The first statement to come out of the meeting today between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu was Obama's strong condemnation of the horrific killing of four Israeli settlers on the West Bank. These were civilians who were simply driving in a car when Hamas snipers took them out.
The President was right to condemn these murders.
Of course, we rarely, if ever, officially condemn the killing of Palestinians by the Israelis even though Israel is an established government (not a terror outfit), the largest recipient of US foreign aid and uses the weapons we supply (gratis) to do the killing.
We did not condemn the Gaza onslaught in which the IDF killed 1,200 Palestinians (including 432 kids). We do not condemn the routine killing of Palestinian civilians by the army or the settlers. We did not condemn the the shooting of the American Jewish girl from Maryland who lost an eye for protesting the Gaza ship raid. We did, however, condemn the Goldstone Report for delineating what the IDF did in Gaza.
And we wonder why no one, except our government, considers us to be "honest brokers" between Israelis and Palestinians. Honest brokers would condemn all killings of innocent people.
The fact is that we act like old fashioned colonialists. The Israelis are the "white guys" and the Palestinians are the "natives" and nobody much bothers with the deaths of natives. (I notice that every article on the supposed peace negotiations talks about the tremendous reduction in the number of violent acts against Israelis by Palestinians. The far greater number of acts of violence by Israelis against Palestinians don't merit a mention).
Someday we Americans will recognize that all innocent dead are the same, and particularly all innocent dead children.
But we aren't there yet, not by a long shot. And that is why only Americans consider America to be an "honest broker." The rest of the world sees us, in former Clinton official Aaron Miller's words, as "Israel's lawyer."
I thought all children were the same in the eyes of God. I guess ONLY in his eyes.
POSTSCRIPT: I WAS reading some of the comments below. As a Jew, who lost so many relatives in the Holocaust, I have to admit that I feel almost nauseous when I see some of the posters defending the killing of children on the grounds that they are human shields, child terrorists or whatever. 1.5 million Jewish children were murdered because the Nazis believed, in Himmler's words, that they would "grow up to be part of an avenging Jewish army." Goebbels said "there are no innocent Jews. The children grow up."
The kids killed in the Warsaw Ghetto: "terrorists."
And here we have people who deem children legitimate targets for killing because they are "human shields."
I knew there are Holocaust deniers. But this takes it to the next level. Those who defend the killing of kids (unarmed kids, not kids armed with guns or explosives) help us understand why the Shoah happened and how it could happen again. After all, standing opposed to the murder of 1.5 million Jewish kids (now long gone) while defending the killing of kids today demonstrates that the hate that produced the Shoah is still out there. Only the victims are different.