Assassinating Shireen and The Reactions Thereto…  An Old Criminality Renewed, and Features of New Trends… Hypotheses About the Future…

Assassinating Shireen and The Reactions Thereto… An Old Criminality Renewed, and Features of New Trends… Hypotheses About the Future…

While Shireen was among her people, as always, conveying with her usual courage the occupation authorities’ barbaric invasion of the Jenin camp, the “Israelis” assassinated her with a direct bullet to the head.

The crime that the occupation forces committed is not a strange behavior or crime by it, which has been going on for nearly 100 years, starting with the Stern Gang and the Haganah, up until now.

Nevertheless, we believe that explaining this crime itself and the reactions thereto carry additional dimensions dictated by regional and international circumstances, as well as circumstances of the Entity itself. It is these circumstances in particular that elicit reactions from sides that have not previously shown the “emotions” and “sadness” they are showing today.

The way the occupation forces dealt with the event, starting with the deliberate targeting of the martyr Shireen and Palestinians coming together around her, then the brutal attack on the funeral in which thousands marched between Palestinian cities, leading to one of the largest funerals witnessed in occupied Jerusalem, in addition to the reactions, especially the official ones; all of this raises big questions. Despite the undisputed importance of the martyr, and the special place she holds in the hearts of not only the Palestinians, but also in the hearts of everyone who follows the Palestinian cause and considers it their own, nevertheless, anyone following the event can notice in the Zionist’s behavior what may seem to be an unprecedented amount of “foolishness”, and in the Western reactions in particular (although as usual they do not rise to the level of the event), a relatively unprecedented and initially incomprehensible amount of “sympathy”. All of this requires explanation and understanding.

In this article, we will try to ponder a few hypotheses to explain the assassination itself and the subsequent attack on the coffin, as well as the accompanying Western reactions, with as wide an angle as possible. We will start with reviewing the events and statements, then move on to trying to explain.

Shireen’s Assassination and Funeral

On the morning of last Wednesday, May 11, Palestinian journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh was in Jenin to cover the “Israeli” army’s invasion of the Jenin city and camp, when a sniper of the occupation army fired a bullet that hit the martyr in her head. This was despite the fact that she was in an area where media crews gathered, and she was wearing a vest and helmet clearly marked with the word “PRESS” to indicate that she is a journalist. The bullet hit her in the small part of her head that was not covered by the helmet, so in other words, the assassination was completely intentional, even premeditated.

It is worth noting that the “Israeli” side expressed a lot of resentment towards the “accusations” and attacked any side stating that it was the side responsible for Shireen’s killing. However, according to many media outlets, including a May 11th article in American magazine “TIME”, Ran Kochav, the “Israeli” military’s chief spokesman described journalists as “armed with cameras”, which carries in it an implicit admission of the crime.

The next day, Thursday, May 12, the occupation forces stormed the funeral home where a large number of mourners gathered to remember martyr Shireen. The “Israeli” forces tried to prevent them from entering the place, assaulted anyone carrying the Palestinian flag, and arrested others who protested invading the funeral home.

In a continuation of the barbarism and criminality, and in a video clip from her funeral with thousands of Palestinians in occupied Jerusalem on Friday, May 13, the entire world witnessed the occupation forces with a great amount of barbarism attacking and beating mourners to reach those carrying her coffin in an attempt to force them to drop it. Some of the occupation security forces even used their batons to hit the coffin itself, as if everything they had done was not enough to show their hatred, criminality, and brutality.


Reactions by Some Western Officials

Reactions started to come out rapidly from the moment news started spreading about Shireen’s death and the successive clips, starting with the first moments after she was hit and her body was pulled from the place where she was standing when she was targeted, and up to this moment. It is worth mentioning that the reactions of the international audiences were sympathetic and angry, more than any other recent incident. This can be partially explained by the fact that the martyr is a journalist and that what happened was documented on the screens and could not be denied or justified by any of the usual ways to exonerate or whitewash and portray the aggressive occupier as a victim defending itself.

