I hate to do this, as I’ve expended many a post attempting to dispel the notion that Obama and members of his administration hate Israel and are “bad for the Jews”. I don’t believe there is a secret Kenyan Muslim conspiracy to promote the establishment of an Islamic caliphate across the Middle East spearheaded by sleeper agent Barack Hussein Obama. I don’t even believe that there was some vast left-wing CIA/State Department conspiracy to cover up unforgivable incompetence and nincompoopery in Benghazi.
I still don’t. But though the following documentation gives me no great pleasure, I must admit I find myself wondering about the borderline-absurd discrepancy in Susan Rice’s reaction to recent and current events in Israel and the West Bank.
First, nearly two weeks after three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped:
OK, so three Israelis have disappeared. No one yet knows what happened to them — at least, they haven’t said so publicly — and Rice chimes in with reasonably measured tones. Maybe it took a little longer than some supporters of Israel might have liked, but she has a lot on her plate. Fine.
But what happens once those three boys, one American, are found to have been heinously murdered in the back seat of a car they thought would give them a lift home?
Horrific pain has been suffered, and Rice can empathize as a mother. She relayed this information to her Israeli counterpart and emphasized that all parties must take care going forward. This all seems rather distant and pro forma but maybe that’s just who she is and how she operates when directly engaged with a global audience through Twitter.
But wait, there’s more! Since she numbered them for our convenience, let’s take her thoughts on this morning’s tragic death of a Palestinian teenager one at a time:
Rice starts out by calling what happened to Muhammad Hussein Abu Khdeir a “heinous murder”. She’s right. It was a heinous murder. Nevermind that the police have yet to pinpoint the attackers and their motive — what happened was terrible. I take no issue with the content of this message on its own.
But then I couldn’t help but compare this statement to its “counterpart” above. First, after having been dragged practically kicking and screaming to say anything about the missing Israelis at all, Rice wasted no time rattling off her three-part response to the incident in Jerusalem. Second, this one victim got more names by himself than all three Israelis had put together. It’s a small thing, but it’s telling. Still, maybe you can chalk these differences up to extraneous influences — perhaps Rice learned from her original delay, and ran out of room on Twitter to include all the last names.
But I still have nits to pick. You see, the difference in tone and voice Rice used to characterize the incidents was striking. Israeli families are suffering horrific pain that Rice can only relate to as a mother — but there is no allusion to what actually happened to them, that anyone did something to cause this pain, that it was an atrocity that deserves condemnation, that the positive action of any individual might have been responsible. Which is a good segue into the next head-to-head:
I have no problem with Rice’s statement in a vacuum — once again, it’s all in the contrast. Rice conveyed her personal condolences to her professional Israeli counterpart. Not to the families of the victims. Not to the Israeli people. To a guy who happened to drop by. By contrast, Rice — speaking on behalf of the entire United States — broadcast her condolences to the family and the Palestinian people. #solidarity
And then this last one. Again, I have no problem with what Rice had to say on its face. But it’s difficult to ignore that after three Israelis were found murdered in the West Bank, Rice issued a general warning that everyone involved must exercise caution and avoid destabilizing the situation — and when one Palestinian was found murdered, Rice can only warn Israel that it must bring the perpetrators to justice and that Big Brother is watching closely. As if Israel isn’t a nation of laws that has done a reasonable job of bringing its (surviving) vigilante murderers to justice — and worse, replacing a general admonition that both sides avoid escalating the situation with a stern warning that Israel alone bears responsibility for ensuring the situation remains stable.
I guess that was a lot of words when all I probably had to do was cite the tweets in question or even just link to Rice’s timeline.
Susan, you’re not helping.