It pains me to write this blog entry, as I voted for President Obama and was hoping that the obvious would come to a man of his background/ education. You may wonder what I am seething about. It is the White House’s poor response in terms of the Israeli teens that were kidnapped and killed as compared to the Arab teenager who was murdered immediately after the Israeli teens bodies were found. First and foremost, I’d like to make it clear that both acts are horrible and should have been responded to with the same conviction and speed. However the difference between the two responses from the White House are quite different:
- 12-JUN-2014 – Israeli teens were kidnapped, White House response is “We have [been urging restrain] been urging continued security co-operation, that the Israelis and the Palestinians continue to work with one another on that. And we certainly would continue to urge that… in spite of, obviously, the tragedy and the enormous pain on the ground as a result.”
- 12-JUN-2014: Later that day, a spokesman followed up with “We obviously condemn in the strongest possible terms violence that takes the lives of innocent civilians.”
- 30-JUN-2014: The bodies of the Israeli teens are found and the White House’s released statement is “On behalf of the American people I extend my deepest and heartfelt condolences to the families of Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar, and Naftali Fraenkel – who held Israeli and American citizenship. As a father, I cannot imagine the indescribable pain that the parents of these teenage boys are experiencing. The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms this senseless act of terror against innocent youth. From the outset, I have offered our full support to Israel and the Palestinian Authority to find the perpetrators of this crime and bring them to justice, and I encourage Israel and the Palestinian Authority to continue working together in that effort. I also urge all parties to refrain from steps that could further destabilize the situation. As the Israeli people deal with this tragedy, they have the full support and friendship of the United States.”
- 02-JUL-2014: Arab teen is kidnapped and found dead in Western Jerusalem Forest. The White House’s statement “The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms the despicable and senseless abduction and murder of Muhammad Hussein Abu Khdeir. It is sickening to think of an innocent 17 year old boy snatched off the streets and his life stolen from him and his family. There are no words to convey adequately our condolences to the Palestinian people.“
- 05-JUL-2014: Arab teen beating statement: “We are profoundly troubled by reports that he was severely beaten while in police custody and strongly condemn any excessive use of force. We are calling for a speedy, transparent and credible investigation and full accountability for any excessive use of force.“
Let’s look at the language used in each of these tragic events:
- Regarding Israeli Teens (urging of restraint, co-operation, work together, pain, innocent, senseless, condemn, support, crime, perpetrators and justice)
- Regarding Arab Teens (condemns, strongest terms, despicable, senseless, murder, sickening, innocent, snatched, stolen, condolences, profoundly troubled, severely beaten, excessive use of force, speedy, transparent, credible investigation and full accountability)
Considering the harsh and forceful language directed to Israel with relation to the Arab American who was beaten, you would think similar language seeking justice would be directed to the Palestinian Unity Government for the kidnapped Israeli teenagers, one of which was also an American. Instead, the White House messaging was directed at Israel to show restraint. In addition, there was not a peep for 18 days between kidnapping and finding of the Israeli bodies. There was no outrage or profound language used in the statements regarding the Israeli teens. Even worse, the kidnapping and death of the Israeli teens was not considered despicable, sickening or their lives stolen. The White House’s statements for the Israeli teens were lukewarm at best. The statements regarding the Arab teens were forceful in nature, hence my opinion there seems to be a lack of balance with the White House statements in relation to similarly heinous events.
Whether these biased views are in the best interest of the US, it is up to our President. Considering the instability in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Turkey, not to mention a looming nuclear psychopathic nation of Iran, I must say that supporting the Palestinians who chant ‘Death to America’ lacks wisdom. I think it is best to respond with what is right and not play favorites. Without a balanced and fair approach, peace is not achievable, neither side needs codling.