Obama's Immoral Embrace of Moral Equivalence

In a recent appalling surge of innovative terrorist violence, Palestinians have driven cars into Jewish civilians whose only crime was walking or waiting near the light rail that runs through Jerusalem. In late October a Hamas fanatic murdered a three-month-old Israeli-American baby whose parents were returning from her first visit to the Western Wall. In a similar attack two weeks later, another Hamas zealot killed two pedestrians.

Palestinians were ecstatic. An animated cartoon showed three religious Jews with a Star of David on their hats frantically fleeing a pursuing car painted with the colors of the Palestinian flag. Another, labeled the “Run Over Organization,” called on followers to “hit the gas . . . for Al-Aqsa,” the Temple Mount mosque. Palestinians were urged to “Run over, friend, run over the foreign settler!”

Climaxing the current wave of Palestinian atrocities was the brutal slaughter earlier this week of four rabbis (three of whom were Americans) at prayer in their Jerusalem synagogue. Palestinian cousins armed with meat cleavers and a gun left ghastly images of murdered Jews wrapped in blood-smeared prayer shawls lying on the blood-splattered floor. These barbaric images will endure forever as testimony to the demented insanity of Palestinian terrorists.

Responses from Arab political leaders were predictable. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas complied with Secretary of State Kerry’s firm request that he condemn the attack, adding his universal denunciation of “the killing of civilians no matter who is doing it.” A senior Hamas official more precisely proclaimed his support for “any military action against the occupation anywhere it can be carried out.”

As political leaders worldwide condemned the brutal assault, President Barack Obama, the obtuse master craftsman of moral equivalency, chimed in. “We condemn in the strongest terms these attacks,” which he properly labeled “outrageous acts.” That would have been the perfect place to stop. But the preening universal moralist who resides in the White House could not resist the opportunity to generalize and equivocate, seizing upon the pitiless slaughter of innocent Jews to bracket Palestinian murderers and Israeli victims.

"Too many Israelis have died, too many Palestinians have died,” Obama continued, as though the synagogue slaughter was an equal-opportunity participatory event. He stressed the importance of collaboration between Israelis and Palestinians “to lower tensions and reject violence." In conclusion, the President offered his familiar trope, for which there is not a shred of supporting evidence: “We have to remind ourselves that the majority of Palestinians and Israelis overwhelmingly want peace.”

With this vapid -- indeed obtuse –  pronouncement, aptly labeled by Wall Street Journal columnist Bret Stephens as a demonstration of “moral blindness,” the president retreated to more important matters of state. As Gary Bauer and Thomas Rose aptly noted on Breitbart.com, Obama’s “stunningly void remarks” reiterated his “morally bankrupt bromides about ‘cycle’s of violence,’ calls for ‘mutual restraint,’” and hollow conviction that “most Palestinians want peace.”

Indeed, the Palestinian “yearning for peace” was instantly demonstrated in the streets of Gaza, where Arabs celebrating the slaughter of Jews distributed sweets, waved hatchets and guns, and danced with joy. So much for Obama’s peace-lovers, who are indistinguishable from Taliban, al-Qaeda, and ISIS jihadis who spread their version of headless peace through neighboring Middle Eastern precincts.

If President Obama truly believes in equality between Israelis and Palestinians perhaps he would make a pitch for the right of Jews to pray at their holiest site, the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, which the Muslim Waqf (supported by the Israeli government) prohibits. There King Solomon built the first Jewish Temple. Destroyed by the Babylonians, it was rebuilt after Jews returned from exile and razed by Roman conquerors in 70 CE, seven centuries before the Islamic conquest of Jerusalem.

But the Messiah is likely to arrive long before Barack Obama jettisons the pretense of moral equivalence that only thinly veils his hostility to the State of Israel.

Jerold S. Auerbach is the author of eleven  books and a frequent contributor to on-line news sites.

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