Israel is one of the most prominent targets for terror, and number of Israeli victims of terror is one of the highest in the world, but the United States did not even mention the country at a global anti-terror conference.
Maria Otero, U.S. Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights, noted terror victims in several countries in a speech in Madrid on Monday, but she omitted Israel.
Speaking at the opening session of the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) High-Level Conference on Victims of Terrorism, she said, “Around the world, terrorists make their mark on the world through acts of hate. They proclaim their values with a deep and disturbing indifference to human life.”
Otero noted that terror victims can serve as spokesmen for targeted countries, adding that “the United States and so many countries around the world,” have experienced the pain of terror. She did not mention Israel.
Otero added, “Last September at the official launch of the Global Counterterrorism Forum, I had the privilege to introduce the premier of a film ‘Hear their Voices,’ which tells the stories of eleven survivors of terrorist attacks from Pakistan, Jordan, Northern Ireland, Uganda, Turkey, Indonesia, India, Spain, Columbia and the United States. “
Israel was not mentioned nor did Otero refer to the Jewish state.
This was not the first time the United States has forgotten that Israel hosts one of the highest per capita populations victimized by terror.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addressed a Global Counterterrorism event last month in Istanbul last month and referred to terror in “Turkey, Mali, Somalia, Yemen, Nigeria, the Maghreb and Europe. He also commented on terrorist kidnappings in Latin America – but no mention was made of Israel, even though it suffered the fifth highest terror deaths of any country between 1968 and 2006, according to CNSNews.com.
The United States agreed with other Global Counterterrorism countries to keep Israel out of the event.
Eleven of the 29 GCTF countries include Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Turkey and Egypt and all 11 are also members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, whose 1999 Convention on Combating Terrorism states that “armed struggle against foreign occupation, aggression, colonialism, and hegemony, aimed at liberation and self-determination in accordance with the principles of international law shall not be considered a terrorist crime.”
The omission of Israel did not escape the attention of Matt Lee of the Associated Press, who asked U.S. State Dept, spokesman Patrick Ventrell why Israel was not mentioned by Otero.
“Does the Administration believe that Israel and Israelis specifically have been victims of terrorism?” he asked.
Ventrell answered, “Of course.”