Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Times of Israel reports:

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation is launching an investigation into the killing of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, apparently by an Israeli soldier, officials said Monday, with Israel immediately rejecting cooperation with the probe.

US officials updated their Israeli counterparts earlier this month about the decision, an official familiar with the matter told The Times of Israel on Monday, confirming a Channel 14 news report.
There is a lot that doesn't make sense about this.

First of all, the US has insisted for months that they will accept the results of Israel's internal investigation. This a very strange about-face, with no obvious reason.

Secondly, the FBI has - as far as I know - never done an independent investigation of an ally without their cooperation. Normally they will work together with, often upon request from, allies to add investigative expertise that other countries cannot do. To publicly disrespect an ally like this is extraordinary.

Thirdly, this is even extraordinary according to official FBI policy described in this document:
The FBI becomes involved in investigating crimes against U.S. citizens under the following two circumstances:

When the FBI has authority under the U.S. criminal code to investigate certain crimes such as terrorism, the homicide or kidnapping of U.S. citizens, or international family abduction.

When a foreign government requests FBI assistance with an investigation.

This only makes sense if you consider Abu Aklehs' death a homicide, which is again an amazing assumption.

Combine this with the huge number of civilians that have been killed by the US Army in various circumstances - the US armed forces certainly know the difficulties of avoiding unfortunate deaths - and there is only one way to look at this investigation. 

It is a gross, deliberate insult to Israel. 

So why is the US knowingly insulting its ally? And why now?

The TOI article says that "US officials updated their Israeli counterparts earlier this month about the decision." That's about the time of the results of Israel's elections.

Abu Akleh's death and investigation were not under a right wing government, and the US respected Israel's decisions at the time. 

The Biden administration and traditionally friendly Democratic members of Congress have been increasingly willing to criticize and show displeasure at Israel's upcoming government. It seems more than coincidental that this insult, which could have happened at any time over the past six months, is timed right after the Israeli elections. 

The Biden administration is sending a profoundly passive-aggressive message that it will treat Israeli governments it does not approve of with little respect, and only lip service towards being an ally.

If I am correct, expect things to get much uglier in coming months, at the UN and maybe even an unofficial move of diplomatic resources from Jerusalem back to Tel Aviv.





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