According to Axios’ Tel Aviv reporter Barak Ravid, citing Israeli officials, Biden’s Justice Department recently informed Israel’s Justice Ministry that the FBI is investigating the death of Arab American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was killed in May when she was covering an IDF raid on terrorists in Jenin.
Last May, 57 Democratic members of Congress demanded that the FBI investigate whether the IDF had broken any American laws.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz reacted in a tough tweet that betrayed his personal grievance: “The decision of the US Department of Justice to investigate the unfortunate death of Shireen Abu Akleh is a grave mistake. The IDF conducted an independent and professional investigation, which was presented to the Americans who shared the details.”
ההחלטה של משרד המשפטים האמריקאי לחקור את מותה המצער של שירין אבו עאקלה היא טעות קשה. צה”ל ביצע חקירה עצמאית ומקצועית, שהוצגה לאמריקאים ששותפו בפרטים.
— בני גנץ – Benny Gantz (@gantzbe) November 14, 2022
In June, after an extremely detailed forensic analysis, independent, third-party examiners, as part of a process overseen by the US Security Coordinator (USSC), could not reach a definitive conclusion regarding the origin of the bullet that killed Arab-American Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh. Ballistic experts determined the bullet was badly damaged, which prevented a clear conclusion, according to a statement by the US State Department (US Says Ballistic Investigation in Killing of Shireen Abu Akleh is Inconclusive).
Then, in September, almost four months after the event, the IDF announced that the final investigation of the incident showed a higher probability that the journalist was killed by an IDF soldier, although there is still a chance that she was killed by Arab gunfire. The Palestinian Authority said in response that the investigation was “a new Israeli attempt to escape responsibility for her killing.”
On Monday, Gantz tweeted: “I made it clear to the American representatives that we stand behind the IDF soldiers, that we will not cooperate with any external investigation, and we will not allow interference in Israel’s internal affairs.”
The Biden administration has to investigate the incident, not because the notion of war correspondents getting killed by both sides in the Israeli-Arab conflict is so astonishing––since October 2000, 24 journalists lost their lives on or off the job there––but because the Republicans are taking over the House of Representatives, and President Biden must take steps to solidify the support of House Democrats.
Back in May, 57 Democratic members of Congress, led by Andre Carson, Lou Correa, and Bill Pascrell, demanded that the State Department and the FBI investigate the death of Shireen Abu Aklah. In a stunning show of arrogance, they demanded to find out “whether US laws were violated.”
57 Members of Congress, led by @RepAndreCarson @RepLouCorrea @BillPascrell, are calling publicly for a US investigation of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh’s killing and a determination of whether US laws were violated. pic.twitter.com/ijWyvXemU0
— Debra Shushan ? דבורה שושן ? دبرا شوشان (@DrShushan) May 20, 2022
Shirin’s brother, Tony Abu Aklah, told Haaretz that the family members feel optimistic in view of the American decision. “We hope that the investigation will be truly independent and transparent and that it will be conducted according to professional parameters without any external or internal influence to arrive at the truth,” he said, adding, “We hope this is a step in the right direction not only for Shirin’s justice but for all the children of the Palestinian people.”
Al Jazeera suggested the move is a shot across the bow of Benjamin Netanyahu’s yet-to-be-established coalition government, expressing the administration’s displeasure with the choice Israeli voters have made. The grotesquely anti-Israel news outlet then revved up the fantasy with an interview with attorney Bruce Fein, the brother of the Socialist Workers Party’s Dan Fein and a former Justice Department official, who insisted that “there’s credible evidence in the FBI’s view, based upon things that have been in the public domain — irrespective of Israel’s recalcitrance — to believe that a crime was committed, namely assassination.”
It’s horsepucky, of course, seeing as the examination of the bullet that killed Abu Aklah was done in cooperation with the Americans, who had to labor hard to retrieve it from the PA. But then, Fein pulled this pearl out of his fantasy drawer, telling Al Jazeera: “And secondly, there’s got to be some credible evidence — in my view — that an American citizen, could be a dual citizen, was the one who pulled the trigger.”
Did you get it? Abu Aklah was killed not by just any IDF soldier looking to murder innocent Palestinians, but by an American oleh who joined the IDF with the sole purpose of killing Arab American journalists.
To which Fein added the favorite mantra of Israel haters in the US, suggesting that Israel may be quick to refuse to cooperate with the probe, but the US has many tools of persuasion, including military aid and regional geopolitics, to pressure its Middle East ally. “Those kinds of levers can change the minds of the Israelis,” he promised.
All of which suggests the unfortunate killing of this war correspondence during a legitimate IDF raid in Jenin is a dream come true for the anti-Israel hordes in Washington and the world over.
Now, I know you’re not supposed to use the Holocaust in a debate, but I was reminded of Kristallnacht we commemorated on November 9, and the fact that the barbaric destruction of Jewish homes, businesses, and synagogues and the murder of close to 100 German Jews was pinned on the assassination of a German diplomat named Ernst vom Rath by a 17-year-old Polish Jew named Herschel Grynszpan.
It’s no wonder Bruce Fein, Al Jazeera, and 57 Democratic members of Congress are looking for their Herschel Grynszpan.