Do Houses Matter More Than Jews?
In the wake of the report of the Middle East Quartet, which called on Israel to cease settlement construction and expansion, the US State Department this week issued an unusually harsh statement against Israel. In it, the Obama Administration accused Israel of “systematically seizing Palestinian land,” with State Department spokesman John Kirby claiming that “settlement expansions and legalization of outposts is fundamentally undermining the prospects for a two-state solution.”
The timing of the United States’ condemnation of Israel could not possibly be more bizarre. After two heinous terrorist attacks last week, in which a 13-year-old girl (who, incidentally, held dual Israeli-US citizenship) was stabbed to death in her sleep and a father of 10 was murdered, the US chose to focus its outrage on the building of Jewish houses, not the murder of Jewish children and fathers.
As hard as this may be to fathom for the US, the EU and the UN, Jewish houses do not block the much fabled, nonexistent peace process; the Palestinian Authority’s official policies of encouraging, inciting, rewarding and publicly celebrating lethal terrorism against Israelis of all ages does. This terrorism is the proverbial elephant in the room, which the US, the EU and the UN all choose to ignore in what can only be seen as the most irresponsible choice of policy toward the Jews since the Allies refused to bomb the tracks to Auschwitz.
By making the PA the second-largest recipient per capita of foreign aid in the world, the US and the EU have made themselves complicit in the murders of Israelis. This remains the truth, no matter how much and how often they seek to distract world attention from it by throwing hissy fits about the perceived outrageousness of building houses for Jews in Judea and Samaria. How morally twisted and depraved the world is when the official sanctioning of the murder of sleeping children elicits barely any outrage, but the building of houses does.
There was no outrage over the fact that the PA paid for the mourning tent of the family whose son murdered the Israeli girl in her bedroom, nor over the visit by a Palestinian Authority official closely associated with President Mahmoud Abbas to the mourning tent to pay his respects to the family of the murderer.
Nor did the US show any outrage at the fact that the funeral procession for father of 10 Rabbi Michael Mark was hit by rocks thrown by Arabs who were apparently not satisfied that the victim was already dead.
Nor was there any outrage at the attempted rekindling of medieval European blood libels by Abbas in the European Parliament, when he claimed that Israelis were poisoning Arab wells. When AP reporter Matt Lee tried to get Kirby, the same State Department spokesman who threw a temper tantrum over Jewish building in Judea and Samaria, to condemn Abbas’ statements, Kirby could not make himself utter the words. Pressed by Lee, he made himself say, “We have long said what we want is for both sides to ratchet down not just the violence but the rhetoric, which can inflame some of the violence. And we just don’t find that sort of rhetoric helpful.”
What a pitiful statement. Especially given that all the inflammatory rhetoric and the ensuing terrorism is coming from the PA, not from Israel. It has always been this way and the State Department is perfectly aware of this. There is no moral equivalence and no “cycle of violence.” It is all very one-sided, but by consciously making statements such as this, the State Department legitimizes the false narrative of the conflict and ensures that it continues at full speed. Essentially, it tells the PA to just continue its dirty business, because no matter what it does, there will be no consequences politically or, even more importantly, financially. Just like the EU, the US treats the PA as an unruly toddler who can do no wrong and must be indulged in all its whims. That, too, is a racism of low expectations, coming from the country that has recently elevated political correctness into something of a second US Constitution.
We know that for the US administration, in particular the State Department, the building of houses matters. The question that remains is this: Does the administration also believe that Jewish lives matter?