Vice President Joe Biden harshly criticized the leadership of the Palestinian Authority on Wednesday for failing to condemn Tuesday’s wave of terror attacks across Israel.
Biden, who is visiting Israel and the Palestinian Authority on a state visit, said in a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem that the U.S. “condemns these acts and condemns the failure to condemn these acts.”
This cannot become an accepted modus operandi. This cannot be viewed by civilized leaders as an appropriate way in which to behave even if it appears to inure to the benefit of one side or the other. It’s just not tolerable in the 21st century. They’re targeting innocent civilians, mothers, pregnant women, teenagers, grandfathers, American citizens. There can be no justification for this hateful violence, and the United States stands firmly behind Israel’s right to defend itself as we are defending ourselves at this moment as well.
Taylor Force, a U.S. Army veteran and Vanderbilt graduate student who was visiting Israel on a class trip, was killed in a stabbing attack in Jaffa, not far from where Biden and his family were at the time. At least twelve others were injured in attacks there and in Jerusalem and Petah Tikva.
Palestinian Authority television stations called Force a “settler,” implying that he was a legitimate target. The official Facebook page of Fatah, the political party of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, featured a drawing that called the terrorist who carried out the Jaffa attacks a “heroic martyr.” Biden is scheduled to meet with Abbas later in the day.
In the joint press conference, Netanyahu was explicit in his condemnation of Abbas and Palestinian incitement.
Joe, I appreciate your strong condemnation of terrorism. Nothing justifies these attacks. But unfortunately President Abbas has not only refused to condemn these terrorist attacks, his Fatah party actually praised the murderer of this American citizen as a Palestinian martyr and a hero.
Now, this is wrong. And this failure to condemn terrorism should be condemned itself by everybody in the international community.
[Photo: IsraeliPM / YouTube ]