Priceless as it was predictable, terrorist groups reacted to Israel’s recent “Operation Home and Garden” in Jenin by… celebrating their triumph.
That, with the raided city looking, according to journalists, like the aftermath of a major earthquake. And after Israeli security forces located and destroyed several apartments used as terrorist operations command-and-control centers, along with six explosive laboratories. And seized hundreds of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and large amounts of chemicals used to manufacture explosives.
The carefully planned and executed two-day raid resulted in the deaths of 12 local “gunmen,” as the media likes to call them, who earned their fates by attacking Israeli soldiers. It was the most comprehensive operation focused on the terrorist-lousy town in 20 years, different in scale from the regular smaller Israeli incursions into the lawless Arab city to “mow the grass”—arrest individual residents who committed, or were planning to commit, acts of terror.
The recent raid involved some 1,000 soldiers, and utilized tanks, bulldozers and drones. Sometimes the grass needs a full pesticide treatment.
But, as above, reality played little part in the reaction in the homicidal circles.
Secretary-General Ziyad al-Nakhaleh of Palestinian Islamic Jihad announced that “The Palestinian people scored a great victory by defeating the aggression against Jenin and its camp.”
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh claimed the operation “taught the enemy a harsh lesson and made it suffer heavy losses.” (One Israeli soldier was killed during the operation.)
“Jenin has once again defeated the occupation army,” declared Hamas spokesperson Hazem Qassem.
For their part, various Arab and Islamic countries, playing as they must to their “streets,” registered their shock at Israel’s recent action.
The Jordanian Foreign Ministry called the Israeli action “a violation of international humanitarian law and obligations of the occupation.”
Egypt warned that the raid will “fuel tensions, exacerbat[e] the suffering of the Palestinian people and undermin[e] efforts exerted to ease tension in the occupied territories.”
The United Arab Emirates said it “strongly condemns” the Jenin operation; and Turkey called on Israel to “act with common sense and stop such actions.”
And, not to be left out of the chest-beating, the Palestinian Authority—which has long avoided Jenin, ostensibly part of the PA territory, leading to the city’s becoming Terror Central—threatened to halt security cooperation with Israel.
But the US government and Congress (well, with one exception) seemed to see things more clearly.
The State Department, while making the de rigeur nod to the need for “Israeli and Palestinian security forces to work together to improve the security situation,” stated straightforwardly that “We support Israel’s security and right to defend its people against Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and other terrorist groups.”
A number of Congresspeople weighed in similarly. “No country should be forced to stand down when there is overwhelming evidence of planned violence against its citizens,” tweeted Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida.
Ritchie Torres of New York noted the “more than 50 shooting attacks against Israelis” by Jenin-based terrorists, and wrote that “Israel is responding with a counterterrorism operation aimed at surgically removing these terrorists and their terror infrastructure.”
“There’s a word for this: self-defense,” he continued, “which is the right of every sovereign country, including Israel.”
A number of other Congresspeople noted Iran’s role in fomenting and aiding Jenin-based terrorism.
But then, in a surprise to no one who hasn’t been on Mars for the past four years, there was the reaction of Michigan Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib. She saw fit to retweet an Al Jazeera video showing an Israeli bulldozer degrading a street in Jenin (to clear it of IEDs placed under the surface), and lamenting how the action “prevented ambulances from getting to injured people.” Yes, mine-sweeping, like routine road repairs, tends to impede traffic.
Ms. Tlaib was the chamber’s lone denouncer of Israel for removing terrorists and weaponry from Jenin. She called on Congress to “stop funding this violent Israeli apartheid regime.”
Even regular Israel-critics Bernie Sanders, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez were sane enough to stay silent about an operation that surgically targeted people bent on taking innocent lives and destroyed or confiscated their means of murder.
But not Ms. Tlaib.
As Chazal (Sanhedrin 105b) observe, Sinah mevateles shurah shel gedulah—“Hatred undermines the conventional conduct of those of prominence.”
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