What was interesting was the reactions of some Western officials, especially some American ones, as there was extensive and unprecedented interaction with the incident. It was also noticeable that the language and tone were stronger against “Israel” and by some prominent personalities, especially in the US, including some politicians.

Among those who made clear statements about the “Israeli” side’s responsibility were some who previously already held different positions from the usual trend on the Palestinian issue, including Senator Bernie Sanders, who tweeted on May 13: “The attack by Israeli forces against mourners at the funeral of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh is an outrage. The United States must condemn this, and demand an independent investigation into her killing”. There were also a number of tweets from two members of the US House of Representatives who are of Arab descent: Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, in which they touched on the extent of US support for “Israel” and the recent practices that rise to the level of apartheid, and that US silence is tantamount to complicity in “Israel’s” crimes.

There were also others, like Cori Bush, also a member of the US House of Representatives, who tweeted on May 12: “The Israeli military killing of Shireen Abu Akleh is devastating and infuriating. I condemn this unacceptable attack on her, on Palestinians and the freedom and safety of journalists everywhere. There must be accountability, and we must demand an end to Israeli apartheid”. Congressman André Carson also noted in a tweet that the “Israeli” military killed Shireen, adding: “The U.S. must hold the Israeli government accountable for this and all other acts of unjust violence it commits”. US congresswoman Marie Newman also tweeted on May 12 that she is extremely concerned by reports that “reporter Shireen Abu Akleh was shot and killed by Israeli forces” and said in another tweet that the “US government cannot continue turning a blind eye to this brutality” in reference to the “Israeli” forces attack on the funeral.

Others did not write quite as clearly, but there was enough hinting, like congressman Mark Pocan, who said in a tweet that “Restrictions on aid may be necessary if human rights and universally acceptable norms can’t be followed”, which is understood to be with reference to US support for “Israel”.

There were also some European voices, including that of the European Parliament member, Mick Wallace, who wrote several tweets about the incident, including a tweet in which he said: “The Apartheid State of #Israel doesn't care what the world thinks because it knows that the unconditional support of #US + #EU is guaranteed - So Israel was prepared to murder journalist Shireen Abu Aqleh and attack her funeral - US + EU are facilitating Israeli Terrorism”.

Meanwhile, the EU merely released a statement about what happened in the funeral, in which it did not mention the reasons that led to there being a funeral to begin with. The statement only said that the “EU condemns the disproportionate use of force and the disrespectful behavior by the Israeli police against the participants of the mourning procession”. The UK, through a tweet by its ambassador to “Israel”, merely expressed being “deeply saddened by the tragic death” of Shireen.

At the same time, official statements were vague and devoid of blaming the perpetrator, i.e., “Israel”, including statements by US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, who said in a tweet about the funeral attack: “We were deeply troubled by the images of Israeli police intruding into the funeral procession of Palestinian American Shireen Abu Akleh. Every family deserves to lay their loved ones to rest in a dignified and unimpeded manner”. The same was stated in a brief statement on the US State Department’s website on the subject, in which he added: “We remain in close contact with our Israeli and Palestinian counterparts and call on all to maintain calm and avoid any actions that could further escalate tensions”.

There was also a press conference held by the US State Department’s spokesperson on May 11, the day the occupation forces killed the journalist Shireen, and in his introductory remarks he touched on the incident of her killing without mentioning who killed her. Later in the press conference and in response to repeated questions on the subject, he did not only not say who killed her, but expressed full confidence in the “Israeli” side’s statement that it would investigate the matter and that “The Israelis have the wherewithal and the capabilities to conduct a thorough, comprehensive investigation”, and that what is important for the Americans is “that those who are responsible for her death be held responsible”.

