On the issue of the recently killed Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, the Democrats once again find themselves parroting Palestinian propaganda. In fact, several progressive Democrat members of the House, including Reps. Jamaal Bowman (NY), Cori Bush (MO), Betty McCollum (MN), Marie Newman (IL), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY), Ilhan Omar (MN), and Rashida Tlaib (MI) have used the Akleh matter to introduce a resolution calling Israel’s rebirth in 1949 a “catastrophe,” or as the Palestinian nationalists say, a “nakba.” But the truth of what happened at both the journalist’s death, and her subsequent funeral procession is much more complicated.
Ms. Akleh was killed when covering a Palestinian-initiated firefight between Palestinian terrorists and the IDF in Jenin on May 11. The Palestinian Authority (PA) accuses Israel of deliberately targeting the journalist, while an independent Dutch-based group Bellingcat claims the evidence points to the bullet coming from Israel. Israel is open to the possibilitythat one of its soldiers could have shot the journalist in the line of fire, but the PA continues to refuse to cooperate in a joint investigation with Israel, nor produce the bullet that killed the journalist. Regarding her death, the Palestinian chief pathologist could not state definitively which side he believed killed the journalist.
But Rep. Rashida Tlaib (MI) has made up her mind, and accuses Israel of murdering Akleh. Other Democrats, like Reps. Bush (MO), Andre Carson (IN), Newman (IL), Ocasio-Cortez (NY), and Omar (MN) were quick to blame Israel, and 57 House Democrats have requested an FBI investigation into Akleh’s death. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a recent call to d PA president Mahmoud Abbas “underscored the importance of concluding the investigations” into the death of the journalist, and earlier had called the family of the killed journalist, expressing “deep condolences.” Both these representatives and Blinken are laundering Palestinian propaganda into the American mainstream. Palestinian presscalls Israel’s shooting of the journalist an “assassination,” that Israel has a “shoot-to-kill policy” towards journalists, that the shooting of the journalist amounts to an Israeli execution, and that Israel acted “intentionally and deliberately.”
With regard to the funeral procession, media clips of Israeli police beating what appear to be Akleh’s pallbearers are ubiquitous. So case closed, right? Hardly. An interim report by Israel reportedly suggests that Israel could have avoided using force. But this tells only a fraction of the story. First, Israeli authorities and the Akleh family had coordinated funeral arrangements. But these arrangements quickly evaporated when, against the family’s wishes, over 300 Palestinian rioters stole the coffin from the hospital. These mobsters absconded with the coffin on foot towards the cemetery, rather than the coffin being loaded into a hearse as the family wanted. And at the procession, Palestinians were throwing rocks from near the coffin at Israeli police. So Palestinian terrorists were using the coffin as a form of a human shield. And those attending the funeral were chanting “How sweet it is to kill Jews,” and other inciting rhetoric.
Where were Tlaib and Omar’s condemnations for this? It is the Israeli police, not Palestinian rioters, who are engaging in “violent racism,” according to Tlaib. Omar piled on as well, posting a video of the Israeli police beating the so called pallbearers as “just cruel.” The State Department released a press statement stating it was “deeply troubled to see the images of Israeli police intruding into her funeral procession today. Every family deserves to be able to lay their loved ones to rest in a dignified and unimpeded manner.”
The Democrats are enabling Palestinian propaganda, quickly accepting that Israel is responsible for the journalist’s death and that it acted unjustly at her funeral procession. But it is even worse is that Democrats like Reps. Cortez (NY), Omar (MN), Mark Pocan (WI), and Tlaib (MI) are using the Akleh case to call for an examination of the Israeli-US strategic partnership. Pre-judging and politicizing Israel’s actions are yet another example of the Democratic Party’s growing drift away from support of Israel.
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Menorah lightings canceled around the world as towns remove Jewish symbols over Hamas war
For the first time in 20 years, the city of Moncton, Canada, decided to not have a menorah displayed outside of its city hall. In Williamsburg, Virginia, The Second Sundays Art and Music Festival, hosted by a nonprofit known as “LoveLight Placemaking” canceled its menorah lighting scheduled for this Sunday.
These are just two examples of towns across the world canceling their menorah lighting ceremonies and removing Hanukkah decorations from their holiday displays “out of concerns that the local governments may appear to be siding with Israel in its ongoing war against Hamas” writes Just The News.
Hanukkah is celebrated by lighting a menorah for eight nights and gradually increasing the number of candles each night; the holiday begins this Thursday evening. Councilmember Daniel Bourgeois told The Canadian Jewish News that counselors were told to either ban all religious symbols on public property or only allow a select few. The city decided to axe the menorah and Nativity display, but keep an official Christmas tree and sponsor the Royale Greater Moncton Santa Claus parade.
“It is unfair because, while banning the Jewish Menorah, the Christmas tree and the angels that are on City Hall ground will remain,” Moncton Jewish Community President Francis Weil said Friday on Facebook. “The Jewish Community is happy that the tree and the angels remain, but so should the Menorah. It is unfair because the Chanukah Menorah is, for Jews, a symbol of being accepted.”
The United Jewish Community of the Virginia Peninsula said Sunday about the Williamsburg festival: “To be clear, the menorah lighting, which was to be led by a local community rabbi, had nothing to do with Israel or the conflict…Yet, appallingly, the event organizer claimed that a Chanukah celebration would send a message that the festival was ‘supporting the killing/bombing of thousands of men, women, and children,’ — and even went a step further, by offering to reinstate the event if it was done under a banner calling for a ceasefire.”
Havering Council in east London reversed its decision after backlash to not display a menorah to avoid “further inflaming tensions” related to the war in Israel, the BBC reported.
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