Shireen Abu Akleh, a reporter for Al Jazeera, was killed by a bullet Wednesday as the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) hunted for jihad terrorists in Jenin. That much is certain. But who actually fired the bullet is a matter of significant dispute. The Palestinians claim that the IDF shot Abu Akleh in cold blood; however, Palestinians were firing guns in the area at the time as well. Palestinian leaders have rebuffed Israeli requests for a joint investigation and even refused to allow Israeli officials to examine the bullet that killed Abu Akleh, despite the fact that such an examination would likely definitively establish who is responsible for her death.
But there is one person who is absolutely certain about who killed Abu Akleh: Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Ramallah), who tweeted on Wednesday with serene certainty about this matter that is so difficult and troubling to everyone else. Could it be that Omar is sure that Israel killed Abu Akleh because she hates Israel, not because of the evidence at hand? She wouldn’t act that way, now, would she?
Responding to an Associated Press report about Abu Akleh’s death, Omar tweeted: “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?”
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
Yet Omar’s certainty that the Israeli military was responsible was on such a shaky foundation that even the director of the Palestinian Forensic Medicine Institute, Dr. Rayyan Al Ali, couldn’t agree, saying cautiously: “It cannot be determined whether [Abu Akleh] was killed by Israeli fire or by a Palestinian bullet.” Former New York state assemblyman Dov Hikind articulated the obvious, questioning Omar in a tweet: “Do you have proof?! No! None whatsoever. Of course that never stopped you before from demonizing Israel!”
Adding credence to the contention that Omar is rushing to judgment out of her anti-Semitism is the odd behavior of Palestinian officials. The Jerusalem Post reported Thursday that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, now in the eighteenth year of his four year presidential term, declared that he would take the case of Abu Akleh to the International Criminal Court in order to “punish the criminals.” Neither he nor other Palestinian officials, however, seemed all that interested in determining exactly who those criminals were.
The Post added that “the Palestinian Authority confirmed on Thursday that it won’t allow Israel to examine the bullet that killed Abu Akleh, even though it is one of the steps needed to determine culpability in her death. It has also rebuffed requests by Israel to hold a joint investigation into Abu Akleh’s death.” Why, if a simple examination of the bullet would show the IDF to be definitively at fault? What do the Palestinians have to hide?
The Israelis were willing to have representatives from both Israel and the Palestinian Authority present when the bullet was subjected to forensic examination in order to ensure full transparency, but even that wasn’t good enough for the Palestinians. Yet despite all this, Omar is sure that the Israelis are at fault.
This is, of course, the same Ilhan Omar who tweeted back in 2012: “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.” This is the same Ilhan Omar who famously claimed in Feb. 2019 that support for Israel in the United States was “all about the Benjamins baby,” and charged that the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee paid American politicians to support Israel. That was too much even for the House Democrat leadership, which issued a statement entitled “Democratic Leadership Statement on Anti-Semitic Comments of Congresswoman Ilhan Omar.” It stated that “Legitimate criticism of Israel’s policies is protected by the values of free speech and democratic debate that the United States and Israel share. But Congresswoman Omar’s use of anti-Semitic tropes and prejudicial accusations about Israel’s supporters is deeply offensive. We condemn these remarks and we call upon Congresswoman Omar to immediately apologize for these hurtful comments.”
Omar did apologize at that time, but she didn’t change. On June 7, 2021, she even equated the U.S. and Israel with Hamas and the Taliban, tweeting: “We must have the same level of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity. We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban. I asked [Secretary of State Antony Blinken] where people are supposed to go for justice.” She equated the United States and Israel, both of which go out of their way to avoid civilian casualties, with jihad terror groups that target civilians and use them as human shields.
Where are people supposed to go for justice? Not to Ilhan Omar. And with her latest evidence-free attack on Israel, she has confirmed that yet again.