Israel Killed an American Journalist. Biden’s Response is Pathetic.
Sana Wazwaz, contributor
Israel killed an American journalist, and Biden did nothing.
Yes, you read that right. Biden did nothing. Biden released some empty condemnation. Biden used buzzwords like “accountability.” Biden initially called for an “investigation.” But when numerous independent investigations came through, all concluding that in fact, Israel deliberately killed an unarmed American citizen, what did he actually do?
On May 11th, when Israeli forces were conducting a military raid of the Palestinian village Jenin, iconic Palestinian-American Al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh sought to report on the scene. She wore her bulletproof protective helmet and a visibly marked “PRESS” vest along with several Al-Jazeera colleagues accompanying her. Together, they made it a point to visibly pass by the Israeli soldiers to make their presence known.
Then in mere minutes, Shireen was shot. She was shot in the head right below her helmet, in the precise location that could have only been hit by a well-planned, deliberate attempt. No, there were no militants in the area. No “clashes” either; nobody was caught in a crossfire. It was clear as day that Shireen was extrajudicially murdered.
Don’t take my word for it: Eyewitness Al-Jazeera journalists testified that Israeli forces did it, citing the fact that there were no Palestinian militants in the area. Then, Israeli human rights group Bt’selem concurred. Then the Washington Post and CNN and the New York Times and the UN each conducted research and came to the same conclusion. Then the London-based Forensic Architecture and Al-Haq conducted the most comprehensive investigation to date, and concluded that it was in fact “deliberate,” and “the sniper was able to clearly tell that there were journalists in the area.”
Finally, after 117 days of denial, on Sept. 5 of this year, the Israeli military admitted that there was “a high possibility that Ms. Abu Akleh was accidentally shot by an Israeli soldier,” and still, Israel would not press charges. The report continued to say that the Israeli military was “very proud of the conduct of our soldiers.”
And what did President Biden do about all of this?
Again, nothing. “We’re pressing Israel to closely review its policies and practices to ensure that something like this doesn’t happen again,” said State Department Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel at a press conference, and that was it. No “accountability,” as Biden passionately promised in May. No talk of prosecuting the killers “to the fullest extent of the law,” as the Department of State promised as well. Just a meek, “it won’t happen again,” and nothing else.
But we wouldn’t dare settle for this pathetic response if it were Russia that killed an American journalist. We would never carry on and give Russia 3.8 billion dollars of military aid a year if they even touched one of our own.
And yet Israel has touched way more than just one of our own. This is the same Israel that bulldozed 23-year-old American woman Rachel Corrie to death in 2003. This is the same Israel that beat, handcuffed, and left 80-year-old Milwaukee man Omar Assad to die in 2021. This is the same Israel that just chased seven-year-old Rayyan Sulaiman to death, running after him for so long until the sheer terror gave him a heart attack. This is the same Israel that has killed 46 journalists since 2000 and over 111 Palestinians this year alone, and these laughable “condemnations” haven’t brought justice for any of them.
Biden, it’s already happened again. Dozens of Palestinians have been killed by Israel since Shireen’s death, and it’ll only keep happening until we get at the funding source. It’s time to end our military aid to Israel, not just because it kills our own, but because it kills innocent human beings–full stop. Because it’s our aid that’s subsidizing the longest military occupation in modern history, an occupation that’s been deemed illegal by international legal consensus.
It’s time that we treat this illegal occupier in the same way we’d treat Russia if it even dares to touch an American journalist–let alone millions of lives.