America’s Absurd Response to Israel’s Investigation into a Journalist’s Death

Sept. 13 2022

On May 11, Shireen Abu Akleh, a Palestinian-American journalist working for Al Jazeera, was killed by an errant bullet during a shoot-out between Palestinian terrorists and the IDF. Last week—after much sensational media coverage and disproportionate pressure from the U.S.—the Israeli government announced that a thorough investigation had concluded that the bullet was likely fired by an IDF soldier. The Biden administration then demanded that Jerusalem review its military rules of engagement so that such incidents are not repeated—a demand Prime Minister Lapid rejected out of hand. The Israeli journalist Ben-Dror Yemini comments:

A few years ago, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey said that when he wants to learn how to protect innocent lives, he learns from Israel, who does it best. . . . Dempsey’s statement is backed by all respectable research that has examined the data on uninvolved civilians who were wounded or killed during armed conflicts. . . . Even Israel’s harshest critics would have to admit that fewer innocent lives are lost during operations conducted by the IDF than in those carried out by the U.S. military.

The same goes for the Abu Akleh case. Israel conducted an extensive investigation, and even if our bullet did kill the Al Jazeera reporter, it was done in error, not with intention. The investigation was conducted and published because the IDF is scrutinized more than any other army in the world.

Israel exhibits the highest of standards during its operations, yet is still criticized by the U.S. for harming innocent lives. . . . Even if a small-scale crisis [in U.S.-Israel relations] were to emerge, the prime minister was correct in telling our dearest friend: “You’ve crossed the line.”

Read more at Ynet

More about: Al Jazeera, IDF, Military ethics, US-Israel relations

The U.S. Is Trying to Seduce Israel into Accepting a Bad Deal with Iran. Israel Should Say No

Last week, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) released its quarterly report on the Iranian nuclear program. According to an analysis by the Institute for Science and International Security, the Islamic Republic can now produce enough weapons-grade uranium to manufacture “five nuclear weapons in one month, seven in two months, and a total of eight in three months.” The IAEA also has reason to believe that Tehran has further nuclear capabilities that it has successfully hidden from inspectors. David M. Weinberg is concerned about Washington’s response:

Believe it or not, the Biden administration apparently is once again offering the mullahs of Tehran a sweetheart deal: the release of $10 billion or more in frozen Iranian assets and clemency for Iran’s near-breakout nuclear advances of recent years, in exchange for Iranian release of American hostages and warmed-over pious Iranian pledges to freeze the Shiite atomic-bomb program.

This month, intelligence photos showed Iran again digging tunnels at its Natanz nuclear site—supposedly deep enough to withstand an American or Israeli military strike. This tells us that Iran has something to hide, a clear sign that it has not given up on its quest for a nuclear bomb.

Meanwhile, Antony Blinken today completes a three-day visit to Saudi Arabia, where he is reportedly pressing the kingdom to enter the Abraham Accords. This is no coincidence, for reasons Weinberg explains:

Washington expects Israeli acquiescence in the emerging U.S. surrender to Iran in exchange for a series of other things important to Israel. These include U.S. backing for Israel against escalated Palestinian assaults expected this fall in UN forums, toning down U.S. criticism regarding settlement and security matters (at a time when the IDF is going to have to intensify its anti-terrorist operations in Judea and Samaria), an easing of U.S. pressures on Israel in connection with domestic matters (like judicial reform), a warm Washington visit for Prime Minister Netanyahu (which is not just a political concession but is rather critical to Israel’s overall deterrent posture), and most of all, significant American moves towards reconciliation with Saudi Arabia (which is critical to driving a breakthrough in Israeli-Saudi ties).

[But] even an expensive package of U.S. “concessions” to Saudi Arabia will not truly compensate for U.S. capitulation to Iran (something we know from experience will only embolden the hegemonic ambitions of the mullahs). And this capitulation will make it more difficult for the Saudis to embrace Israel publicly.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Antony Blinken, Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, Saudi Arabia, U.S.-Israel relationship