Commentary Magazine


Contentions

Obama Administration Goes Easy on Palestinian Authority’s Celebrating a Child-Murderer

I made the same point on Twitter but it’s worth asking again to a broader audience. On one side you have Israel taking a partial step in approving the construction of Jewish homes in the capital of the Jewish State. On the other side you have Palestinian Authority officials celebrating Dalal Mughrabi, a Palestinian terrorist who led the murder of 37 Israelis including 13 children.

Compare…

Clinton rebuked… Netanyahu… demanding that Israel take immediate steps to show it is interested in renewing efforts to achieve a Middle East peace agreement… Clinton called Netanyahu “to make clear the United States considered the announcement a deeply negative signal about Israel’s approach to the bilateral relationship… [and that] this action had undermined trust and confidence in the peace process and in America’s interests.”… Clinton appeared to link U.S. military support for Israel to the construction.

… and contrast:

The State Department called “disturbing” reports that Palestinian Authority officials attended the renaming of a square after a terrorist, saying it condemned such commemorations. “We are very disturbed by these reports and are seeking clarification from the Palestinian Authority,” a State Department official told JTA. “We condemn any commemoration of acts of terrorism and underscore that all parties have an obligation to end incitement.”

Assuming that State gets clarification from the Palestinians that they did indeed do what they did – a nicety our Israeli allies were not offered – will Abbas face the same fury from the White House? Will it be publicly announced that he is harming American interests? Will cuts in U.S. assistance get dangled in front of his face? Above all else, will he be instructed to make specific concessions to the Israelis lest President Obama escalate the diplomatic row into a full-blown breakdown?

The Israelis were not violating specific agreements with the United States when they got that treatment, while the Palestinian Authority is obligated to end incitement. So it would seem that what Abbas’s subordinates did was worse than what Netanyahu’s subordinates did. There are very few explanations short of personal antipathy for why the White House would be harsher with a stable democratic ally than with a terrorist-celebrating quasi-government. Certainly “objectively promoting American interests” doesn’t seem to be on the list.

Also that line about how “all parties have an obligation to end incitement,” as if the Israelis were also naming squares after terrorist child-murderers – kind of obnoxious.


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