The FBI’s Gratuitous and Futile Investigation into Shireen Abu Akleh’s Death

Over six months ago, the Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was hit by a bullet and killed while covering a shoot-out between the IDF and a group of Palestinian guerrillas. On the grounds that Abu Akleh was an American as well as a Palestinian citizen, the State Department insisted on conducting its own investigation. It concluded that Abu Akleh was “likely” killed by a stray bullet from an Israeli soldier’s gun, although it admittedly could not say so with certainty. The IDF’s own investigation reached a similar conclusion. Yet this is not enough for the U.S. Department of Justice, which recently announced that it will look in the matter itself. Lahav Harkov comments:

Ahlam Ahmad al-Tamimi’s “Most Wanted Terrorist” poster, which can be viewed on the FBI website, describes her as “charged with participating in an August 9, 2001 suicide-bomb attack at a pizza restaurant in Jerusalem that killed fifteen people, including two United States nationals. Four other United States nationals were among approximately 122 others injured in the attack,” the site reads. “Should be considered armed and dangerous.”

The FBI poster asks for tips and offers a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to Tamimi’s arrest. Here’s a tip: she’s in Jordan, hosting a talk show on Hamas TV, . . . but Jordan refuses to extradite her.

It’s not clear what the FBI will accomplish in its investigation, considering that the agency does not appear to have access to new evidence, nor will it be able to question Israeli soldiers. . . . Yet it’s insisting on going forward with its own probe.

In other words, this apparently accidental, but still tragic, death of a U.S. citizen seems to warrant special attention that an intentional terrorist bombing with several American victims does not.

Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: IDF, Palestinian terror, U.S.-Israel relationship


To Save Gaza, the U.S. Needs a Strategy to Restrain Iran

Since the outbreak of war on October 7, America has given Israel much support, and also much advice. Seth Cropsey argues that some of that advice hasn’t been especially good:

American demands for “restraint” and a “lighter footprint” provide significant elements of Hamas’s command structure, including Yahya Sinwar, the architect of 10/7, a far greater chance of surviving and preserving the organization’s capabilities. Its threat will persist to some extent in any case, since it has significant assets in Lebanon and is poised to enter into a full-fledged partnership with Hizballah that would give it access to Lebanon’s Palestinian refugee camps for recruitment and to Iranian-supported ratlines into Jordan and Syria.

Turning to the aftermath of the war, Cropsey observes that it will take a different kind of involvement for the U.S. to get the outcomes it desires, namely an alternative to Israeli and to Hamas rule in Gaza that comes with buy-in from its Arab allies:

The only way that Gaza can be governed in a sustainable and stable manner is through the participation of Arab states, and in particular the Gulf Arabs, and the only power that can deliver their participation is the United States. A grand bargain is impossible unless the U.S. exerts enough leverage to induce one.

Militarily speaking, the U.S. has shown no desire seriously to curb Iranian power. It has persistently signaled a desire to avoid escalation. . . . The Gulf Arabs understand this. They have no desire to engage in serious strategic dialogue with Washington and Jerusalem over Iran strategy, since Washington does not have an Iran strategy.

Gaza’s fate is a small part of a much broader strategic struggle. Unless this is recognized, any diplomatic master plan will degenerate into a diplomatic parlor game.

Read more at National Review

More about: Gaza War 2023, Iran, U.S. Foreign policy