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.”