I often complain that Washington’s heavily lopsided relationship with Israel is an arrangement that brings absolutely no benefit to the American people, and even less to our national security as it has involved the US in an endless series of completely avoidable conflicts. But there is one exception to that generalization, though one hesitates to call it a benefit, consisting of the White House’s adoption of the Israel practice of referring to opponents as “terrorists.” Israel uses it as a generic cover designation to denigrate and humiliate the Palestinians while also delegitimizing their resistance, permitting them to torture and kill Arabs at will, destroy their homes, and bomb them mercilessly. Washington, which claims to be the font of a “rules based international order” as well as the defender of global “democracy” and “freedom,” has developed since 9/11 an unfortunate tendency to do the same thing as the Israelis to justify its attacks on civilians and its brutal assassination policies.
In fact, the US and Israel are generally speaking the only two countries that openly use “targeted assassination” as a political tool without even bothering to fall back on “plausible denial” to conceal their actions. Israel only last week, initiated a politically motivated bombing attack on Gaza, which killed 45 civilians, including seventeen children and destroyed numerous homes. No Israelis were killed or even injured when the Gazans struck back with their home-made rockets. Both the White House and leaders in the US Congress congratulated the Israelis for “exercising their right to defend themselves.”