Review: The Road To Jenin

Posted: 9/14/2007 9:48:00 PM
Author: Reviewd by Michael Schau
Source: This review appeared on the Educationaol Media Reviews Online website on Sept. 22, 2004.

The Road to Jenin

Reviewed by Michael J. Schau, Seminole Community College Library, Sanford, FL

Highly Recommended

This film is a documentary of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) action in the Jenin refugee camp in 2002. This area was a hotbed of terrorist activities that spawned more than half of the suicide bombers against Israeli civilians. It was a Jenin bomb that took 29 lives at a Passover Seder that launched Operation Defensive Shield to route the killers. The IDF initially took the dangerous step to fight house-to-house so as to minimize civilian casualties. Nearly two-dozen men were lost to ambushes, snipers and booby-trapped houses. A captured Islamic Jihad terrorist later admitted that his group planted 1000-2000 booby-trapped bombs, some of which killed their own civilians. One trap killed 13 soldiers. Three Israeli paramedics who were clearly marked were shot and killed giving first aid. The IDF changed tactics and brought in bulldozer tanks to level the houses of the terrorists. Even rocket- propelled grenades could not stop them so the bombers surrendered. Also captured were 3 ½ tons of explosives and weapons.

The media then started claiming that there was a “massacre.” Official Palestinian media first claimed 500 then 700 Palestinians were killed and buried in mass graves. The United Nations and other international organizations concluded there were only 56 Palestinians killed, 40 of whom were fighters.

The film shows how the Palestinians tried to manipulate a massacre story into existence. An Australian observer was taken on a show and tell to observe evidence of children tortured. Later she found out it was their own bombs that maimed and killed the children. The head of the Jenin hospital is filmed telling of “a wing” of the hospital (there was no wing) hit by 11 tank shells, which the camera then shows virtually no damage any where to the hospital. He also claimed ambulances were stopped from bringing in wounded but again the film shows the opposite; we see them unload unhindered. The ambulances were stopped briefly to check for bombs however. The filmmaker catches a suicide bomb belt being carefully unloaded from a Palestinian ambulance. One scene shows a film crew coaching a new mother in a hospital to lie to make her words fit their story of Israeli misbehavior. This disturbing but excellent view of the truth behind this part of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is highly recommended.