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Op-Ed: The Plot Thickens in Gaza and Iran, Undeterred by Biden

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On the afternoon of Aug. 5, Israeli fighter jets screamed toward the Gaza Strip.

An air strike operation that lasted less than three minutes successfully eliminated Tayseer Jabari, a top commander of the terrorist organization known as the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, as well as several squads of Gazan militants en route to attack Jewish targets along the border. Leading up to the airstrike, Israeli forces had already arrested Bassam al-Saadi, the leader of the PIJ in the Yehudah v’ Shomron region, also referred to as the West Bank.

The conflict escalated as the PIJ commenced the firing of over 1,000 rockets and mortars into Israeli territory. While most were intercepted by the world-famous Iron Dome defense system, there was some wounding of civilians and soldiers as well as damage to Jewish infrastructure.

Hundreds of terrorist rockets landed within the Gaza Strip, never even entering Israeli territory. Instead, the PIJ killed and maimed their own Palestinian Arab civilians with the poorly aimed and/or malfunctioning rockets. The Hamas-led Gazan Ministry of Health claimed that Israel was responsible, but Israeli officials immediately released video evidence that Gazan terrorists had bombed their own population — presumably by mistake — and then falsely blamed Israeli forces.

I watched outside of my apartment window as more Israeli jets soared overhead. A few miles to the west, air raid sirens blared, warning of incoming rockets that might not be destroyed mid-flight by the Iron Dome. Being a special forces reservist in the Israel Defense Force, I noted that Defense Minister Benny Gantz had authorized the possible deployment of 25,000 reservists. I established communication with my commanding officer and awaited my orders.

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Sixty-six hours after the conflict dubbed by Israel as “Operation: Breaking Dawn” had begun, it ended abruptly. A cease-fire had been enacted in record time. It ostensibly went into effect at 11:30 p.m. on Aug. 7 — with the PIJ firing barrages of rockets just after that time to get the last word in.

While those in America and other Western countries might not understand the ramifications of this three-day mini-war, there is much more at play behind the scenes that is contextual common knowledge to Israelis.

The PIJ has an arrangement with Hamas that is often misunderstood by the West. The PIJ is essentially a sub-contracted terrorist organization operating at the behest of Hamas, doing their dirty work similar to a hitman.

The purpose of this cooperation is to enable Hamas, the official leadership of Gaza, to conduct terror attacks against Israel while supposedly maintaining deniability of any involvement to the international community. Then, when Israel strikes back in self-defense, Hamas screams that they are the victims of “unprovoked violence.” After all, Hamas claims, it wasn’t them; it was their “rogue” subordinate allies, the PIJ, that attacked Israel (with weapons and funding provided by both Hamas and Iran). So how dare the IDF return fire and hold Hamas equally responsible?

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The “logic” is akin to a husband hiring a hitman to murder his wife and then complaining when he is arrested for murder along with the hitman. As ridiculous as it is, this is the rhetoric that echoes throughout the United Nations, liberal college campuses, social media forums and beyond in condemnation of the Jewish state seeking to defend itself from wave upon wave of terrorist violence.

Quite notably, the general-secretary and top leader of the PIJ, Ziad Nakhaleh, was in Tehran when Operation: Breaking Dawn began. He was meeting with Gen. Hossein Salami, the head of the powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and a key comrade-in-arms of the now-deceased Gen. Qassem Soleimani — the international terrorist assassinated in January 2020 at the order of then-President Donald J. Trump despite unfathomable protests from leaders in the Democratic Party.

Just a month ago, President Joe Biden visited the Jewish state, meeting with Israeli leadership in Jerusalem. Interim Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid announced, “Words will not stop [Iran], Mr. President. Diplomacy will not stop them. … The only way to stop them is to put a credible military threat on the table.”

Biden, however, disagreed and publicly refuted the Israeli premier.

“I continue to believe that diplomacy is the best way to achieve this outcome,” Biden countered.

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Here in Israel, we are all painfully aware of how woefully ineffective the Biden administration’s “diplomacy” has been, including with Russian President Vladimir Putin. And former President Barack Obama’s methodology of shipping pallets of cash to Iran did little more than bolster its nuclear ambitions and fund international terrorism.

The concept of firm and credible deterrence seems to be completely lost on the leading members of the Democratic Party. Even left-wing Israeli political leaders are pleading with Biden to immediately change course, but seemingly to no avail.

When we string together these contextual items, we begin to see a picture in which Iran — undaunted and even emboldened by Biden’s “diplomacy” of appeasement and visible weakness — is openly working with Hamas and their hitman, the PIJ. The implication is that Iran might be seeking to incite a Middle Eastern war using Hamas’ standard tactics of nonsense rhetoric falsely portraying Israel as the villain and thus justifying aggression.

In response, the IDF preemptively scrambled to arrest or assassinate key PIJ leadership and mitigate terror operations already in process and thereby thwart the plans of Palestinian Arab terrorists and even Iran itself — whatever those may be.

Normally, cease-fire agreements between Israel and Gazan terrorists take days or weeks to be agreed upon. In this case, it was a matter of hours before the IDF agreed to back down mid-assault. In over 15 years of service in the IDF, I have only seen this phenomenon occur once before.

While actively fighting in Gaza during Operation: Cast Lead at the beginning of 2009, I and my fellow combatants were ordered by Israeli political leadership to halt and depart without delay. We were informed that U.S. President-elect Barack Obama had demanded that we stop our highly successful counter-terror operation immediately as he prepared for his inauguration and the commencement of the Obama-Biden administration.

The left-wing Israeli prime minister at the time, Ehud Olmert, buckled with little to no resistance. Within a few hours, thousands of IDF personnel abandoned our in-process combat missions, and we trekked silently out of the Gaza Strip along a dark, starlit beach in an unending double column.

Now, in 2022, Israel fights a terrorist organization in direct communication with the leader of the Iranian IRGC a mere three weeks after Biden insisted that diplomacy — not military action — was the only acceptable means of repelling Tehran. In a matter of hours, the left-wing Israeli prime minister cancels all military action in a manner oddly reminiscent of the Obama-demanded Israeli withdrawal of 2009. Is this a mere coincidence? While there are no publicly released statements or records that I am aware of, we can all form our own opinions on the matter.

Interestingly enough, I recently wrote and published a novel called “The American Holocaust: Early Tomorrow Morning” that describes in detail the PIJ and its relationship to Hamas and a nuclear-ambitious Iran. The book addresses how these terrorist organizations receive funding and direction from Iran and explains how they operate in the Gaza Strip, including the ostensibly accidental bombing of their own civilians followed by false accusations against Israel.

Has my thriller novel turned out to be pseudo-prophetic? Hardly, unfortunately. This is a tired old tune that we in Israel (and especially those of us who serve in the military) are all too familiar with.

In Israel, we have an expression that counter-terror military operations in the Gaza Strip are nothing more than mowing the lawn. It’s only a matter of time before the Palestinian Arab terrorists gear up for another round of fighting. And with the Biden administration failing to deter anyone besides young girls who dislike being sniffed by a dementia-ridden elderly man, the proverbial writing is on the wall regarding an immense conflict in the Middle East — very possibly involving nuclear weapons.

All we can do is hope and pray that the plot of my thriller novel remains the stuff of fiction and imagination, but so far we are not off to a good start.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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