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Nides sharply criticized for allegedly equating deaths of terrorists with victims of terrorism

State Department later issues statement of clarification, but still ‘balanced condemnation’

U.S. Ambassador to Israel Thomas Nides attends a ceremony in which he presents his diplomatic credentials to Israeli President Isaac Herzog, in Jerusalem, Dec. 5, 2021. (Photo: REUTERS/Ammar Awad)

U.S. Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides issued a statement on social media that drew an immediate response for its alleged portrayal of moral equivalence between the deaths of terror victims and terrorists’ deaths.

Nides’ statement appeared to group together the deaths of four Israeli terror victims killed at a gas station near the settlement of Eli on Tuesday afternoon, with the deaths of Palestinians killed in an IDF counter-terrorist operation in Jenin on Monday.

Most of the Palestinians who died in that operation were killed while fighting against Israeli soldiers and border patrol officers who arrested two wanted terror suspects.

While the Palestinian Health Ministry did report the death of three apparent civilians in that operation, Israel maintains that the responsibility for their deaths belongs to the terror groups who resisted the arrest with violent confrontation.

Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Herzog posted a statement to social media shortly after in which he stated the “killing of innocent civilians … must be unequivocally condemned.”

One minute after Herzog’s statement, Nides posted a second message to social media with a clear condemnation of the killing of the four Israelis.

“I condemn in the strongest terms the senseless murder of four innocent Israelis today – my heart is with their grieving family members,” Nides wrote.

Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan also decried the lack of clear condemnation for the killing of Israeli civilians by members of the UN.

“The UN’s empty condemnations mean nothing,” Erdan wrote. “The UN’s representatives make immoral and false comparisons between a democracy neutralizing terrorists posing imminent threats and vicious terrorists targeting innocent civilians. Calling it a ‘cycle of violence’ only gives a green light for the terrorists to continue.”

Erdan also drew attention to the common Palestinian practice of celebrating Israeli civilian deaths by passing out sweets in the street. 

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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