The United States has repeatedly said they aren’t trying to assign blame to the current wave of Palestinian terrorism in the Middle East, yet when pressed, an American spokesman inexplicably did just that—and somehow blamed Israel. US spokesman John Kirby on Wednesday touched on two of the hottest button topics driving the Palestinian terror campaign and he nearly made baseless accusations against Israel of not maintaining the status quo on the Temple Mount and of “excessive force” against Palestinian civilians.
While muted, the comments sounded like talking points from the Palestinian media reports of President Mahmoud Abbas’ speech that same day and rather than help restore calm, the Americans risk adding fuel to the Palestinian fire that’s spiraling more and more out of control. Kirby did not provide any details of the accusations he lobbed against Israel, nor did he find any similarly specific claims to level against the Palestinian government. So much for not assigning blame.
In comments released by the State Department, Kirby gave some of the harshest—albeit indirect—comments yet from the Americans against Israel, who has been battling a Palestinian terror war that is regularly stabbing, shooting, and stoning Israeli civilians, among other means of violence.
While Kirby didn’t confirm that the US believes the reports of Israeli security forces taking things too far, he nonetheless said, “Without qualifying each and every one of them, we’ve certainly seen some reports of security activity that could indicate the potential excessive use of force” against Palestinian civilians. He did not give a further explanation.
These surprising comments come as Palestinian media have repeatedly accused Israel of executing their people, who in fact were terrorists that were taken down. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu even noted one such Palestinian terrorist who was claimed to be killed is actually alive. Hadassah University hospital announced that he is “stable” and was receiving care at the Israeli hospital.
Similarly, despite repeated statements by Israel that they are not altering the status quo on the Temple Mount, Kirby—while not commenting on Israeli policy—said, “Certainly, the status quo has not been observed, which has led to a lot of the violence.” He did not say how the status quo had been broken or by whom.
Previously, spokesman Mark Toner, in comments released by the State Department, found a way to imply that both sides have responsibility regarding the Temple Mount. “Both sides need to take actions to reduce tensions… to uphold the status quo of Haram al-Sharif and the Temple Mount. You’re asking me to say that we’re giving one side a different message. It’s not the case.”
Like Kirby, Toner was not clear about what Israel has done to disturb the status quo. Palestinian accusations have included concerns about Israeli Jews simply being present on the mountaintop—a claim that comes off as blatantly discriminatory rather than justifiable.
But unlike Kirby, Toner implied that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas could be doing more to combat tensions, saying, “Since we saw today a continuation of violence, the brutal attacks and murders of Israeli citizens, that we haven’t seen enough [from Abbas]… there’s not a switch that can be turned. But I think both sides need to make an effort to reduce tensions.”
Somehow, as Israeli civilians have been terrorized and lies leveled against them by the Palestinian ruling powers, the US has sought to avoid casting blame for the situation—until they subtly and inexplicably blamed Israel.
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, October 14, 2015)