False “facts”, Outright canards, No “Palestinian terrorism”, Moral equivalency: Nothing New at the U.S. State Department.


30 Sivan 5776

Wednesday, July 6 2016

 

UPDATES 9 am Israel time

Palestinian terror unreported by the mainstream media yesterday

In the interest of brevity, your humble servant usually condenses the day’s terror news. However, so you can get a fuller picture of what takes place hourly, here’s a somewhat more complete list of the the 30+ Palestinian terror attacks that took place yesterday:

At 5:47 am, terrorists attacked IDF forces in Bethlehem with “rocks” and Molotovs.

At 6:01 am, terrorists attacked IDF forces in Hizma with “rocks” and Molotovs.

At 7:39 am, terrorists attacked Israeli motorists near Anun with “rocks.”

At 8:30 am. terrorists attacked Israeli motorists in Huwara with “rocks.”

At 9:55 am, terrorists attacked an Israeli bus near Al-Khader with “rocks.”

At 10:22 am, terrorists attacked an Israeli motorist in Gush Etzion with “rocks.”  The driver had to be evacuated to Sha’are Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem to be treated for her wounds.

At 11:27 am, terrorists poured oil on the road just outside of Betar Illit. A number of cars crashed off the road.

At 11:52 am, terrorists attacked a motorist near Kiryat Arba with “rocks.”  The driver was hit in the face, and had to be evacuated to a medical clinic to be treated for her wounds.

At 1:01 pm, terrorists attacked Border Guards and Police in Silwan with “rocks” and Molotovs.

At 4:46 pm, terrorists set fire to the area near the Beit Haggai security fence.

At 5:35 pm, a terrorist attempted to stab a soldier of the Givati Brigade at the Gittit Avishar Junction near Ariel. The soldier was unwounded; the terrorist was shot in her chest and critically wounded.

At 6:58 pm, terrorists opened fire on soldiers operating in the area of the trans-Judea highway. The terrorists escaped.

At 7:32 pm, terrorists assaulted Israeli motorists near Ras Khamis with “rocks” and Molotovs.

At 7:49 pm, terrorists opened fire at IDF soldiers at the Judah intersection outside of Hevron. They escaped into Hevron.

At 8:16 pm, terrorists attacked motorists near Agza with “rocks.”

At 8:33 pm and again at 8:42, terrorists attacked motorists near Hawara with “rocks” and Molotovs.

At 9:55 pm, terrorists attacked motorists at Beit Khalil beside Mt. Hevron with “rocks” and Molotovs.

…Here we go again…

Of course, we all knew that when PM Netanyahu announced the “aggressive” measures that the government would take to deal Palestinian terrorism, he would not follow through with any of them.

First, there was the issue of closing Hevron.

It never happened.

Then yesterday, Hawara was supposed to have been closed.

It never happened.

Then there was declaration that Israel would not give the PLO money to pay for the salaries of terrorists and their families. This money was supposed to have been taken out of tax monies collected for the PLO by Israel. The first offset was supposed to have taken place yesterday.

It never happened.

And what do you think is going to transpire about the 42 new housing units that are supposed to be built in Kiryat Arba?

Your humble servant leaves it to you dear reader to answer the question.

TODAY’S BLOG:

The index for yesterday’s U.S. State Department briefing speaks volumes (click here for entire briefing):

INDEX FOR TODAY’S BRIEFING

  • TERROR ATTACKS/ISIL
  • DEPARTMENT
  • COUNTERTERRORISM/IRAQ/SYRIA/TURKEY/JORDAN
  • IRAQ
  • TERROR ATTACKS/ISIL
  • MIDDLE EAST PEACE
  • SYRIA/RUSSIA/TURKEY
  • SECRETARY’S TRAVEL

In a week which has seen some of the most gruesome Palestinian terror attacks in recent memory including the slaughtering of 13 year old Hallal Yaffa Ariel, stabbed “dozens of times” as she slept, and the murder of Rabbi Miki Mark by Palestinian gunmen who not only killed him a hail of bullets but also shot his wife and children–in a week of these and more than 100 other Palestinian terror attacks . . .

. . . there is no item titled “Palestinian terrorism” or “Terrorism in Israel.”

Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Zero.

Instead there is just an item titled “Middle East Peace.”

And this despite the fact that both Hallal Ariel and Rabbi Michael Mark were American citizens.

Do you smell a rat? Do you smell the noxious odor of moral equivalency beginning to waft your way?

So the press briefing began at 2:15 in the afternoon with the veteran Israel-basher and State Department Spokesman John Kirby taking the podium.

And the first words out of his mouth were:

“I have some comments here at the top that I want to make, certainly regarding what happened over the weekend. We strongly condemn the recent spate of deadly terrorist attacks that have been focused on civilians, including women and children, and which have brutally taken hundreds of lives from Istanbul to Dhaka to Baghdad to the attacks in Saudi Arabia.”

Turkey, Bangladesh, Iraq, Saudi Arabia.

And on and on. Kirby then talked at length about the debacle with Hillary Clinton’s emails and other topics such as Islamic State fighters are not really Muslim because they kill other Muslims (can you believe this?).

Until he finally zeroed in on Israel.

“MR KIRBY: We’re aware of reports that the Government of Israel intends to advance plans for hundreds of housing units in Israeli settlements in the West Bank as well as East Jerusalem. If it’s true, this report would be the latest step in what seems to be a systematic process of land seizures, settlement expansions, and legalizations of outposts that is fundamentally undermining the prospects for a two-state solution. We oppose steps like these, which we believe are counterproductive to the cause of peace. In general, we’re deeply concerned about settlement construction and expansion in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, and the design – and the – I’m sorry, the designation of land throughout the West Bank for exclusive Israeli use.”

