Another American Family Grieves Over Israeli Killings With Impunity

Alex Kane Jan 19, 2011

Ziad Jilani and his three American daughters.Emily Henochowicz, Tristan Anderson, Furkan Dogan, Brian Avnery, Rachel Corrie and more–all American citizens killed or severely injured by Israel with no justice served and barely a peep heard from U.S. authorities.  Now, add Ziad Jilani, who was a permanent resident of the U.S. and whose family holds U.S. citizenship,  to that list.

Last summer, Jilani was executed at close range by Israeli Border Police in East Jerusalem.  Amira Hass of Haaretz reported then that:

A motorist from East Jerusalem who ran over and wounded several Border Police officers Friday was shot twice in the face from close range while still lying on the ground, eyewitnesses said. Neighborhood witnesses said the fatal shots were fired once the officers no longer had reason to fear that their lives were in danger, and could have easily arrested the suspect.

Witnesses in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Wadi Joz told Haaretz that the motorist, Ziad Jilani, suddenly swerved his car and hit the group of officers walking further up the road. They said, however, that they believed the collision was an accident, and not committed intentionally as initially reported.

Hass and Yaniv Kubovich have the report on the Israeli Justice Ministry closing the case:

The widow of a motorist who was shot to death by police in East Jerusalem in June learned yesterday from her lawyer that the Justice Ministry closed its investigation into the case. In a conversation with Haaretz Moira Jilani, a U.S. citizen, expressed shock over the closure of the investigation.

In the aftermath of Jilani’s death, Richard Silverstein wrote on the U.S. Consulate offering little help to the Jilani family:

Jilani’s widow is an American citizen.  As such, she is entitled to the services of the U.S. consulate in East Jerusalem.  Alas, the consulate’s response has been lackadaisical and sullen at best.  After an inquiry from Jilani’s sister, a U.S. citizen living in California, Congressman Brian Bilbray wrote to the consulate.  The response by Consul Debra Towry was typical CYA bulls(&t.  She claimed falsely that a list of attorneys was offered to the family.  The truth is that the family was forced to hire its own attorney with no help whatsoever, and certainly no list proffered, from the consulate.  The consul noted in her letter to Bilbray that a consular representative attended the first legal hearing into Jilani’s death.  This is true.  But they only did so after the widow begged them to do so.

This is a pattern with Israel, and the U.S. doesn’t do nearly enough to push for justice for its own people.  Henochowicz’s case has been closed.  The Obama administration didn’t touch the case of Dogan, the Turkish-American who was murdered on the Mavi Marmara.  The Corrie family is still bravely seeking justice.  And Israel is the U.S.’ bedrock “ally.”

This article was originally published on Alex Kane’s blog, Palestine State of Mind.  Follow him on Twitter@alexbkane.

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