At the same time a courageous Soldier of Allah murdered an unarmed Canadian soldier in a sneak attack, sprayed Parliament with a few dozen rounds, and was put down by a 58-year-old hero in tails, another mighty warrior managed to defeat a 3-month-old child with a speeding car in Jerusalem. Jonah Goldberg at National Review notes the extremely odd mutation of the Associated Press headline covering the attack:
So earlier today the Associated Press ran a story with the headline ???Israeli police shoot man in east Jerusalem.??? Then they changed it to ???Car slams into east Jerusalem train station.??? Finally, after widespread outrage on social media, they changed it to ???Palestinian kills baby at Jerusalem station.???
[...] So it begins with the villain being the Israeli police. Then, in a nod to fairness, it???s changed to an evil car. Then finally, it???s a murderous Palestinian. It???s progress, I suppose.
I cannot imagine how any sane person without a sinister agenda looks at the details of this story and initially thinks "Israeli police shoot man in east Jerusalem" would make a good headline. That's actually still the title built into the hyperlink for the story, as posted at Yahoo News. Jonah links to the Eye On the World blog, which observes that the body of the AP piece also went out of its way to avoid mentioning that the perp was a Palestinian. That must have made it a bit confusing for AP readers when what passes for a Palestinian government weighed in, which will get to in a moment.
The Israeli police did indeed shoot the guy, and he richly deserved it. He later died of his injuries. From the aforementioned AP story:
A Palestinian motorist with a history of anti-Israel violence slammed his car into a crowded train station in Jerusalem on Wednesday, killing a three-month-old baby girl and wounding eight people in what police called a terror attack.
The girl and her parents, who were injured in the attack, were U.S. citizens, according to Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat.
The violence came after months of tensions between Jews and Palestinians in east Jerusalem ??? the section of the city the Palestinians demand as their future capital. The area has experienced unrest and near-daily attacks on the city's light rail by Palestinian youths since a wave of violence over the summer, capped by a 50-day war between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza.
The car struck the train station near the national headquarters of Israel's police force. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the driver got out of the car and tried to flee before he was shot by a police officer.
He said footage captured by security cameras indicated the driver deliberately struck people waiting at the stop.
U.S. citizens, you say? Did this interrupt Barack Obama's busy schedule of fundraising? What do you think? At least the State Department roused itself to issue a statement through spokeswoman Jen Psaki, which strangely enough seems to have gone almost entirely unreported by American media. At the time of this writing, I could only find foreign media sources relating Psaki's press release, which was posted at the State Department's website:
The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms today???s terrorist attack in Jerusalem. We express our deepest condolences to the family of the baby, reportedly an American citizen, who was killed in this despicable attack, and extend our prayers for a full recovery to those injured. We urge all sides to maintain calm and avoid escalating tensions in the wake of this incident.
Would someone in the Obama Administration care to actually use the "strongest possible terms," instead of leaving a blank space for us to pencil them in? Is there a macro for ending these bloodless denunciations with the standard "we urge all sides to maintain calm and avoid escalating tensions" boilerplate?
It seems odd that no one can quickly confirm whether the baby and her family had U.S. citizenship - one would think only a few minutes at a keyboard would answer the question for the mega-government that micro-manages every aspect of our lives. What does any branch of this government do with all the money we give it? As mentioned, there's very little U.S. media coverage of this attack, but the Times of Israel said the State Department "would not confirm" that Zissel-Braun was a U.S. citizen, in a report last updated early Thursday morning. I tend to think that's because they don't want to confirm it.
Haaretz has some more details about the killer and his wild ride, plus the heroic efforts to save the tiny victim:
The driver, who was shot by police trying to flee the scene, succumbed to his wounds in hospital hours later. He was identified as Abdel Rahman Al-Shaludi, a Palestinian resident of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, who in the past served prison time for security offenses.
According to witnesses, Al-Shaludi drove the car 14 meters on the tracks itself, hitting disembarking passengers and continuing on along the length of the track. He stopped after hitting a pole a few hundred meters down and then attempted to flee on foot, when he was shot, arrested, and hospitalized.
Police later arrested the suspect's 15-year-old brother, after riots broke out around the family home.
An eyewitness reported seeing the car hit the mother and baby and continue plowing through the crowd. ???The stroller was shattered and the mother was screaming.???
Rescue personnel arrived on the scene and began treating the wounded. Magen David Adom medic Hanoch Zelinger said his was the first ambulance on the scene. ???I saw two people who appeared to be injured fairly seriously, but then they brought in a baby with no pulse and serius head injuries. We immediately began rescucitation procedures and got a pulse in the infant. We took her to the nearest emergency room with both parents riding with us. They said the car came out of nowhere. The stroller flew into the air and the baby was found 10 meters away from the stroller.???
