Two of the primary sources of propaganda about Middle East events used by the PCUSA’s Israel Palestine Mission Network are the web site Electronic Intifada and the news network Al Jazeera. At the former today, the top headline is about 11 students at the University of California at Irvine who face criminal charges for disrupting a speech at UC-I by the Israeli ambassador to the United States last year. At the latter’s English language site, we have a variety of stories, from Bahrain to Libya to Japan.
Interesting thing about both sites: searches revealed that neither one of them has so much as mentioned the slaughter of five Israelis, including three children, by a Palestinian terrorist last Friday.
Come to think of it, except for saying “wrong actions answered with wrong actions,” neither has the IPMN. Of course, the same can be said for the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, the American Friends Service Committee, Churches for Middle East Peace, and the rest of the mainline anti-Israel establishment. I guess if an Israeli family dies, it merits less comment or condemnation than an olive grove or a building permit, which are the real obstacles to peace.
And yes, I know I’ve already commented on this. I’d hoped that as days passed, there might be some reaction. Why I hope, I couldn’t tell you.
UPDATE: Well, it took a while, but there have finally been a couple of responses. First, there’s Churches for Middle East Peace (via Dexter Van Zile and the CAMERA blog):
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) strongly denounces the tragic and senseless killing of five members of the Fogel family in Itamar, a small Israeli settlement in the northern part of the West Bank near Nablus on March 11. It welcomes the strong condemnation of the attack by the Palestinian Authority.
This killing, which included three young children, is abhorrent, immoral, and as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said, a crime against humanity. CMEP sends our prayers and heartfelt condolences to the family, community, and all those impacted by this violence in the Holy Land.
They would have done well to stop here, but had to go on to connect this ghastly murder to the political situation:
These terrible murders are all the more devastating because they demonstrate the endemic social corrosion that is a symptomatic of stagnant peace process. Without any evidence of progress toward a negotiated agreement, Palestinians and Israelis alike face a future in limbo, devastating in its uncertainty, volatility, and enduring violence. Such uncertainty only enables extremists on both sides.
Actually, what these murders demonstrate is the bankruptcy of the mainline approach that says Israel has no business defending itself or its citizens. There’s also no reference in this statement that indicates CMEP recognizes that part of the “endemic social corrosion” is the result of the daily dehumanization of Jews by the Palestinian media and schools.
There’s also a statement out from the IPMN (hat tip: Viola Larson), which deserves to be quoted in its entirety:
The Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the PC(USA) (IPMN) condemns with the strongest force, the murder of the Fogel family in the settlement of Itamar, near the West Bank town of Nablus.
There can be no justification, political or otherwise, for such a horrific act of murder. The fact that the victims were living in what is a settlement, considered illegal under international humanitarian law, is not justification for any kind of attack, let alone cold-blooded murder. Civilians are protected under the Fourth Geneva Convention in any circumstance. Furthermore, the many documented settler attacks on Palestinians in the West Bank are not justification for any kind of attack or reprisal. The IPMN strongly condemns any revenge attacks, which are not justifiable under any law.
We call on the Palestinian Authority to full cooperation with the Israeli investigators in order to bring the perpetrators to justice. The IPMN acknowledges the condemnation of the attack by Palestinian civil authorities and expects that they will continue to condemn violence in their struggle for statehood. We pray for the grieving family of the victims and wish for healing and mercy.
This senseless loss of life is a reminder that the Israel/Palestine conflict cannot be left to continue and a real peace process must be re-imagined and re-started. IPMN agrees with the State Department that Israel’s recent approval of 500 settlement home, since the murders, is counter to peace efforts and that the continued stalemate injures both parties. The network calls for a re-doubling of efforts to end this conflict, which harms both Israelis and Palestinians, and leaves lives shattered and lost.
This isn’t as bad as it could be, but it’s interesting that even in a statement in which they express condemnation with the “strongest force,” they couldn’t help but mention settlements and settler attacks. Any thought of simply treating the murders as horrendous in themselves, and leaving the other stuff for other times, just doesn’t seem to ever occur to them.
Oh, and they might have also noted that not all of the “Palestinian civil authorities” condemned the attack. The rulers of Hamas, in fact, saluted the mujahid who killed “Zionists” as young as 3 months old.