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Critics Miss Main Conclusion In Jenin Operation

The fighting offers a preview of the implications of a Palestinian state next to Israel.

Critics of Israel’s government—both domestic and foreign—are right to describe the operation in Jenin as not providing a definitive answer to the problem of terrorism. But they are missing the main conclusion that should be drawn. Far from all these troubling events making it even clearer that the world must pressure Israel to accept a Palestinian state next to Israel, the fighting actually provides us with a preview of what such a scheme would mean for both sides.

Jenin, which under the “anybody but Bibi” coalition that led Israel for 18 months in 2021 and 2022 had become a mini-Gaza—a no-go zone for both the Palestinian Authority and Israeli forces. The terrorist stronghold is dominated by Hamas and the radical Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and bolstered by funding from their Iranian ally. Unlike Gaza, Israeli ground forces can still move into Jenin. But the Israel Defense Forces’ operation, which by all accounts was a major tactical success leading to the deaths of terrorists and the degrading of their infrastructure, was still much like other periodic efforts undertaken by the military in Gaza to “mow the grass” in that it provided merely temporary relief.

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM – JULY 05: People gather to protest against Israel’s airstrikes and raids on Jenin at Israel Embassy in London, United Kingdom on July 05, 2023. PHOTO BY RASID NECATI ASLIM/GETTY IMAGES 

The increase in bloody attacks on Jews in the territories, as well as in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and other parts of the country the international community recognizes as part of the Jewish state, is most often credited to anger about the continued Jewish presence in those “settlements” or because of some illegal and deplorable reprisal attacks carried out by “settlers” against Arabs.

In particular, Washington’s recent decision to cease scientific and technological cooperation with Israeli institutions in Judea and Samaria like Ariel University does more to fuel violence than building homes for Jews in the region. This embrace of a BDS-style boycott sends a signal to the groups it labels as terrorists and their supporters that they must continue fighting rather than giving up.

Above all, those who deplore both Israeli and Palestinian actions as equally wrong are ignoring the plain evidence that rather the end the conflict, making Jenin a place where Israeli forces would be as unable to enter in the future as Gaza would simply replicate the same situation as currently exists in the Strip. Rather than gaining support because of Abbas’s failure to create a state, Hamas and PIJ are on the rise because they promise to keep fighting Israel until it is destroyed. Two states do not correlate into peace. It would simply make Israel’s already difficult security dilemma even more dangerous.


Produced in association with Jewish News Syndicate

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