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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Iran says they have nuclear capabilities, Israel tells Biden to use ‘credible military threat’
Head of Iran’s Strategic Council on Foreign Relations said Iran is not only quite capable of a nuclear bomb, but also prepared to use it. According to a translation by Reuters, Kamal Kharazzi told Al Jazeera “Iran has the technical means to produce a nuclear bomb but there has been no decision by Iran to build it.”
“In a few days we were able to enrich uranium up to 60% and we can easily produce 90% enriched uranium.” Kharrazi also said Tehran would not hesitate to “directly respond” to Israel if “our sensitive facilities were targeted.”
Israel “is in a phase of weakness, and President Joe Biden’s support for it will not bring it back to the fore,” Kharrazi added. As ongoing talks are currently taking place in order to reestablish the 2015 nuclear deal, there are challenges due to “mistrust” on both sides.
“Our missile program and our regional policies” are not up for negotiation, Kharazzi said, because doing so would mean the regime would effectively surrender itself.
At a joint press briefing with Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid in Jerusalem, Biden said “I continue to believe that diplomacy is the best way.” Prime Minister Lapid publicly disagreed with Biden and made the bold statement:
“Words will not stop them, Mr. President. Diplomacy will not stop them. The only thing that will stop Iran is knowing that if they continue to develop their nuclear program the free world will use force. The only way to stop them is to put a credible military threat on the table.”
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