The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has condemned President Barack Obama for the act of slander, falsehood, and false moral equivalence contained in his Administration’s reaction to several vicious murders and attempted murders of Israeli Jews (one, Rabbi Eitam Henkin, a U.S. citizen) in recent days by Arab terrorists, which have resulted in the murder of four Jews, the wounding of several others, the killing of two of the Arab assailants, and the unintentional killing of an Arab teenager in the midst of Palestinian Arabs rioters using Molotov cocktails and rocks against Israeli police and security forces protecting Joseph’s Tomb from a violent mob near Bethlehem.
Yet, White House spokesman Josh Earnest, instead of identifying and distinguishing between the Jewish victims and Arab terrorists and rioters, said, “The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms violence against Israeli and Palestinian civilians [ZOA’s emphasis]. We call upon all parties to take affirmative steps to restore calm and refrain from actions and rhetoric that would further enflame tensions in that region of the world. We continue to urge all sides to find a way back to the full restoration of the status quo at the Temple Mount in Haram al-Sharif, the location that has precipitated so much of the violence that we’ve seen there” (‘Press Briefing by Press Secretary Josh Earnest,’ October 7, 2015).
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “We condemn the latest statement from President Obama’s spokesman. This was not only an act of reprehensible false moral equivalence, but no Arabs were intentionally attacked by Israeli Jews.
“Only hostility to the Jewish state could explain why the White House would choose to obscure the readily ascertainable fact that Israeli Jews have been deliberately and murderously attacked by Arab terrorists, pretending instead that both Israeli and Palestinian civilians have been deliberately and murderously attacked.
“This is a lie.
“There have been no deliberate attacks on Arab civilians. The Arab teenager killed in Bethlehem was killed unintentionally, not deliberately, in the midst of a violent Palestinian Arab riot at a Jewish holy site, Joseph’s Tomb.
“Similarly, no Arab civilians have been assaulted on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount. To the contrary, peaceful Jewish civilians, lawfully visiting the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site, have been attacked by Arabs, who incidentally caused damage to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in which they barricaded themselves in order to carry out their attacks without being easily apprehendable by Israeli police.
“It is a disgrace that President Obama, through his spokesman, has knowingly and officially lied about these events and pretended that innocent civilians on both sides have been attacked. In doing so and in calling upon ‘all parties’ to refrain from violence, President Obama tars Israel with the criminal brush of the Palestinian Arab and Israeli Arab attackers.
“Whether on the Temple Mount or with regard to the recent spate of Arab attacks on innocent Jews, Israeli forces have acted correctly, legally and morally to protect the lives of Israeli civilians under assault and to apprehend the perpetrators of criminal, terrorist attacks. How dare President Obama call upon Israel to refrain from doing these things? How dare he acts as if Israeli Jews are behaving like Palestinian Arab and Israeli Arab terrorists?
“A president without conspicuous hostility towards the Jewish state would have condemned the attacks on innocent, law-abiding Israeli civilians; he would have condemned their Arab attackers and he would also have condemned Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas for his deliberate incitement against Israel in recent weeks. He would call upon Abbas to cease incitement to hatred and murder against Israel and Israeli Jews forthwith, or else face the termination of $600 million per year in U.S. aid. He has not done so.
“Yet, as Arab Israeli journalist Khaled Abu Toameh has written this week, ‘The Palestinian Authority (PA) and its leaders, including President Mahmoud Abbas, cannot evade responsibility for the latest wave of terror attacks against Israelis in Jerusalem and the West Bank.’
“President Obama owes Israel and Jews everywhere an apology for this slanderous, scurrilous and disgraceful statement. He should disown it and clarify that the United States is condemning the deliberate murderous attacks upon Israeli civilians and that all but one of the Arab fatalities were terrorists. He should also state that the death of the Arab teenager was not a case of ‘violence against … Palestinian civilians’ but an accidental killing in the midst of quelling a violent riot outside a Jewish holy place.”