American citizens living in Israel received on Monday night an urgent email alert from the embassy in Jerusalem to avoid travel to Judea and Samaria, what it calls the “West Bank.”
Embassy staff and their families have been temporarily prohibited from traveling in these areas after 8 PM, and all other US citizens were cautioned to likewise steer clear.
While the message didn’t say as much, the obvious problem is that Americans traveling in vehicles with Israeli license plates could be mistaken for Israelis (though many are dual citizens of both nations) and attacked by Palestinian Arabs.
An Israeli-American citizen was killed on Monday night when Palestinian terrorists opened fire at his car near Jericho, just north of the Dead Sea.
Jews, or those believed to be Jews, have been relentlessly attacked in Judea and Samaria in recent months.
The irony is that while the warning was clearly aimed at helping Americans avoid getting caught up in Palestinian violence, the message emanating from Washington in recent days would seem to suggest that the turbulent situation in the region is entirely the fault of Israel and the Jews.
“We expect the Israeli government to ensure full accountability and legal prosecution of those responsible for these attacks in addition to compensation for the loss of homes and property,” said State Department spokesperson Ned Price after Jews of Samaria demonstrated, some of them violently, in the Palestinian village of Huwara.
Now, when was the last time you saw the State Department take the time to deliver such a stern response to routine acts of property damage by Palestinian Arabs against Israeli Jews, in particular the nearly daily stoning attacks targeting Jewish motorists?
While the threat of Palestinian violence was serious enough to issue an urgent security alert, it was the rare occasion of a Jewish outburst of violence that really had Washington hot and bothered.
There are two possible reasons for this:
- Palestinian violence is simply a given at this point. It’s what everyone expects of them after decades of hateful indoctrination. So flare-ups no longer elicit the same kind of dramatic reaction.
- An ingrained bias against Israel prevents the West, including the US, from affording the same level of understanding to a Jewish outburst of violence as it does to Palestinian outbursts, which are routinely dismissed as “natural reactions” to the present conflict.
Either way, the duplicity of the American approach bolsters the feeling among many Israelis that even their “best friend” is really no friend at all.
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