Gideon Levy condemns the State Department’s whitewashing of the murder of Shireen Abu Akleh:
It’s difficult to imagine a more clumsy, unprofessional, ridiculous and even insulting mobilization in the service of Israeli propaganda. Once again it has been proven that America is willing to do anything, absolutely anything, to protect its precious darling; to conceal all its crimes, to make itself an object of ridicule, to disregard moral, legal and professional standards – all to cover up for Israel. America is telling Israel: Keep on killing journalists, as far as we’re concerned it’s fine. We will always say you didn’t mean to, that tragic circumstances killed Abu Akleh and not soldiers in the Duvdevan counterterrorism unit.
The administration probably thought that their whitewashing statement would lay the issue to rest ahead of Biden’s visit to Israel next week. If anything, it has made sure that the murder and Israeli forces’ responsibility for it will loom over the trip the entire time that the president is there. The State Department released its statement on Independence Day, probably in the hopes that the holiday weekend would help them to bury the news, but the cynicism of using the Fourth of July to provide cover for the killing of an American citizen is hard to miss. The Abu Akleh family released their own statement in response. It should be read in its entirety, but here are the key sentences:
The truth is that the Israeli military killed Shireen according to policies that view all Palestinians – civilian, press, or otherwise – as legitimate targets, and we were expecting that an American investigation would focus on finding the responsible parties and holding them accountable, not parsing over barely-relevant details and then assuming good faith on behalf of a recalcitrant and hostile occupying power. In other words, all available evidence suggests that a US citizen was the subject of an extrajudicial killing by a foreign government that receives billions of dollars in American military aid each year to perpetuate a prolonged and entrenched military occupation of millions of Palestinians.
Daniel Larison is a weekly columnist for Antiwar.com and maintains his own site at Eunomia. He is former senior editor at The American Conservative. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.