Israeli Ambassador Disputes Congressional Letter About Journalist’s Death

By Zalman Ahnsaf

André Carson, United States Representative for Indiana’s 7th congressional district.

YERUSHALAYIM – A call by members of Congress for an FBI investigation of the killing of Al Jazeera journalist Abu Akleh has drawn a protest from Israel’s ambassador to Washington, according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

Some 57 Democrats sent a letter on Thursday to Antony Blinken, the secretary of state, and Christopher Wray, the FBI director, asking that the agency intervene, going beyond the State Department’s “thorough and transparent” investigation by Israel.

The Congressional members virtually dismissed Israel’s version of the killing. “The Israeli military claimed that the victims were caught between gunfire between Palestinian militants and Israeli Defense Forces,” the letter said. “However, media and eyewitnesses had conflicting reports.”

The letter cited eyewitnesses who said that there was no exchange of fire in the area at the time of the shooting.

“Ms. Abu Akleh was entitled to the full protections afforded to U.S. citizens living abroad,” the letter concluded. It urged Blinken and Wray to “uphold our nation’s values, including human rights, equality for all, and freedom of speech.”

The letter was organized by Reps. Andre Carson of Indiana, Lou Correa of California and Bill Pascrell of New Jersey.

Israeli ambassador Michael Herzog responded a day later, saying the letter “does not offer a fair representation of the case, ignores important context of the events leading to Ms. Abu Akleh’s tragic death and reaches the wrong conclusion.”

“The letter ignores the fact that Israel has, from the outset, called for an impartial joint Israeli-Palestinian investigation with the U.S. in an observer role,” he continued. “Our call was flatly rejected by the P.A.”

An ambassador interposing himself between Congress and the State Department in such a controversial issue is, to say the least, an unusual occurrence.

To Read The Full Story

Are you already a subscriber?
Click to log in!