Posted by: ZOA Staff
July 5, 2016
News Press Release

ZOA: U.S. State Department’s Condolence Statements on Terrorist Attacks are Biased Against Israel and Jews

By The White House [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

ZOA President Morton A. Klein released the following statement:

Israelis and Jews and the caring pro-Israel community throughout the world are again reeling from two more brutal, murderous Palestinian-Arab terrorist attacks in the last week.

Unfortunately, the U.S. State Department’s official “condolence statement” on the murder of Israeli-American Jew, Hallel-Yaffa Ariel, doesn’t mention that it was a Palestinian Arab who committed this crime or that it was an Israeli who was murdered. By contrast, the State Department typically identifies victims’ nationality and expresses support for the victims’ nation, army, government, sovereignty and countrymen and women when the victims are not Israeli Jews and the perpetrators are not Palestinian Arab terrorists.

Moreover, the State Department’s September 24, 2015 “condolence statement” following an accident in Saudi Arabia expressed the United States’ “support of Muslims around the world.”   Why does the U.S. State Department never express support of Jews, Christians, Hindus, etc. around the world?  Do only “Muslim lives matter” to this U.S. administration?

The statement regarding Hallel-Yaffa Ariel is not an isolated incident, but rather is typical of U.S. State Department’s bias when the victims are Jewish Israelis (or Christian victims of radical Islamist terrorism in Muslim-majority countries).  Moreover, many of the U.S. State Department’s “condolence” statements when Jewish Israelis are murdered are even worse: the U.S. State Department uses these occasions to demand that “all parties.. take affirmative steps to reduce tensions and restore calm.”  (See, e.g., March 8, 2016 statement.)  In other words, the U.S. State Department is, in essence, saying that Israel is equally to blame when Palestinian-Arab terrorists murder innocent Jews!

Why does the U.S. State Department fail to provide the sort of support to Israel that it routinely provides to other nations battling radical Islamist terrorists?

Moreover, the U.S. State Department fails to issue any condolence statement at all in the vast majority of Palestinian-Arab terrorist attacks on Israeli and American Jews.   We have yet to see an official statement about the horrible murder of Rabbi Mark and wounding of his family.

ZOA’s analysis of last Thursday’s U.S. State Department “condolence statement” and other U.S. State Department condolence statements reveals the following:

(1) U.S. State Department “condolence statements” related to attacks on Jewish victims and an American Christian tourist victim in Israel consistently fail to mention that the perpetrators were Palestinian-Arab terrorists.   See U.S. State Department “condolence statements” related to attacks on Jews in Israel and Judea/Samaria yesterday June 30, 2016, and on June 8, 2016, March 8, 2016, February 19, 2016, and October 1, 2015 – which all never mention the identity and affiliation of the perpetrators. 

By contrast, U.S. State Department “condolence statements” related to incidents in other countries often identify the perpetrators’ affiliations.  See, for example: April 19, 2016 statement identifying perpetrators of terrorist attack in Kabul as the Taliban; January 11, 2016 statement identifying perpetrators of terrorist attack in Iraq as ISIL; January 7, 2016 statement identifying terrorist threat related to an attack in Libya as emanating from “Violent extremists including ISIL-affiliated groups.”

(2) U.S. State Department “condolence statements” related to attacks in Israel and Judea/Samaria consistently fail to identify the victims as Jews, and usually also fail to identify the victims as IsraelisSee U.S. State Department “condolence statements” related to attacks in Israel and Judea/Samaria yesterday June 30, 2016, and on June 8, 2016, March 8, 2016 and on February 19, 2016 – all of which fail to identify victims as Jews and Israelis.  (The Feb. 19, 2016 statement mentions that the murdered victim was a U.S. citizen but does not mention that he was Jewish.) 

By contrast, U.S. State Department “condolence statements” often identify victims of terrorist attacks occurring elsewhereSee April 19, 2016 statement (identifying Afghans and the Afghan people as the victims); March 22, 2016 statement (“Today’s abhorrent attacks in Brussels are an assault against the Belgian people. . .”); Sept. 24, 2016 statement (identifying victims as “people of Saudi Arabia and other countries whose citizens died or were injured”; the statement also expresses “support of Muslims throughout the world”).

(3) U.S. State Department “condolence statements” related to attacks in Israel and Judea/Samaria fail to express support for, and fail to offer assistance to, the government, army, people and sovereignty of Israel.  See U.S. State Department “condolence statements” related to attacks in Israel and Judea/Samaria yesterday June 30, 2016, and on March 8, 2016, February 19, 2016 and October 1, 2015 – which all fail to express any support for or offer assistance to the Israeli government, army, sovereignty and people of Israel and the Jewish people.  (A June 8, 2016 statement also did not mention the Jewish and Israeli people, Israeli sovereignty, and the IDF or the government by name, and merely indirectly stated: “we are in touch with Israeli authorities to express our support and concern” – which is far weaker than the statements of support that the U.S. State Department routinely provides to other countries.)

By contrast, U.S. State Department “condolence statements” related to attacks or even an accident elsewhere (Iraq, Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Belgium, Indonesia, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Egypt) virtually always express strong support for and offer assistance to those nations’ governments, people, armies and/or sovereignty. 

See July 3, 2006 statement (“We will continue to unite the world against this evil, remove their safe havens in Syria and Iraq, and uproot their global networks.  Our partnership with Iraq and its people, who serve on the front-lines of this global fight, remains steadfast and unwavering. We are in close contact with Iraqi authorities, and stand committed to supporting Iraqi Security forces as they take the fight to Da’esh strongholds, and bring all responsible for these terrible crimes to justice.”)

