Last week, the U.S. State Department offered its “deepest condolences” to the family of 3-month-old Chaya Zissel Braun, who was killed by a Palestinian terrorist in Jerusalem, and was also a U.S. citizen. This past weekend, the State Department offered “deepest condolences” to the family of Orwa Hammad, a 17-year-old Palestinian and U.S. citizen who was shot by Israeli troops as he threw rocks and firebombs at civilian drivers.
The failure to distinguish between these two deaths is striking. One was completely innocent. The other was an active participant in a violent, Hamas-backed protest, not only seeking to injure innocent Israelis (or worse), but also risking injury to himself and fellow Palestinians. Hammad’s death comes as the State Department is trying to discourage Americans from taking part in terrorist organizations abroad, such as ISIS.
Even supposing Hammad’s family was entitled to any expression of sympathy at all, his death hardly merits the “deepest condolences” more appropriate for an innocent victim of terror.
Perhaps the Obama administration is merely trying not to offend Palestinians or risk a domestic backlash from radical groups like CAIR. Regardless, its attempt to create a moral equivalence here reveals the danger and folly of its entire approach to the conflict.
Senior Editor-at-Large Joel B. Pollak edits Breitbart California and is the author of the new ebook, Wacko Birds: The Fall (and Rise) of the Tea Party, available for Amazon Kindle.
Follow Joel on Twitter: @joelpollak