Ambassador Shapiro’s Delegitimization Speech
U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro did his administration proud on Monday. His boss, Secretary of State John Kerry, couldn’t have done a better job of twisting reality to suit fantasy.
At the annual Institute for National Security Studies conference in Tel Aviv, Shapiro delivered an address worthy of note in its content and timing.
Earlier that morning, a pregnant woman from Tekoa, a settlement in the Judean Hills, was stabbed and seriously injured by a Palestinian teenager in the local grocery store. The previous evening, a mother of six (four biological children and two adopted ones), was stabbed to death in front of her 17-year-old daughter at their home in the settlement of Otniel.
Dafna Meir’s struggles with the Palestinian assailant, and her daughter’s screams for help, caused the terrorist to flee, but not before he managed to slaughter his victim. (At the time of Shapiro’s address, Israeli security forces were still hunting for the killer; a 16-year-old Palestinian was later apprehended and was being interrogated over the attack.)
These were by no means the only attacks against Israelis, even in the 24-hour period during which Shapiro made his speech; they were just the most blatant and bloody ones. But they were par for the course in the current Palestinian “lone-wolf” uprising, which has come to be called the “knife intifada.”
This is a misnomer, of course, because the surge in Palestinian violence that began in September has been characterized by many other forms of aggression against innocent Jews. Car-rammings are a particular favorite among the Facebook- and Twitter-inspired generation of terrorists. Rock throwing and Molotov cocktail hurling, too, are popular methods of attack.
And let’s not forget shootings. Whether committed by drivers, snipers or point-blank gunslingers, these acts of terrorism are also part and parcel of the war against Israel being waged by young Arabs living under Palestinian Authority rule, some of whom are even Israeli citizens.
Like the other speakers at the conference, Shapiro condemned the above. Briefly, that is, until getting to the real purpose of his talk: to chastise Israel. Naturally, he did this in perfect Obama pitch, professing his country’s great friendship and alliance with Israel, while calling on the Jewish state to stop causing all the trouble.
These were not his exact words. Shapiro is a professional diplomat, after all. But the language he did use was bad enough.
“Too many attacks on Palestinians lack a vigorous investigation or response by Israeli authorities; too much vigilantism goes unchecked; and at times there seem to be two standards of adherence to the rule of law: one for Israelis and another for Palestinians,” he said, while also condemning “barbaric acts of terrorism” against Israelis.
And then he said his administration is “concerned and perplexed” by Israel’s settlement policy, which raises “honest questions about Israel’s long-term intentions” where a negotiated two-state solution with the Palestinians is concerned.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was right to call Shapiro’s comments “incorrect and unacceptable,” but his response was insufficient. Because what Shapiro did was first to equate Palestinian and Israeli violence, and then to fault “settlement policy” for the daily assault on Israel’s very right to exist. The boycott, divestment and sanctions movement could not have made a better case for delegitimization.
To be fair, Shapiro is not an independent agent. He is an envoy sent to Israel to iterate the official positions of the Obama administration — a government that just signed off on its final capitulation to the Islamic Republic of Iran.
This dangerous act, involving the lifting of sanctions and the transfer of billions of dollars to the mullah-led regime in Tehran, took place after the Iranian navy seized and held captive 10 U.S. sailors; demanded an apology from Washington upon their release; received a hearty “thank you” from Kerry; and then boasted about having caused the American servicemen (and one woman) to weep.
Is it any wonder, then, that the United States, who was treated throughout the negotiations with Iran like a pariah on the one hand and a wimp on the other, would expect Israel to roll over and play dead with the Palestinian Authority?
The answer is no. It is also the reason that Israel must pray for a Republican victory in this year’s U.S. presidential election. If and when that happens, we might be treated to a book by Shapiro, in which he reveals the lies he was forced to spew during his term as ambassador.
Ruthie Blum is the web editor of The Algemeiner (algemeiner.com). This article was originally published by Israel Hayom.