes Palestinians, thus increasing the threat to Israel. Rejecting both lines of thinking, Ghaith al-Omar writes:

What makes Hamas and similar militant organizations effective is not their ideologies but their ability to act on them. For Hamas, the sustained capacity to use violence was key to helping it build political power. Back in the 1990s, Hamas’s popularity was at its lowest point, as most Palestinians believed that liberation could be achieved by peaceful and diplomatic means. Its use of violence derailed that concept, but it established Hamas as a political alternative.

Ever since, the use of force and violence has been an integral part of Hamas’s strategy. . . . Indeed, one lesson from October 7 is that while Hamas maintains its military and violent capabilities, it will remain capable of shaping the political reality. To be defeated, Hamas must be denied that. This can only be done through the use of force.

Any illusions that Palestinian and Israeli societies can now trust one another or even develop a level of coexistence anytime soon should be laid to rest. If it can ever be reached, such an outcome is at best a generational endeavor. . . . Hamas triggered war and still insists that it would do it all again given the chance, so it will be hard-pressed to garner a following from Palestinians in Gaza who suffered so horribly for its decision.

Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict