(August 9, Washington, DC) Over the past 4 days, approximately 1,100 rockets have been launched from Gaza into Israel at the hands of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, (PIJ), an Iranian sponsored terrorist group. Israelis from the south in Sderot to central Israel in Tel Aviv had 15 seconds in the south to 60 seconds in Tel Aviv to run into their shelters and sealed rooms. For the past few days, the citizens of the southern town of Sderot have been living in their sealed rooms.

First of all, we would like to thank the US Congress for continuing to support Israel’s “Iron Dome” Missile Defense System. As of today, not a single Israeli citizen or civilian has been killed or injured because of this system, and we have the US Congress to thank for that.

The United Nation Security Council is scheduled to hold a closed-door session on Monday morning to discuss the matter. We know that according to Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, every single member nation has the right to protect and defend its citizens from attack. One should also note that Palestinian Islamic Jihad is listed as a terrorist organization by the United Nations, as well as by the US State Department.

On Friday, August 5, Tor Wennesland, UN Special Coordinator for Mideast Peace, issued a statement expressing concern over the “ongoing escalation between Palestinian militants and Israel, including the targeted killing today of a Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader inside Gaza”, and “calling on all sides to prevent further escalation.”

We have also been horrified to read 3 American major newspapers, on Saturday: The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The New York Times, whose headlines were, respectively, “Israeli Strikes Kill 10 in the Gaza Strip” in Gaza”, “Israeli airstrikes kill militant leader in Gaza”, and “Israeli Fires on Gaza, Prompting Rocket Barrage and Ending Relative Calm.”

Missing from these headlines were any journalistic professional standards of balance, a complete display of media bias and an utter lack of context about the circumstances leading up to this war.

The following is the context, so flagrantly absent from these major American newspapers: Israeli Intelligence experts had warned the Israeli government for weeks that PIJ has been amassing anti-tank missiles around Israeli’s border with Gaza, preparing for an imminent strike on Israeli communities.

Last Monday, August 1st, a senior leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad was arrested by the Israelis. Operational activities in retaliation to this attack were expected. On Wednesday August 3rd, Bassam el-Sa’adi, the Head of PIJ in the Palestinian controlled areas of Judea and Samaria, (or the West Bank), was arrested. Israeli intelligence knew that PIJ was planning to retaliate. On Friday, August 5th, the first day of “Operation Breaking Dawn”, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, met with PIJ Secretary General Ziyad al Nakhari. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has been dubbed by the Iranian people as “The Butcher of Tehran” for his mass extrajudicial executions of thousands of political prisoners-including young children, in 1988.

PIJ leader Ziyad al Nakhari was elected Secretary General of PIJ in 1995. He has been designated as a Specially Designated Terrorist by the U.S. government, meaning his travel to the United States is prohibited, his property and assets here are frozen, and the US Government has offered a $5million award for information leading to his arrest. In addition, many of PIJ’s top military commanders in Gaza have been killed by the IDF, including Tayseer Jabari and Khaled Mansour.

Egyptian negotiators seemed to have brokered a tenuous ceasefire. It looks, at this point that it had held through the night, although a few missiles were launched from Gaza to Ashkelon, Sderot and Beer Sheba, but the Israeli government has asked people in and around those cities to remain indoors. At this point, the ceasefire is holding tenuously.

On August 1st, President Biden triumphantly announced the killing of Al Qaeda leader, Ayman al -Zawahiri, by a US drone. There has been no known evidence that Al Qaeda is amassing anti-missile tanks s and rockets around US population centers. Yet, the United States, as well as the European Union, Great Britain and France have called for “restraint.”

Says Sarah Stern, Founder and President of EMET, “It is far time for the international community, the United Nations and the Western Media look at the facts fairly, accurately and objectively. How would they react if they, or their loved ones, had mere seconds to run into their sealed rooms? How would we, in the United States react, if missiles were flying into our communities from Canada or Mexico? Every nation maintains the right to protect their civilian population. There is absolutely no moral equivalence between a known terrorist organization and an army trying to defend its citizens from terrorist attack.”

About the Author

Sarah Stern
Sarah Stern is founder and president of the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET).

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