What an absurd series of canards. Anyone who is a student of what happens in Israel knows that the Israel Supreme Court goes to extraordinary lengths to protect supposedly “private Palestinian land”, issue orders against Jewish community expansions, and even raze what it determines are “illegal outposts.”

“The designation of land throughout the West Bank for exclusive Israeli use?” Is this some kind of joke? We wonder what Kirby thinks would happen if an Israeli Jew even set foot in Areas A and B of Judea and Samaria–much less try to use the land. They would be killed on sight.

Kirby continues:

“As the Quartet report highlights, since the beginning of the Oslo process in 1993, the population of settlements has more than doubled, with a threefold increase in Area C alone. Currently, there is at least 570,000 Israeli settlers living in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Moreover, approximately 100 settlement outposts in Area C have been built without formal Israeli Government approval, making them illegal even under Israeli law. Again, as the Quartet report makes clear, these actions risk entrenching a one-state reality and raise serious questions about Israel’s long-term intentions.”

Of course the population has doubled–but not in Area C “alone.” It has doubled only in Area C. There are no Jews living in Areas A and B. And by the way, 570,000 is not accurate. There are now around 700,000 Israelis living in Judea, Samaria, and the eastern neighborhoods of Jerusalem.

The press briefing continued:

“QUESTION: Given that you raise the idea of this as a systematic process of land – land expropriation or land seizures or however you put it, what is the U.S.’s systematic response beyond just saying this is bad every time? Do you have a systematic approach to counteracting this trend that is blocking peace, in your opinion?

MR KIRBY: Our approach has been consistent throughout. First of all, calling it like we see it and not being afraid to do that; having tough discussions with Israeli leaders about this and being willing to continue to do that; working inside the Quartet, and the Quartet report addresses this pretty clearly as I just said; as well as working with other members of the international community to try to see if we can advance a two-state solution.”

Calling it like we see it. Nothing about having tough discussions with Palestinian leaders. No mention of Palestinian terrorism directed against Israeli and American citizens.

Until a reporter asks:

“Question: Do you – do you – the way I understood it was this is a response to the violence. Do you see the notion of settlement expansion as a consequence of violence as an appropriate countermeasure [to the violence]?

MR KIRBY: Look, I’m – I really am loath to get into analyzing cause and effect here in terms of connecting that particular dot. We’re obviously deeply concerned about violence and we condemn the recent attacks. There’s – and we’ve said this before – no justification for terrorism, no justification for the violence, no justification for the taking or maiming of innocent life. And so we’re going to continue to look for leaders in the region to do what they need to do, take the affirmative steps that are required, and act – demonstrate leadership to take down the tensions to reduce the violence to get us to help create the conditions for a two-state solution. That doesn’t change, however, at all our opposition to settlement activity, which we believe is illegitimate.”

Here is the rat, the moral equivalency. Kirby still cannot bring himself to say “Palestinian terrorism”, “Palestinian violence”, “Palestinian taking or maiming of innocent life”–and refuses to connect the dots between murderous Palestinian terrorism (which he cannot even acknowledge) and construction in Israeli communities. What Kirby can do is connect “illegitimate settlement activity” with the violence that he describes.

Then follows questions and answers in which Kirby contorts himself in every way possible–(by the way, the reporter misstates the facts, not only was Chava Mark an American citizen, but also her husband and all of her ten children except one):

“QUESTION: I have a last one, tangentially related. The wife of a man killed in a West Bank attack was an American citizen. I think the car was shot at and it was just another American – I think it might have been Hebron – another American who almost died in this case. Are you having conversations with the Palestinians about the rising American death toll in this wave of violence?

MR KIRBY: Obviously, we’re – any death and any injury is significant when it results from this sort of violence. And so our conversations with leaders on both sides are about, again, taking steps to reduce the violence so that innocent people can go about their lives – all innocent people can go about their lives.”

Kirby does not answer the question and look at how he manages to say that the U.S. talks to leaders on both sides to reduce the violence.

Back to the contorted question about American citizens being targeted by Palestinians:

“QUESTION: Do you think that that —

QUESTION: But your first job’s to protect Americans —

MR KIRBY: And we take that very —

QUESTION: — and there are —

MR KIRBY: And we take that very seriously.

QUESTION: Well, a lot – there’s been several now, I think, killed in this wave of violence —

MR KIRBY: Yeah.

QUESTION: — more than in a lot of places where you have —

MR KIRBY: We take that – no, we take that very seriously, but —

QUESTION: — deeper engagement.

MR KIRBY: Well, I’m not going to —

QUESTION: Even military engagement in some places.

MR KIRBY: I’m not going to detail the specifics of diplomatic discussions we may be having on this. I can tell you obviously we take that responsibility very seriously. But more broadly speaking, we want to see all innocent life protected.

QUESTION: And do you think that the Palestinian attackers are attacking Americans on purpose? Do you think that they are targeting Americans?

MR KIRBY: As I said, I’m not going to analyze each and every specific act here from the podium, Said.

QUESTION: Just to follow up on Brad’s question, do you ask the Palestinians to investigate whether there’s actually been deliberate attacking or deliberate targeting of Americans?

MR KIRBY: We want – first of all, we want the attacks to stop.

QUESTION: Right, I understand. But things that have already taken place.

MR KIRBY: And obviously – obviously we would – we – and we’ve said this before – we welcome thorough, complete investigations on these matters, transparent investigations by all sides. But I’m not going to get into a discussion of each and every one.”

In sum, this press briefing, as usual, had it all: false “facts”, outright canards, avoidance of any reference to the Palestinians by name, no mention of “Palestinian terrorism”, and nauseating moral equivalency.

Is it any wonder why nobody in Israel trusts anything coming out of Washington, D.C. these days? 

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