US Secretary of State John Kerry
During last year’s Operation Protective Edge, during which the IDF battled Islamist terrorists in Gaza to put an end to the threat of rocket fire and terrorist infiltration tunnels targeting its citizens, Israel faced the usual tide of criticism for its use of force despite unprecedented measures to limit civilian casualties.
Among the critics was none other than the US State Department, which issued a remarkably harsh condemnation of Israel after one particular exchange with terrorists resulted in a stray shell hitting a UN school close to where terrorist gunmen were operating.
Despite it being unclear precisely who was responsible, or what the precise circumstances were, the State Department immediately rushed to accept Hamas’s version of events in the following statement:
“The United States is appalled by today’s disgraceful shelling outside an UNRWA school in Rafah sheltering some 3,000 displaced persons, in which at least ten more Palestinian civilians were tragically killed…
“The suspicion that militants are operating nearby does not justify strikes that put at risk the lives of so many innocent civilians. We call for a full and prompt investigation of this incident as well as the recent shelling of other UNRWA schools.”
The State Dept. accused the Israeli army of ignoring coordinates of the school sent “repeatedly” to its forces, and called on Israel to “meet its own standards and avoid civilian casualties.”
But it appears now that even the US is unable to meet those “standards”; on Sunday, a US airstrike in Afghanistan struck a hospital, killing at least 22 civilians.
Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) branded the airstrike a “war crime.”
Associated Press journalist Matt Lee challenged US State Dept. spokesman Mark Toner over the strike, asking whether the US government viewed that incident – in which significantly more civilians were killed – as just as “disgraceful.”
The response (see video below) was a series of pauses, stammering non-answers and evasion – underscoring the blatant double-standards so often employed by foreign governments when it comes to condemning Israel.