How the US is trying to cover up Shireen Abu Akleh’s killing

On Thursday, I appeared on Al Jazeera English to talk about the killing of the network’s iconic correspondent Shireen Abu Akleh.

Despite its quickly debunked attempts to cast blame elsewhere, the evidence overwhelmingly points to Israel being responsible.

Yet Israel does not bear responsibility alone. As I told Al Jazeera, the governments now shedding crocodile tears for Abu Akleh – especially the United States, European Union countries, the United Kingdom and Canada – also have her blood on their hands.

While they are calling for an investigation, this is a ruse aimed ultimately at guaranteeing continued Israeli impunity. They know very well that Israeli attacks on the media are nothing new.

A year ago, Israel directly attacked journalists and media organizations in Gaza. Those crimes are now barely even remembered.

And in April, the International Criminal Court received a complaint alleging war crimes against journalists by Israeli occupation forces.

It cites the “systematic targeting” of four Palestinian media workers who were “killed or maimed by Israeli snipers while covering demonstrations in Gaza,” according to the International Federation of Journalists.

On Wednesday, US State Department spokesperson Ned Price claimed that “the Israelis have the wherewithal and the capabilities to conduct a thorough, comprehensive investigation.”

One only has to imagine the State Department asserting that Russia is capable of a “comprehensive investigation” of alleged war crimes in Ukraine to understand how thoroughly uninterested the US is in any real accountability for Abu Akleh’s killing.

The goal is to assuage public anger with empty calls for an investigation, until this latest atrocity fades from the news cycle.

Watch the interview above.

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Joe Biden calls white supremacism a poison. Quite right, but it's the poison on which the US was built; and the settlers who believed in it did so because they came from a Europe which believed in it. Take 1492 as the convenient date and what flows from it is that the white people have the right to slaughter and exploit those with darker skins because that's the natural order ( usually presumed to be god-given). The US is not going to condemn Israeli settler-racism because settler-racism is what made the US rich and powerful. The murder of Shireen Abu Akleh is entirely in keeping with settler-racism. What an "investigation" would genuinely entail is unpicking the entrenched racism which underpins the world order, and no one with money and power is going to do that. Hence, the mealy-mouthed condemnations which lead to no real action. The needed action is simple: the US should cut off the dollars and insist Palestinians are given equal rights; but that would fly in the face of the belief in progress, according to which the Israelis have built an advanced democracy by displacing the backward Arabs. Some surprising people( if you absorb the media view) have taken this position: Michael Foot, Tony Benn. We aren't going to stop more murders of this kind unless we dismantle the global economic order founded on conquest in pursuit of material interests. As Joseph Conrad said, it's not a pretty matter. Typical literary understatement. It's utterly ugly.

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Ali Abunimah

Co-founder of The Electronic Intifada and author of The Battle for Justice in Palestine, now out from Haymarket Books.

Also wrote One Country: A Bold-Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse. Opinions are mine alone.