Photo Credit: Screen capture of State Dept.spokeswoman at briefing
US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki.

If rockets are fired into Israel but no one in the U.S. State Department press corps mentions it, did it really happen?

Well, we do know that four katyusha rockets were fired from southern Lebanon into Israel on Thursday afternoon, August 22, and that some of them crossed into Israeli territory.

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We also know that one of those rockets was intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome defense system, that another landed in a kibbutz, and that another landed somewhere in the Western Galilee.  Although some damage was caused, no one was injured from the attacks.

Warning sirens were heard throughout the north of Israel, and the airspace over northern Israel was closed for a time following the rocket attacks.

Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner, an Israel Defense Forces spokesperson, said in a statement: “This reinforces the threat faced by the civilians of Israel on all fronts. Such act of aggression is a clear attempt to target and terrorize the civilian communities of northern Israel, a situation that would not be tolerated anywhere else in the world. The IDF will continue to operate against those who seek to harm the civilians of this country.”

But during the course of the 45 minute daily press briefing given Thursday by U.S. State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki, no one in the press corps thought the firing of four rockets towards Israel from Lebanon, a front in the region that has, so far, been relatively quiet during Syria’s explosion and Egypt’s implosion, was worth even a question.

That is not to say that the issue of Israel was not brought up.  No, several questions about Israel were asked during Thursday’s briefing.  It’s just that the only issue of concern was the “peace talks.”

Said Arikat, the Washington Bureau Chief of Al Quds newspaper, asked Psaki whether there were any updates on the talks.  Psaki merely referenced her comments from the prior day’s briefing.   Arikat’s was the second to last issue brought up during the briefing.

Arikat can be counted on to consistently raise issues of concern to Arab Palestinians during the daily briefings.  There are no reporters who raise issues of concern to Israel, or ask questions from an Israeli perspective. Arikat is probably the second most voluble reporter in the state department’s daily briefings, AP’s Matt Lee being the dominating force.

IAF STRIKES BACK

Shortly before this article was published, it was learned that the Israeli Air Force struck the location in Lebanon from which the rockets had been shot.  The strike was successful and all pilots returned to Israel without incident, according to a statement from the IDF spokesperson. It will be interesting to see if what will surely be labeled “Israeli aggression” is discussed at tomorrow’s briefing.

Arikat tweeted his response to the IAF retaliatory strike: “Israel does what it does best: bomb the hell out of Lebanon yr after yr redundantly & with impunity,” linking to a story about the strike.

THIS ARTICLE WAS UPDATED TO CHANGE THE WORD MISSILE TO ROCKET WHEN MISSILE WAS MISTAKENLY USED IN THE THIRD PARAGRAPH.

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Lori Lowenthal Marcus is a contributor to the JewishPress.com. A graduate of Harvard Law School, she previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools. You can reach her by email: Lori@JewishPressOnline.com

31 COMMENTS

  1. stop whimpering we arent some country in africa we are a soverign people history and government and if the israelis decide its fine enough to shoot themselves in the foot then its their decision we are one of the big boys take it as a compliment

  2. Here's a pet peeve: the State Department official is referred to as a "spokesperson". What ever happened to men and women? Why take the sex out of people? Would "spokeswoman" have been so politically incorrect? Just another bit of fallout from that pernicious philosophy known as "feminism".

  3. In general, when what matters is the job the person is performing, I think it's better to have the focus be solely on the role, not the gender. Who cares if Psaki is a man or a woman, it has no bearing on her job. But I have lots of pet peeves that don't bother other people, so I understand why it vexes you.

  4. Daniel, I somehow fail to see how using gender neutral language "takes the sex out of people." If you were able to determine it was a woman, good for you. For the sake of the words spoken by the person, gender matters not one whit. But I have pet peeves also, such as there being too much broccoli in General Tso's Chicken. You would have to visit their living quarters to determine if the sex was taken out of them.

  5. The Obama administration, male and female he appointed them, have no interest in making it appear that Israel is of more importance than say Kenya, and neither is the United States more important, and so on. In fact, just because the United States, under Obama, is bigger than all but three countries, better equipped militarily, and has a larger media platform from which to spout forth, they have chosen to become as isolationist as possible. To signify Israel as an important ally in the Middle East would go against that…uh…platform.

  6. Agree. They should be called male man and female man…..so she is the female spokesman. After all this species of Man is what we all belong to. Right? The word "woman" is clearly sexist. 😛

  7. How is this for a comment, you stupid bitch, try telling the whole story.. it is people like you tell half truths that cause more trouble and more lies to be spread. Never knew anyone working for the Amereican government could be so damn stupid and I am canadian.

