The killing of four worshippers at Kehilat Bnei Torah synagogue in western Jerusalem throws a harsh light on the degenerative spiral of murder and mayhem in Israel and Palestine. It also opens a window into how most media coverage prevents the U.S. public from understanding what’s happening.
Secretary of State John Kerry, losing no opportunity to make a pompous fool of himself, proclaimed that “to have this kind of act, which is a pure result of incitement, of calls for ‘days of rage,’ of just irresponsibility, is unacceptable.” What Kerry means by “incitement” and “irresponsibility,” of course, is that it’s all the fault of the Palestinian leadership. That’s the line of Israeli prime minister Netanyahu--directly contradicted by none other than the head of the Israeli security agency Shin Bet, Yoram Cohen, who says the Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas isn’t inciting anything.
Kerry didn’t mention how Palestinian bus driver Yusuf Hasan al-Ramuni, 32 years old and father of two, was found hanged in his vehicle in West Jerusalem one day earlier. Or how the Israeli police spokesperson announced that “no suspicion of criminal activity was found,” borrowing the time-honored custom of U.S. southern sheriffs declaring African American lynching victims as “suicides.” Or what a coincidence it was that this occurred in the wake of multiple attacks by Jewish settlers on Arab taxi drivers in Jerusalem.
The murders in the synagogue immediately became the lead story in world news. The death and probable murder of al-Ramuni was not...