Shireen Abu Akleh was a journalist for Al Jazeera. She was shot by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), who were searching for jihad terrorists at Jenin. This much is certain. It is still a matter of dispute who fired the bullet. Although the Palestinians claim that Abu Akleh was killed by the IDF, the fact is that there were also Palestinians firing in the vicinity at the time. Israeli demands for a joint investigation have been rejected by Palestinian leaders. They even refused to allow Israeli officials access to the bullet that killed Abu Akleh despite the fact such an examination would be likely to establish definitively who was responsible.
One person is certain who killed Abu Akleh. It is Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Ramallah), who tweeted Wednesday with serene certainty on this difficult and troubling matter. Omar could be certain that Abu Akleh was killed by Israel because she hates Israel and not because of the evidence. She wouldn’t do that, right now.
Omar responded to the Associated Press report on Abu Akleh’s murder by tweeting: “She was murdered by the Israeli military after making her presence as a reporter clearly known. Without restrictions, we provide $3.8 billion annually in military aid to Israel. What is the accountability process for these human rights violations?
She was killed by the Israeli military, after making her presence as a journalist clearly known.
We provide Israel with $3.8 billion in military aid annually with no restrictions.
What will it take for accountability for these human rights violations? https://t.co/MGSVc6jYXJ
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) May 11, 2022
Omar’s conviction that the Israeli military was to blame was based on such a weak foundation that even Dr. Rayyan Al Ali (director of the Palestinian Forensic Medicine Institute) couldn’t believe it. He said cautiously that “It can’t be determined whether [Abu Akleh] died by Israeli fire or by Palestinian bullets.” Omar responded in a tweet, “Do you have proof?” No! Absolutely none. That has never stopped you from demonizing Israel!”
The odd behavior of Palestinian officials adds credence to Omar’s claim that he is hurrying to make a decision on her anti-Semitism. The Jerusalem Post reported that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, now in his eighteenth year, had declared that he would refer the case against Abu Akleh before the International Criminal Court to “punish criminals.” However, neither he nor other Palestinian officials seemed to be interested in finding out who these criminals were.
The Post reported that the Palestinian Authority had confirmed that Israel would not allow Israel to examine Abu Akleh’s bullet, even though that is one of the necessary steps to determine her culpability. It also rejected Israel’s requests to conduct a joint investigation into Abu Akleh’s death. Why? What are the Palestinians hiding?
To ensure transparency, the Israelis offered to have representatives from Israel and the Palestinian Authority at the bullet’s forensic examination. But that was not enough for the Palestinians. Omar believes that Israel is to blame despite all of this.
This is Ilhan Omar, who in 2012 tweeted: “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken people and help them to see the evil doings Israel.” She also claimed that the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee paid American politicians for their support of Israel. This was too much for the House Democrat leadership. They issued a statement titled “Democratic Leader Statement on Anti-Semitic comments of Congresswoman Ilhan Omar” which stated that “Legitimate criticisms of Israel’s policies are protected by the values that Israel and the United States share, which is free speech and democratic discussion. However, Congresswoman Omar’s use of anti-Semitic tropes as well as prejudicial accusations against Israel’s supporters is deeply offensive. We condemn these comments and call on Congresswoman Omar immediately to apologize for making these hurtful remarks.
Omar apologized at the time but didn’t change. Omar even compared the U.S. with Israel on June 7, 2021, by tweeting: “We must have a similar level of accountability for all victims of crimes versus humanity. Unimaginable atrocities have been committed by the U.S. and Hamas, Israel. Afghanistan, and the Taliban. I asked Antony Blinken, Secretary of State, where citizens are supposed to seek justice.” She said that Israel and the United States, which both go out of their ways to avoid civilian casualties in war, were compared to jihad terror groups that use civilians as human shields.
Where is justice supposed to be sought? Ilhan Omar is not the place. She has just confirmed it with her latest, unconfirmed attack on Israel.