US-Israel ties tested by Abu Akleh’s death


Aviva Okeson-Haberman was only 24 years old when her life was cut short. She was highly regarded for her work as a journalist on the public radio network NPR. On April 23, 2021, a fatal bullet penetrated the window of her Kansas City apartment killing her on the spot. The murdered woman’s neighbor said that she knows who the killer is. 

“My ex-boyfriend swore to murder me. I testified about it to the police ahead of time. I am convinced he thought it was me,” she told the New York Post.

According to this testimony, Okeson-Haberman was not killed by a stray bullet, as the Kansas police claimed, but by mistaken identity. Nevertheless, 18 months after the killing of the highly-skilled journalist, no one has been prosecuted. No country in the world, not even Israel, has demanded accountability from the American government for not bringing those who killed the Jewish journalist to justice.

But what Jerusalem is avoiding, Washington has been doing recently even more vigorously, and not with force nor harsh condemnations, but with a soft and refined language, the Biden administration is pushing Israel into more and more uncomfortable corners. 

Since the collapse of the government two months ago, the American bear hug has only gotten stronger. Killing us softly, as the song goes, is the new US policy.

” … And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled …” Luke 21:24

US-Israel ties tested by Abu Akleh's death, but both sides seek to contain friction

The case of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh is the first link. Since she was killed in May 2022, while standing next to terrorists in Jenin during the exchange of fire, the US administration has not seized to pressure Israel to “accept responsibility.”

The demand has been brought up in every meeting between US and Israeli officials and was deliberately made public in messages to the media. The repeated demands, only from Israel, and not from the Palestinian Authority, for “accepting responsibility” has been an ongoing campaign. For this reason alone the IDF conducted a thorough investigation into the incident, above and beyond any similar case in the past. The outcome is not good for Israel.

The IDF first claimed that it was most likely a Palestinian gunman who killed the journalist, and has now changed its narrative. The latest probe would not have been conducted had the Biden administration and its associates not pressured Israel claiming it was an IDF soldier who most likely fired the fatal bullet by accident. In other words, US pressure led to Israel shooting itself in the foot.

So you say, “But we need to know the truth.” So, thousands of people, including journalists, are killed every year in the US without the identity of the killers ever being discovered. The blood of Shireen Abu Akleh is not redder than that of Aviva Okeson-Haberman, and if so why does the US administration demand from Israel what it does not uphold itself?

The final word in the Abu Akleh affair has not yet been said. After Israel was forced to bear responsibility, the US now wants to interfere with IDF rules of engagement.

The US will “continue to press our Israeli partners to closely review its policies and practices on rules of engagement and consider additional steps to mitigate the risk of civilian harm, protect journalists and prevent similar tragedies in the future,” US State Department Deputy Spokesman Vedant Patel said.

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