The United States has condemned Israel for announcing the approval of housing construction for Jews in Jerusalem while Vice President Biden was visiting. That’s strong language and a striking development.
The Obama administration has also publicly announced the lengthy scolding of Prime Minister Netanyahu by Secretary Clinton in the past day. President Obama is reportedly “livid” with Israel. Secretary Clinton wanted it known that she had dressed down Netanyahu, saying Israel had harmed “the bilateral relationship,” according to her State Department spokesman. The Wall Street Journal characterized the conversation as “a blistering rebuke.”
Has the Obama administration gotten around to condemning the destructive or threatening actions of an American enemy? Jack Kelly notes the Obama administration’s distinction as an unreliable ally and an unfaithful friend.
The apparent purpose of this public display of animosity toward Israel is the extraction of some concession to offer to Israel’s Palestinian non-interlocutors. In the purported peace talks that the administration seeks to facilitate with the part of the Palestinian Authority over which Mahhmoud Abbas presides, Abbas’s representatives do not deign to meet face to face with Israel. Such obstruction does not elicit condemnation because the administration sympathizes with Abbas’s need to keep up appearances with the fans of Hamas who forthrightly pledge the destruction of Israel.
In the part of the Palestinian Authority over which Abbas presides, Abbas’s followers held an illuminating ceremony following Vice President Biden’s departing flight from Tel Aviv on Thursday. According to the New York Times, dozens of Palestinian students from Abbas’s Fatah party gathered in Ramallah to dedicate a public square to the memory of a woman who in 1978 helped carry out the deadliest terrorist attack in Israel’s history. The woman and her terrorist crew killed an American photojournalist, hijacked a bus and commandeered another, embarking on a bloody rampage that left 38 Israeli civilians dead, 13 of them children.
The Palestinian Authority deferred the ceremony until Vice President Biden left town, but Abbas’s crew has not stinted in the honors for the terrorist woman: “The Palestinians also named two girls high schools, a computer center, a soccer championship and two summer camps for Ms. Mughrabi in the last two years.”
The Obama administration has also sharply criticized Israel for having designated Hebron’s Tomb of the Patriarchs and Rachel’s Tomb as national heritage sites marked for renovation and preservation. In line with the Abbas’s description of the designation as “a serious provocation,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner said the administration viewed the move as “provocative” and unhelpful to the goal of negotiations.
The designation of these sites is “provocative” to Arab enemies of Israel insofar as it suggests the deep historical relationship of the Jewish people with the land of Israel and the part of the Palestinian Authority over which Abbas presides. The Zionist Organization of America has issued a good statement on the Obama administration’s criticism of Israel in this respect.
So far as I can tell, the Obama administration has remained mum on the honors paid to “Ms. Mughrabi.” It has refrained from publicly commenting on them, let alone condemning them.
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