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Israel Gave the Middle Finger to the U.S. Government

Newsweek 11/28/2022 Shaun King
Palestinian mourners carry the casket of slain Al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh out of a hospital, before being transported to a church and then her resting place, in Jerusalem, on May 13, 2022. - Abu Akleh, who was shot dead on May 11, 2022 while covering a raid in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, was among Arab media's most prominent figures and widely hailed for her bravery and professionalism. © AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP/Getty Images Palestinian mourners carry the casket of slain Al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh out of a hospital, before being transported to a church and then her resting place, in Jerusalem, on May 13, 2022. - Abu Akleh, who was shot dead on May 11, 2022 while covering a raid in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, was among Arab media's most prominent figures and widely hailed for her bravery and professionalism.

For the very first time, Israel now has one of the 20 largest economies in the world. Somewhere deep in that budget is billions (with a B) of dollars in foreign aid that the United States government gives to Israel every year. According to Forbes, "Israel's wealth, as of now, stands close to 44 thousand dollars per citizen, which is higher than some of the most advanced and most-developed economies such as the UK (40.4 thousand dollars per person), Japan (40.1 thousand dollars per person), France (39.9 thousand dollars per person), South Korea (31.5 thousand dollars per person), Italy (31.3 thousand dollars per person), or Spain (27.1 thousand dollars per person)."

But in spite of the tens of billions of dollars in aid given and pledged to Israel by the United States, and both nations routinely calling each other close friends and indispensable allies, the Israeli government didn't even blink when it came time to tell the world what they thought of the FBI launching an investigation into the brutal murder of beloved journalist, and American citizen, Shireen Abu Akleh. In essence, Israel boldly and publicly flipped the United States an unmistakable middle finger and made it crystal clear that they would not participate in any such investigation. Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz came right out and stated emphatically, "I have delivered a message to US representatives that we stand by the IDF's soldiers, that we will not cooperate with an external investigation, and will not enable intervention to internal investigations."

They didn't even pretend like they were going to participate. No lip service. Nothing.

Over a dozen different credible media organizations already conducted their own thorough investigations into the murder and came away with almost identical conclusions—Shireen Abu Akleh was shot and killed by a long range sniper in the Israeli military. It was not a part of a shootout. And virtually all forensic evidence points to this same conclusion.

After first blaming this murder on Palestinians and then blaming it on a non-existent shootout, this past September Israel finally admitted that Abu Akleh was killed by their soldiers. In that same admission, Israel made it clear that under no circumstance would they be charging any of their soldiers with the crime.

And that's the rub.

A foreign military has openly admitted that they shot and killed an unarmed, non-violent, law-abiding American citizen, but they hold themselves so far above the law, and Palestinians so far beneath it, that they don't even hesitate admitting that they aren't even planning on having any secret internal discipline process—which leads me to three inevitable conclusions.

First, it is the official policy of Israel that both Palestinian and American lives simply don't matter on their soil. If they did, we'd have some measure of accountability and justice here. We have neither.

Secondly, in spite of receiving billions of dollars of annual aid from the United States, Israel clearly doesn't believe that such aid in turn requires that they reciprocate anything resembling justice or accountability in this case. Either they know that the US won't pull their aid no matter what or they simply don't care.

Lastly, in some ways, this is a case of the chickens coming home to roost for the United States—which has not only killed its own citizens on foreign soil with relative impunity, but regularly kills citizens of other countries around the world without even a remote expectation that they will ever be held accountable for it. I won't even begin to enumerate the thousands of the Americans killed by law enforcement here in the United States without even an ounce of justice.

I am not sure if we will ever know who shot and killed Shireen Abu Akleh or who, perhaps, gave the orders. And if we do, it clearly won't be because Israel participated in any such efforts.

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