Another young American man has given his life while fighting in the ranks of Islamist terrorists abroad. But this time, instead of being met with universal condemnations and scorn, the young terrorist is being greeted with sympathetic news accounts and “even-handed” statements from the State Department—all because he joined the politically correct terrorists, that is, the Palestinians.
Just think. When Eric Harroun of Arizona joined an Al Qaeda group fighting in Syria last year, he was arrested as soon as he tried to re-enter the United States.
When Douglas McCain of Minnesota was killed in August while taking part in an ISIS attack in Syria, a senior Obama administration official told NBC that “the threat we are most concerned about to the homeland is that of fighters like this returning to the U.S. and committing acts of terrorism.”
When three young Muslim women from Colorado were caught on their way to try to join ISIS, the Obama administration strongly condemned them.
But when U.S. citizen Orwa Abdel Hammad, a former resident of New Orleans, took part in an Islamist terrorist attack in the Middle East last week, the response from the Obama administration was oh so different.
Hammad was a Palestinian Arab with American citizenship. On Friday, October 24, decided to take part in the wave of Islamist violence against Jews that has been engulfing Israel in recent weeks.
Hammad positioned himself alongside Highway 60, north of Jerusalem, and prepared a molotov cocktail. Spotting an approaching Israeli motorist, Hammad rose to hurl the flaming bottle of gasoline. The goal was to set the Israeli car on fire, so that its drivers and passengers would be burned alive.
Because they were Jews.
Fortunately, Israeli soldiers on a stakeout shot Hammad dead.
It turns out that Hammad was the cousin of a Palestinian terrorist who murdered ten Israelis in an attack in 2002. He was the nephew of a terrorist who died in a terrorist attack in 1989. And one of Hammad’s own cousins admitted to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz that he and Hammad were among a group of Palestinian Arabs who were taking part in attacks on Israeli motorists.
The New York Times’ account of the attack did not mention anything about Hammad’s quite relevant family lineage or his cousin’s testimony. The Times’ headline on the story began “Israeli Troops Kill Palestinian Teenager…” –not “Palestinian Teenager Tries to Burn Israelis Alive…”
And while the dead terrorist Douglas McCain was denounced by the Obama administration as a grave threat to America, the dead terrorist Orwa Hammad was warmly embraced by the Obama administration.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki announced that the administration had sent its “deepest condolences” to the Hammad family. Psaki demanded that the Israeli government undertake “a speedy and transparent investigation” of the killing of Hammad. She called on “all parties to help restore calm and avoid escalating tensions in the wake of the tragic recent incidents in Jerusalem and the West Bank.”
Psaki in no way called on the Palestinian Authority –in whose territory Hammad resided– to investigate xxx its young people who are trying to burn Israelis alive.
Nor did Psaki make any distinction between Palestinian terrorists and Israelis acting in self-defense. Instead, it was the fearsomely familiar Obama moral equivalency: “all parties” should be “calm”; “all parties” should “avoid escalating tensions.”
Psaki called the killing of Orwa Hammad “tragic.”
She got her tragedies wrong.
It’s a tragedy that the Palestinian Authority actively incites its young people to try to murder Israelis.
It’s a tragedy when American citizens take part in Islamist terrorism, whether in Syria or Israel.
And it’s a tragedy – actually, an outrage – when the United States government cannot distinguish between victim and aggressor, between right and wrong, or between good and evil.
by Moshe Phillips and Benyamin Korn
(The authors are Members of the Board of the Religious Zionists of America.)