In addition to the US State Department, there were statements of the same “level” from other officials, such as Speaker of the US House Nancy Pelosi, who said in a tweet on May 11, “The killing of American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh is an horrific tragedy. A thorough, objective investigation is needed now. Congress is committed to the defense of press freedoms worldwide and protection of every journalist, particularly those in conflict zones”. It seems that Ms. Pelosi “inadvertently” dropped several things, including that the journalist was first and foremost a Palestinian, and that when someone is killed, at least there is an accused party, but she did not dare to mention it, and this is what we are used to by those “politicians”.


The Main Western Media Outlets

Some Western media criticized the occupation’s practices, and a number of them mentioned the party responsible for the killing of Shireen, but some of the most prominent Western media outlets showed the usual bias towards “Israel” and avoidance of accusations with a high degree of insolence, which provoked great resentment and anger, especially among media professionals and journalists. Perhaps the worst of them was the New York Times, which published an article entitled: “Shireen Abu Akleh, Trailblazing Palestinian Journalist, Dies at 51”, which was changed after a wave of outrage to “Trailblazing Palestinian Journalist Killed in the West Bank”. The Associated Press also reported that Shireen was killed by gunfire in the occupied West Bank during an “Israeli” army raid in Jenin, without mentioning who is responsible for her killing. There was a lot of criticism directed at the AP, since the “Israeli” army destroyed with directed missiles its headquarters in Gaza a year ago. The BBC used a similar headline as that of the AP, while CNN published a story entitled “journalist Shireen Abu Akleh shot dead while covering Israeli military operation in West Bank”. Newspaper “The Independent” also published an article entitled: “How Shireen Abu Akleh fell victim to the conflict she covered”.


The United Nations

It is also important to note the UN statements, where the office of the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, stated that he is “appalled by the killing of Shireen Abu Akleh, a Palestinian-American reporter… who was shot dead… while covering an operation by Israeli security forces in Jenin, in the occupied West Bank” and that he “wishes a quick recovery to fellow journalist Ali Samoudi, who was wounded in the incident… [and] calls on the relevant authorities to carry out an independent and transparent investigation into this incident and ensure those responsible are held accountable”. Regarding the barbaric attack by “Israeli” security forces on the funeral of the martyr Shireen, it was reported on the UN website that the Secretary-General “was deeply disturbed by the confrontations between Israeli security forces and Palestinians gathered at St. Joseph Hospital, and the behavior of some police present at the scene.  He continues to urge respect for fundamental human rights, including the rights to freedom of opinion and expression and to peaceful assembly”, without indicating who assaulted whom, and distorting what happened as “confrontations” and not a barbaric and brutal attack by the “Israeli” side.

In addition to the UN Secretary-General, the Executive Director of UN Women, Sima Buhous, issued a statement on “the killing of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh”, in which the content is almost identical to what was stated in the Secretary-General’s office statements, in which she said that Shireen “was shot while on duty covering an operation by Israeli Security Forces in Jenin city in the occupied West Bank”. As for the rest of the Executive Director’s statement, it is a typical example of diluting and trivializing major humanitarian and political issues by taking them out of their context to put them in partial contexts: Shireen’s “death is a stark reminder of the multiple forms of violence experienced by women and girls living in conflict settings, in Palestine and in other parts of the world”.

These disgraceful reactions by this institution, which has clearly become completely subservient to the West and the US, and with increasing insolence recently, proves day after day that it is no longer performing the role entrusted to it, but rather acquiesces to the demands and desires of the West, especially the US. It has become clear that the expiration date of this organization in its current form has passed, and it has become part of an old international political space that must be removed as it is weighing down the planet, in preparation for the emergence of institutions more commensurate with the new reality and the new balances.

What Does All This Mean?

