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Thursday, October 15, 2015

State Department spox John Kirby reaches bottom, keeps digging

State Department spokesman John Kirby almost makes you long for the days of ditzy Marie Harf. Yesterday, he reached bottom and kept digging.
At a daily press briefing on Wednesday, U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby said Israel, which has set up roadblocks in Palestinian neighborhoods of Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem to try to stem attacks, has a right and responsibility to protect its citizens.
He added: "Now, we have seen some – I wouldn’t call the checkpoints this - but we’ve certainly seen some reports of what many would consider excessive use of force.
"Obviously, we don’t like to see that, and we want to see restrictions that are elevated in this time of violence to be as temporary as possible if they have to be enacted," Kirby said, without citing specific incidents.
Asked on Army Radio about the remarks, Yaalon said: "Are we exercising excessive force? If someone wields a knife and they kill him, is that excessive force? What are we talking about?"

Kirby's comments touched a nerve in Israel, especially after allegations by Abbas, in a televised speech in Arabic on Wednesday, that Israeli forces were "executing our sons in cold blood, as they did with this child, Ahmed Manasra, and other children in Jerusalem and other places in Palestine".
Many Palestinians were incensed by amateur video that had shown Manasra, 13, lying on the street in Pisgat Zeev, a Jewish settlement on the northern edge of Jerusalem, with blood coming from his head. Israeli police said that he and a cousin stabbed two Israelis there on Monday. 
The 15-year-old cousin was shot dead, and Israel said that day that Manasra was alive and taken to hospital after being hit by a car during the attack. On Thursday, after Abbas's address, Israel's Government Press Office released a video, without sound, showing a youth it identified as Manasra being spoon-fed in a bed in Jerusalem's Hadassah hospital. A doctor said he could be discharged soon.

I'll have that video for you in the next post, so make sure to check back. And the Prime Minister has called a press conference for this evening at which he will be flanked by Dore Gold (Director General of the Foreign Ministry these days) and Tzipi Hotovely (Deputy Foreign Minister) at which the video will undoubtedly be shown.

But at least Kirby was forced to walk back one outrageous comment.
Yes, of course he said that:
But when has truth ever mattered anywhere in this administration?

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