It's a simple concept: Nations either adhere to international human rights norms and standards, or they don't. Israel violates both and is not held accountable. The United States, which asserts to be the voice of freedom in the world, is in fact complicit in Israel's refusal to adhere to the international rule of law and the fundamentals of civil rights. That makes America a hypocrite. And if America refuses to comply with these rules and notions in all instances, it should also face the consequences.
It also means that when terrorists attack America in violation of these standards, the American government and American people have no right to complain. They have no right to seek retribution, and they have no right to point fingers at anyone, including al-Qaeda, ISIS or any organization that America calls terrorist.
Of course, most Americans don't recognize or care about their own hypocrisy. They actually embrace the force of arms, the arrogance that they are better than others. At times, they are racist and don't see all people as equals who should enjoy universal principles of law, civil rights and the protection of family. It's the reason why many people around the world look at America today with disdain and disgust. How selfish is this nation that claims to be righteous and yet is engaged in supporting unrighteous actions?
With tacit compliance, America supports Israel's acts of terror against Palestinian civilians. The Israeli military, Israeli soldiers and many Jewish Israeli citizens (who often can and do carry weapons) have all engaged in such acts.
And let me reassert the fundamental point here: America is responsible for what Israel does. America supports Israel at the United Nations and doesn't hold Israel accountable for punishment by the UN Security Council. If Israel can get away with these violations and kill children and civilians, why can't al-Qaida and ISIS do the same?
This past month in Israel has been brutal. Most significantly, Israeli soldiers killed two Palestinian civilians. Israeli officials assert that these men were a threat, although there is no evidence to prove it. One victim was 21-year-old Ramzi Qasrawi Tamimi. The second Palestinian man, an alleged friend of Tamimi named Abed al-Fatah al-Sharif, was murdered in cold blood in the street by another soldier.
These soldiers were only two of hundreds who occupy the West Bank city of Hebron. They are assigned to the city to protect illegal Israeli settlers. Israeli soldiers have a history of committing acts of terrorism and violence in Hebron, in defense of the fanatics who occupy a settlement that is built on lands owned by Christian and Muslim Palestinians.
According to reports, Tamimi was shot and killed after he stabbed one of the Israeli soldiers with a knife. The soldier only suffered minor wounds. But of course, Tamimi was shot dead, much the way several African-American teenagers have been shot dead on the streets of Chicago in the U.S.
Israel doesn't abide by one of the notions of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights: that people are innocent until proven guilty. Israel doesn't believe that Christians and Muslims have rights to a state that was established for Jews.
The soldier who shot al-Sharif seemed to have only been charged with murder after a video showing the killing was released. Later, prosecutors reduced the charge to manslaughter. The soldier's identity is being protected. Now , of course, Israeli officials argue he has a right to a fair trial.
There is a stark lack of rights for Christian and Muslim Palestinians. They don't have any rights at all in Israel, a country that is supported, funded and defended by America. One day, Americans may decide to stand up against these egregious crimes. I hope they do. But so far, they have made a clear choice to be complicit when it comes to war crimes and murder. And that makes Americans the ultimate hypocrites when it comes to terrorism.
Ray Hanania is an award-winning Palestinian American columnist, managing editor of The Arab Daily News at www.TheArabDailyNews.com, and writer at Al-Jazeera English. Follow him on Twitter @RayHanania. To find out more about Ray Hanania and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com.