Washington Post erases Palestinian terrorists, strips context from IDF’s Jenin operation

Readers deserve better than an article claiming to give background on Jenin that erases Palestinian terrorism, its Israeli victims, and the real reasons behind Israel’s military operation.

By Simon Plosker, Honest Reporting

The Washington Post’s “What is happening in Jenin in the occupied West Bank, and why now?” only ensures readers don’t know what’s happening or why Israel launched its recent military operation in Jenin.

According to journalists Niha Masih and Miriam Berger: “The military incursion on July 3 and 4 into the Jenin camp left 12 Palestinians and one Israeli soldier dead and hundreds of residents injured, displaced thousands more, and destroyed roads and infrastructure throughout the urban slum.”

Who were these 12 Palestinians? The Post fails to mention that all of them were combatants. Despite the IDF’s statement to that effect and Palestinian terror organizations claiming all of the 12, this relevant information does not appear in what is meant to be a backgrounder.

As for the “destroyed roads and infrastructure,” the article fails to note that the destruction resulted from the IDF having to use heavy bulldozers to address the roadside bombs and other ordinances planted by Palestinian terrorists, who deliberately turned civilian areas into military infrastructure, such as a weapons storage facility in a mosque.

The Washington Post does, however, note that “U.N. experts described the Jenin operation as ‘collective punishment‘ for the Palestinian people, amounting to ‘egregious violations of international law.’”

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Who are these so-called UN “experts?” They happen to be led by none other than Special Rapporteur for the Palestinian territories, Francesca Albanese, who has been widely condemned for antisemitism,  sympathizing with terror organizations, dismissing Israeli security concerns, and comparing Israelis to Nazis.

‘Hub of Resistance’

The Post fails to mention that the overwhelming majority of the “more than 150 Palestinians killed by Israelis this year” were either combatants or members of terrorist organizations. It then states: “Palestinian fighters say they need arms to defend themselves against the Israeli occupation and military incursions into the camp, during which Palestinian civilians, including children, have been killed.”

But Palestinian terrorists in Jenin have used their arms not “to defend themselves against the Israeli occupation,” but to launch more than 50 attacks on Israelis, both in the West Bank and inside Israel, aimed mainly at civilians.

The Post also fails to mention the 27 Israelis murdered by Palestinians since the beginning of 2023, nearly all of whom have been civilians.

The “military incursions into the camp” are the direct result of these terror attacks, prompting the IDF to root out the nest of terrorism. Tragically, children have been killed but the Post fails to mention that some of these minors were 16 and 17-year-old combatants, sent by terrorist organizations to be used as child soldiers.

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Instead, without the context of the Palestinian wave of terror that necessitated military action, the Post simply says that “Since last spring, the Israeli military has been launching near-daily raids on Palestinian villages and towns; its operations in Jenin have been among the most brazen and deadly.”

Indeed, Palestinian terrorism is remarkably absent from the Washington Post’s historical overview. Jenin is, according to the Post, “known as a hub of armed Palestinian resistance.”

The sad reality is that Jenin is known as a hub of terrorism dominated by terror organizations such as Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, proscribed by most Western states. Their stated aims to murder Israelis and Jews and destroy Israel in its entirety are not simply “resistance” as the Post claims.

‘Clamping Down’ on Palestinians

Referring to the Oslo Accords, the backgrounder contends: “Instead of Palestinian statehood, fighting continued. Israeli forces retook control of the [Jenin] camp for more than one week in 2002, during a deadly raid that leveled much of the camp as part of a wider clampdown.”

Fighting did not simply continue after Oslo. Israelis were subjected to a massive campaign of Palestinian terrorism, including deadly suicide bombings that finally forced the Israeli government to launch Operation Defensive Shield in 2002. This was not a “wider clampdown” but a military operation to restore security for Israeli civilians who were being killed and injured on a near daily basis.

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The Washington Post’s theme of erasing Palestinian terrorism from the Israeli motivation to deal with Jenin continues: “Once-fringe Jewish supremacists and settler activists now have key roles in Netanyahu’s government overseeing policing and policies concerning Palestinians and the West Bank. Netanyahu, who needs to stay in power to fight corruption charges, is under increasing political pressure to clamp down on Palestinians.”

So, in the Post’s eyes, the violence is a result not of Palestinian terrorism (that predated this Israeli government) but of simple politics, and “pressure to clamp down on Palestinians.” It falsely claims the target is not Palestinian terrorism but Palestinians in general, adding an additional layer of malevolence to Israeli government motivations.

Where the Post does eventually mention Palestinian terrorism, it does so in the context of a false moral equivalence between attacks on Israeli civilians and Israeli responses. A Palestinian car-ramming attack in Tel Aviv and Hamas rockets fired from Gaza are part of a “familiar tit-for-tat [that] accompanied Israel’s attacks on Jenin.”

Washington Post readers deserve better than an article claiming to give background on Jenin that erases Palestinian terrorism, its Israeli victims, and the real reasons behind Israel’s military operation.