The baby, Haya Zissel-Brown, was taken to Hadassah Har Hatsofim hospital in critical condition, breathing with the assistance of a ventilator. She was pronounced dead two hours later after all efforts at resuscitation failed. Her funeral was scheduled for midnight.
The slain baby's grandfather, Shimon Halperin, told reporters Wednesday evening that her parents had waited many years for a child, and they were completely shaken. "The doctors did everything they could and I want to thank them," he said.
What has the baby-killers upset is Jews daring to buy houses in parts of Jerusalem that are supposed to be Judenrein, if I might borrow a term that I think the sort of person who drives a car into a crowd and kills a baby would be comfortable with. The whole mess stretches back to the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank, which eventually led to the war that cost Hamas its precious terror tunnels. Vehicular homicide is not a new tactic for Palestinian terrorists; there was an incident last August in which a Palestinian used an earthmover to flip over a bus, killing 29-year-old father of five Avraham Walles and injuring five others.
The Israeli government is, not surprisingly, taking this a lot more seriously than the Obama Administration. Haaretz relates strong words from Prime Minister Netanyahu, who vowed that "Jerusalem is united and was, and always will be, the eternal capital of Israel... any attempt to harm its residents will be met with the harshest response."
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered police reinforcements in Jerusalem, following consultations with Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch, police chief Yohanan Danino and Shin Bet head Yoram Cohen.
???As I have said for months, the situation in Jerusalem is intolerable and we must act unequivocally against all violence taking place in the city,??? he said in a statement. ???Today, more than ever, it is clear that we must send police forces into neighborhoods where there are disturbances, placing them strategically and widely in significant numbers.???
Netanyahu also held Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas accountable for the attack. "That's how Abu Mazen's [Abbas'] partners in government act, the same Abu Mazen who just a few days ago incited to an attack on Jews in Jerusalem," said Netanyahu, referring to Abbas' call on Friday to Palestinians to use "any means" to bar the settlers from the Temple Mount.
And Abbas is the "moderate" guy in the Palestinian hierarchy! His Fatah party reportedly glorified the killer as a "heroic martyr" on their Facebook page. Here's how the less moderate wings of the Palestinian unity government responded, from the Jerusalem Post:
Hamas and Islamic Jihad hailed Wednesday???s terrorist act by an east Jerusalem resident who rammed his car into a crowd of commuters at a light rail station, killing a three-month old infant and injuring seven others.
???The attack in Jerusalem is an act of heroism and a natural response to the crimes of the occupation against our people and our holy places,??? said Mushir al-Masri, a senior Hamas spokesperson.
???The attack in Jerusalem is a natural response to what is taking place in the city, given the harassment and overall attacks of Judaization affecting our holy places and Muslims,??? said another Hamas official, Salah Baradwil.
Hamas warned that the latest developments may augur the next "Palestinian intifada in Jerusalem."
Islamic Jihad released an official statement on Thursday through its military wing, the Al-Quds Brigade, saying: ???There is Zionist aggression against all of our people, and today the resistance responded to this attack. This is a natural right.???
???This attack is a strong response to the Israeli occupation, whose crimes are unable to break the resistance,??? the organization said.
Both Hamas and Islamic Jihad called on the Palestinian Authority to ???halt its security coordination with Israel and to act in resistance in the West Bank.???
The two groups also praised the residents of east Jerusalem ???for their fierce stance against the crimes of the occupation.???
That doesn't sound like the kind of situation President Obama should address by sending out a goofball State Department spokeswoman to read a little canned statement about how everyone ought to behave themselves. What's next, a photo of Psaki pouting and holding up a sign with a Twitter hashtag? I can't bring myself to make a sarcastic guess at what that hashtag would be, so please pencil in your own, just like you're supposed to invent your own "strongest possible terms" to flesh out pro forma statements about the murder of a three-month old American citizen by Palestinian terrorists. Better yet, forget about the most useless and expensive Administration in history and send some prayers to Haya Zissel-Brown and her family.
Update: Why aren't U.S. media sources badgering the State Department to confirm the citizenship of Haya Zissel-Brown? Whether she has such citizenship or not, Americans should share the rage and horror of Israelis at this atrocity, but it's a highly relevant detail for the government our friends in the media are supposed to be watching with a skeptical eye. It would be nice if they put a little effort into pretending they have such an eye, now and then.