  8. It looks to me that if a peace deal were to be signed between the PA and Israel, it would still leave out about 50% of the Arab community living in Gaza. A peace treaty is not a peace treaty if about half of the people don't and won't abide by it. Hamas and others have to sign on to it as well or there is nothing to it really. No agreement should be made that requires Israel to give up the land God gave to them or the peace deal they reach won't be blessed by God and will instead be an evil thing in God's eyes. Iran continues unwavering on it’s march in the development of nuclear weapons and Assad the dictator of Syria is still in power. Current intelligence seems uncertain of when Iran will get the bomb and Israel cannot afford to gamble with this. Assad of Syria has allegedly used chemical weapons against his own people and has targeted Tel-Aviv with his missiles. If this situation does not drastically change soon for the better, I believe the war in Isaiah Chapter 17 will likely take place. Damascus Syria would be destroyed. The worlds economy would likely collapse as a result and could usher in a one world government movement. I wrote a small 6 page book that outlines what I believe the Bible states will take place soon as well as the potential trends I see at this time. I don’t accept donations and it’s free. It’s a short read. I encourage you to have a look: http://www.booksie.com/religion_and_spirituality/book/richard_b_barnes/after-the-rapture-whats-next.

  9. Big deal, so what….is the U.S. State Department your nanny, and what about the Israeli daly brutality, crimes and violations of human rights it commits against the Palestinians…
    If they have to monitor your issues daily your crimes are far worse and more frequent than your being in the defence.
    I guess it wouldn't be long till the american people understands the brutality Israel sucks their blood too (Their honest tax payers money)…have some shame.

  10. You have to understand, that everything is orchestrated from the top, Obama. The topic of Israel being attacked was not brought up because it didn't fit into the administration's agenda. In other words, it doesn't sound good to be discussing Israel being attacked because it's harder to demonize them and weakens their position in demanding the release of Palestinian terrorists from prison. Mike Lee is a and I recently wrote him in response to Israeli settlements being a "deal breaker" to "peace talks." I will be sure to write the other fine gentleman in short order.

  11. Here is a reality check. The people of Israel are made to live in a constant war zone and fear because of the Palestinians and their Arab cohorts. Thousands of rockets are shot into Israel from Gaza, Hamas and the PALESTINIANS while this farce otherwise known as "peace talks" are going on and every other time of the year. Palestinian terrorists break into Israelis homes and slash their throats. Palestinians abduct, rape, and murder innocent Israeli women. Rocks and Molotov cocktails are thrown at people trying to pray at the western wall. School buses and schools are blown up. These are just a few of the atrocities committed by scum of the earth Palestinians against Israel and her people on a regular basis. There is only one solution to the Palestinian problem, a neutron bomb.

  12. This spokeswoman is an insult to those Americans that still believe in the Constitution, freedom and the rule of law. I thought the other woman (promoted?) was terrible but Obama managed to name an even worse spokeswoman! Nothing but sarcasm for the American people and in the Obama administration it's "Israel, who?"… You have no friend in this charlatan (Obama) – and neither do we Americans. Israel will win the good fight, we already know the outcome – but in the meantime, Israel (and the American people) will have some very hard times. Shalom from an American Christian.

  13. Thank you- tell that ignorant fool El Batta there are no such things as palestinians….no language, no culture, no history- just an artificial, contrived entity- a group of people that none of the arab states wanted to deal with!

  14. Thank you- tell that ignorant fool El Batta there are no such things as palestinians….no language, no culture, no history- just an artificial, contrived entity- a group of people that none of the arab states wanted to deal with!

  15. Lawrence Kauderer Scum of the earth Terrorist Palestinians are the ones you invaded their home land and exterminated them to apply your 3000 old biblical mythology, as for who are" the scum of the earth " I guess they can be no others than those who have so much hatred for humanity and mankind, the blessed zionists…just read your hate speech.
    As for who is the real terrorist, just following IDF numbers the thousands of rockets sent by the palestinians managed to kill only 3 Israelis, while your brutal invasion and you often invade a neighbour killed 1700 half of them are kids under 15
    Most of your claims are lies,there are no records what so ever of the Palestinians abduct, rape, or murder innocent Israeli women . while the opposite is true,according to the Israeli human rights organisation Betselem, the IDF had abducted more than 700 palestinian kids last year only…..not to mention your daily crimes against humanity.
    .

  16. Lawrence Kauderer Scum of the earth Terrorist Palestinians are the ones you invaded their home land and exterminated them to apply your 3000 old biblical mythology, as for who are" the scum of the earth " I guess they can be no others than those who have so much hatred for humanity and mankind, the blessed zionists…just read your hate speech.
    As for who is the real terrorist, just following IDF numbers the thousands of rockets sent by the palestinians managed to kill only 3 Israelis, while your brutal invasion and you often invade a neighbour killed 1700 half of them are kids under 15
    Most of your claims are lies,there are no records what so ever of the Palestinians abduct, rape, or murder innocent Israeli women . while the opposite is true,according to the Israeli human rights organisation Betselem, the IDF had abducted more than 700 palestinian kids last year only…..not to mention your daily crimes against humanity.
    .

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