For decades, the “Israeli” occupation has committed all kinds of violations and crimes against the Palestinian people, and has never refrained from carrying out the most heinous crimes including murder, detention, displacement, and all that the occupation gangs commit before the entire world. However, there is something somewhat different in what happened during the past few days, starting with the way the martyr Shireen was assassinated, dealing with the crowds that came to mourn her, the brutal attack on the coffin and its bearers and the mourners, and the reactions of some Western and US personalities and officials, specifically those who traditionally do not even dare to hint at the criminality of the Zionist entity. Suddenly some of those became “humanitarian” and noticed “Israel’s” criminality after 74 years of helping it in legitimizing its occupation of Palestine, annexing more Palestinian lands, disregarding all its practices, and even criminalizing any party that supports the BDS movement.


The Hypotheses

After this lengthy review, following we try to put forward a few hypotheses to explain the “Israeli” behavior, and the unusual part of the Western and American reactions, which, as we mentioned above, still does not rise to the level of the event, nevertheless this does not mean we should note that there is something new that needs an explanation. All these hypotheses may not fully explain the issue, but they may contribute to a better understanding thereof.

Hypothesis 1

Since the ill-fated Oslo Accord, which came during international conditions in which the Soviet Union had recently collapsed, and a US ecstatic with having alone the position of managing international affairs, Washington has presented itself with regard to the Palestinian issue as an adversary and arbitrator, thus it became a primary and obligatory “sponsor” of the “peace process”.

This position began to get eroded and undermined with the beginning of the new millennium, specifically with the second intifada. The erosion is still ongoing, and one of its expressions is the formation of the International “Quartet on the Middle East” in 2002, which includes the US along with the EU, the UN, and Russia.

With the continuous change in the international balance of power, especially after Ukraine, the US’ position as the protector of the Zionist entity is under greater threat, especially since the sponsorship alternatives are clear and ready to assume their roles. Therefore, it has become necessary, from a US perspective, to suggest more than ever before that the US is a “mediator” and not a “party” in this conflict, as it is trying to extend the supposed validity of its dominant position in the process. This may explain the unusual statements of some members of Congress. No reasonable observer can assume that these voices are “freely” tweeting to express their personal opinions, as the serious observer would not lose sight of the nature of the political elite in the US, the size of its relations, and the extent of the dominance by financial elites over it.

Hypothesis 2

Within the clear changes in the international balance of power, some of the unusual reactions may be explained by a conflict among the Zionist elites themselves over the fate of the Zionist entity. It is clear that within the new balances, which will not take long to crystalize as political outcomes at the regional and domestic levels, the entire standing of the Zionist entity is under threat. The Zionist entity was never anything but a Western project, and with the decline of the West, it is doomed to decline too. Therefore, contradictory opinions may emerge among the Zionist elites on how to deal with the developing situation. These opinions include ones that see that what is required quickly is to increase the level of brutality to the maximum limits, in the hopes of maintaining the status quo so that the new balances cannot change it, or at least they cannot change it easily. There are also opposing opinions that believe that what is required is to succumb to the “storm” in the hopes that it will pass through with minimal losses.

Hypothesis 3

Zionism had prepared for the establishment of the entity through its cooperation with Hitler himself, and during a period of sharp change in international balances. In this new stage of history, which carries sharper and more profound changes, it is also possible to assume that Zionism, with its conviction that the existence of the entity itself is not only threatened, but is nearing its end (this is what the “Israeli” media and Zionist research centers have been saying steadily increasingly for no less than about ten years). With a conviction of this kind, preparing for a new Jewish immigration and a new “Israel” would not be surprising.

Whoever looks side by side at the Ukrainian situation in particular and the direct involvement of the Zionists and holders of “Israeli” citizenship, and openly with the Nazis, and whoever reads what they write and say about the “new Israel”, can assume that the tension will reach its maximum limits on in occupied Palestine. Indeed, the international resolutions that have been pending for decades will find their way to implementation, and ships and planes will be ready to load a new Jewish immigration, towards a supposed “new Israel”, in parts of Ukraine.


(Arabic version)

Last modified on Sunday, 22 May 2022 16:09