Whether terrorists are in Jenin, three miles from Israel’s border; or Somalia, 7,000 miles from America, they must be pursued.
By Stephen M. Flatow/JPost.com
Israel’s pursuit of terrorists into the Palestinian Authority city of Jenin this week echoes the Biden administration’s ongoing policy of sending US troops into other countries in pursuit of terrorists.
Israel’s leaders know that US forces killed Bilal al-Sudani and 10 other ISIS terrorists in Somalia on January 25. “This action leaves the United States and its partners safer and more secure,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said.
Secretary Austin was absolutely right. Whether terrorists are in Jenin, three miles from Israel’s border; or Somalia, 7,000 miles from America, they must be pursued.
Israel was watching when the US carried out airstrikes on Iran-backed terrorists in Syria on March 23, killing 11 of them. US President Joe Biden said the airstrikes demonstrated his commitment to the principle that the US government must be “prepared to act forcefully to protect our people.”
Biden was right. Whether the terrorists are in Syria, 6,000 miles from the US; or in Jenin, 10 miles from the Israeli city of Afula, every government must act forcefully to protect its people.
Israel surely was paying attention when a US drone strike in northwestern Syria killed ISIS terrorist Khalid Ayyd Ahmad Al-Jabouri on April 3. A Pentagon statement said the killing was justified because it “will temporarily disrupt the organization’s ability to plot external attacks.”
Which, of course, is exactly what Israel is doing when it sends its troops into PA cities such as Jenin. Disrupting enemy attacks saves lives.
The Israelis were well aware that US-led troops killed senior ISIS terrorist Abd-al-Hadi Mahmoud al-Haji Ali, and two other terrorists, near the Syrian-Turkish border on April 17. “Our forces have removed another dangerous terrorist from the battlefield,” Maj.-Gen. Matthew McFarlane announced.
Every American should be grateful to McFarlane. Just as every Israeli undoubtedly is grateful to Israel’s generals for removing dangerous Palestinian Arab terrorists from the battlefield.
The Biden administration’s military actions against terrorists in other countries don’t often make the front pages. But they are taking place constantly, nonetheless.
US Central Command publishes, on its web site, a monthly summary of these counter-terror actions, called “CENTCOM Month in Review: The Fight Against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.” The latest edition, published on June 6, describes a series of US assaults that dwarf Israel’s actions in PA territory.
In the month of May alone, according to CENTCOM, US-led forces carried out no less than 21 operations against ISIS terrorists based in Iraq. Six terrorists were killed, and 11 more were captured.
That same month, US-led forces undertook an additional 17 operations in Syrian territory. They killed two ISIS terrorists and apprehended 20. That’s a total of 38 US-led anti-terror operations on foreign soil in just 30 days.
Unlike the Biden administration and its predecessors, which have kept US troops stationed in the Middle East for decades, Israel doesn’t station any troops in PA territory. That’s because the Israelis withdrew all their troops from those regions in 1995, in exchange for the PA’s commitment – in the Oslo accords – to arrest and disarm terrorists, extradite them to Israel, and outlaw terrorist groups. But the PA has not taken any of those required actions.
Israel agreed to let the PA establish a 10,000-man security force. The PA has expanded it to 30,000, making it one of the largest per capita security forces in the world. The US has trained and armed the PA forces. Yet the PA still refuses to honor its Oslo obligation to pursue the terrorists.
So Israel pursues them, because it has no choice. Surely the Biden administration, which is pursuing terrorists daily, thousands of miles from home, can understand that.
The writer is president-elect of the Religious Zionists of America. He is the father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered in an Iranian-sponsored Palestinian terrorist attack in 1995 and the author of A Father’s Story: My Fight for Justice Against Iranian Terror.