Unmasking Distortions: A Response to Recent Unsettling Commentary on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

The audacity of some writers, their disregard for the truth, and their shocking insensitivity can sometimes leave us speechless. A recent commentary piece penned by Tareq Baconi, head of al-Shabaka, the Palestinian Policy Network, exemplifies such an instance. In a lengthy write-up, Baconi essentially suggests that Israelis deserve the violence perpetuated by Palestinian terrorists.

In his piece, Baconi ostensibly endorses violent acts committed by Palestinians against innocent and unarmed Israelis. Citing the recent counterterrorism operations in Jenin, Baconi describes acts of terrorism as “months of armed resistance against Israeli settlers.” His disconcerting stance becomes even clearer as he recounts the actions of Raad Khazem, a 28-year-old from Jenin, who took the lives of three Israelis in a crowded Tel Aviv bar.

However, the article doesn’t stop at justifying terrorism. It also employs a concoction of misinformation and falsehoods to paint Israel’s operations in Jenin as an insidious plan to prevent the Palestinians from achieving statehood. He outrageously claims that Israel has been undermining the two-state solution, ignoring the numerous comprehensive peace deals offered and rejected since 2005.

Baconi’s narrative also falters on the topic of Gaza. Misrepresenting the disengagement from the coastal enclave in 2005, he suggests that Israel is somehow still “occupying” Gaza. His assertion of a “hermetic blockade” by Israel, including “food restriction policies,” conveniently omits the fact that Israel must inspect all goods entering Gaza to prevent the smuggling of terrorist munitions.

Baconi’s portrayal of Hamas, the ruling party in Gaza, as a resistance force against Israeli occupation is another distortion of the truth. Hamas’s history is riddled with indiscriminate rocket attacks on Israeli towns and cities, a far cry from a peaceful “resistance.”

He further mischaracterizes Israeli counterterrorism operations as a strategy to “weaken Palestinian resistance.” His claims of deliberate destruction of utilities, such as water and electricity supplies, fail to consider the unfortunate damage incurred during Israeli operations to neutralize IEDs planted by terrorists in civilian areas.

One of the most outrageous elements in Baconi’s commentary is the comparison of Palestinians to Ukrainians defending their country against Russian aggression. The situations are incomparable: Ukrainians are not launching rockets or suicide attacks on Russian civilians.

While the writer is entitled to his opinion, when these distortions and misrepresentations are presented as facts, it discredits the very essence of balanced and unbiased journalism.

However, it is crucial to remember, amid all this confusion, the essence of Israel’s mission. Israel strives to protect its citizens from harm, uphold the sanctity of life, and pursue peace even in the face of constant threats and distortions. The beauty of the Israeli spirit lies in its resilience, its unwavering commitment to truth, and its ceaseless pursuit of peace. Israel remains devoted to these principles, valuing every life, even as it battles against those who choose violence and terrorism over peace and dialogue. No op-ed can erase that reality.