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France and Israel: Obama’s double standard

President Barack Obama talks with President Hassan Rouhani of Iran during a phone call in the Oval Office, Sept. 27, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)  This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.

By Stephen M. Flatow/

Israel’s prime minister has called the latest terrorist attacks “an act of war.” He called the attackers “barbarians,” vowed to wage a war of “no mercy” against them, and ordered bombing strikes on “terrorist training camps,” even though they were located adjacent to medical clinics, a museum, and a soccer stadium.

Remarkably, neither the Obama administration nor the United Nations condemned Israel’s strong response to the terrorists. Has the world finally come to its senses? Does it finally understand that Islamic terrorism, whether against Israelis or anybody else, is an attack on us all?

Actually, no. Because I misspoke.

It was French President Francois Hollande, not Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who called the latest terrorism (in Paris) an “act of war.” It was Hollande who called the attackers “barbarians,” and vowed to wage a war of “no mercy” against them. It was the French air force that bombed medical clinics, a museum, and a soccer stadium located near terror camps in the Islamic State-controlled Syrian city of Raqqa.

When Netanyahu says that Palestinian Islamic terrorists have carried out “acts of war,” he is accused of exaggerating the threat. When he calls the killers “barbarians,” he is denounced as a racist. If Israel strikes terrorist sites that are situated near civilian areas, Israel is accused of “war crimes” and “disproportionate” responses.

Remember when Secretary of State John Kerry sarcastically grumbled, “Hell of a ‘pinpoint’ attack” after one Israeli strike in Gaza? We don’t hear Kerry calling the French bombing of those Raqqa medical clinics a “hell


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