June 28, 2016 statement (“We will remain in close touch with Turkish authorities throughout the investigation.  We stand in solidarity with our NATO Ally Turkey in combating the threat of terrorism. . . . Such attacks will only reinforce our determination to work with the Government of Turkey to counter the scourge of terrorism. . .”)

June 28, 2016 statement (“We support the ongoing efforts of the Lebanese Armed Forces to defend all of Lebanon’s territory against terrorism and to protect the Lebanese people. We reiterate our strong commitment and continued support for Lebanon’s security, stability, and sovereignty.”)

June 21, 2016 statement (“We [the United States] remain committed to Jordan’s security and stability, and are proud to stand side-by-side with Jordan in the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL.  The United States will continue to provide assistance and cooperate closely with Jordan in the wake of this heinous attack. . . . As always, the United States stands together with Jordan.”)

April 19, 2016 statement (“Attacks like these only deepen our support for the people and Government of Afghanistan.”)

March 27, 2016 statement (“The United States stands with the people and Government of Pakistan at this difficult hour. . . . We will continue to work with our partners in Pakistan and across the region to combat the threat of terrorism.”)

March 22, 2016 statement (“Today’s abhorrent attacks in Brussels are an assault against the Belgian people and the very heart of Europe. . . . We stand ready to provide whatever support the Belgian Government may require.  As I made clear this morning in a conversation with Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders, the United States stands firmly with our ally Belgium and with all of Europe in the face of this tragedy.”)

January 14, 2016 statement (“We stand firmly with the Indonesian people against terrorism and extremist ideologies that give rise to terrorist violence. . . . We will continue working with our Indonesian partners and others around the world to combat these shared threats.”)

January 11, 2016 statement (“We stand united with the Iraqi people as they confront the scourge of violent extremism. The United States remains committed to working with Prime Minister al-Abadi, the Iraqi Security Forces, and our Coalition partners to support Iraqi-led efforts to degrade and destroy ISIL.”)

January 7, 2016 statement (“Violent extremists including ISIL-affiliated groups threaten all Libyans throughout the country. . . . We are committed to providing the unified [Libyan] government full political backing and technical, economic, security and counter-terrorism assistance.”)

September 24, 2015 statement (“At this time, during the blessed holiday of Eid al-Adha, the United States stands in support of Muslims around the world in the wake of this terrible tragedy.”)

June 29, 2015 statement (“The United States stands firmly with the Egyptian government in its efforts to confront terrorism.”)

The entire nation of Israel suffers each time there is another murder of an innocent Israeli.  Why does the U.S. State Department fail to have the decency to acknowledge this – when they readily acknowledge this for other nations whose people are murdered by radical Islamists?  Why does the U.S. State Department fail to provide the sort of support to Israel that it routinely provides to other nations battling radical Islamist terrorists?

(4) Even worse, U.S. State Department “condolence statements” related to attacks in Israel and Judea/Samaria make demands on Israel!   Outrageously, in essence, instead of offering support to Israel in its fight against Palestinian-Arab terrorists, the U.S. State Department partly blames Israel for terrorism against innocent Israeli and American people.  

See March 8, 2016 statement regarding the attacks on American Taylor Force and numerous Israelis in Jaffa, Petah Tikvah and Jerusalem (“We continue to encourage all parties to take affirmative steps to reduce tensions and restore calm.”)

And, February 19, 2016 statement related to the murder of a Jewish American citizen in Judea/Samaria (“This horrific incident again underscores the need for all sides to reject violence, and urgently take steps to restore calm, reduce tensions, and bring an immediate end to the violence).

The U.S. State Department’s “blame the victim” “condolence statements” are unique to attacks against Israeli Jews.   The U.S. State Department gives other nations victimized by terror attack unqualified support in their battles against terrorists, as demonstrated by the multiple statements quoted in item (3) above.

In addition, when an attack occurs in a Jewish city, town or village in the “West Bank” (such as in Kiryat Arba several days ago, on the outskirts of the millennia-old Jewish town of Hebron) the U.S. State Department does not mention the name of the village, or that the attack occurred in a Jewish village, and simply identifies the location as the “West Bank.”  See June 30, 2016 State Department “condolence statement,” entitled “Today’s Terrorist Attack in the West Bank.” 

By contrast, when there was a fire in a Palestinian-Arab village in the “West Bank,” which was possibly a terrorist attack, the U.S. State department condolence statement named the village (using its Arabic name) and specifically stated that it was a “Palestinian village.”  See July 31, 2015 U.S. State Dept. statement, entitled “Terrorist Attack in Palestinian Village.”

In addition, the U.S. State Department condolence statements regarding attacks on Jews that occurred within the “green line” in Israel fail to mention that the location is in “Israel.” Instead, only the city is named.   See June 8, 2016 statement (only stating that attack occurred in “Tel Aviv”), March 8, 2016 statement (only stating that attack occurred in “Jaffa, Petah Tikvah, and Jerusalem”).

By contrast, virtually every U.S. State Department condolence statement for attacks occurring in other nations names both the city and country where the attack occurred, either in the title or in the text, or both.  See, for example, March 22, 2016 statement (entitled “The United States Condemns the Terrorist Attacks in Brussels, Belgium”); and January 14, 2016 statement (entitled “On the Terrorist Attack in Jakarta, Indonesia”).

Why do these U.S. State Department condolence statements fail to acknowledge Israel’s sovereignty – while the State Department clearly names every other sovereign nation whose people are the victims of terrorism?