Stephen M. Flatow
Stephen M. FlatowCourtesy

Obviously, I’m using hyperbole here, but the reality is that the Biden administration is in fact demanding an investigation into what clearly seems to have been an ordinary traffic accident involving an Israeli motorist and two Palestinian Arabs.

Last Saturday night, two brothers, Mohammed and Muhannad Muteir, stopped their car on the side of Route 60, which crosses through Judea-Samaria (the 'West Bank'). It should be noted that according to Israeli media reports, the highway is “one of the deadliest in the country” because “some sections have not been renovated for years.”

(It is also a dangerous one for drivers of cars with Israeli license plates as they are often shot at. Passengers on buses which travel Route 60 are, at a minimum, protected by shatterproof or bulletproof glass. I know, I’ve been on them more than once.

A middle-aged Israeli motorist crashed into the Muteirs’ vehicle, killing the brothers and leaving the driver injured. I am not in any way minimizing or belittling the fatalities. Obviously, any loss of innocent human life is a tragedy. But for the Biden administration to try to turn what was, by all indications, an accident into some kind of Jewish terrorist attack, is obscene.

Think about the circumstances. The incident took place late at night, on a dangerous, poorly maintained highway. The Israeli’s car evidently was traveling at a high speed. (Route 60 seems to invite that kind of driving by Israelis and Arabs.) The driver would have had no way of knowing in advance that the Muteirs’ car was going to break down then and there. So, it means that this middle-aged man—not exactly the profile of a typical terrorist—was such a devoted, depraved monster that he was literally roaming the highway, at high speed, hoping that by a one-in-a-million chance he would stumble upon a broken-down Arab car with its occupants alongside it, which he could then ram, fully expecting that he himself would be killed in the crash.

As President Biden would say, “Come on, man!”

The circumstances of the incident are such that no reasonable person could imagine it was a deliberate terrorist attack. The Palestinian Authority, however, does not consist of reasonable people. So, the “moderate” PA prime minister, Mohammed Shtayyeh, immediately announced that it actually was a “deliberate car-ramming attack,” part of a conspiracy by “occupation soldiers and settlers” to carry out “extrajudicial executions on the roads.”

Incidentally—not that this would have changed anything—nothing in the media reports about the incident suggest that the Israeli motorist was either a soldier or a “settler.” But since when have facts mattered to the PA?

Remember: this is the same PA which has repeatedly claimed—among other things—that the Holocaust is a hoax; that Israel has manufactured earthquakes in order to undermine the foundations of the al-Aksa mosque; that Israeli planes drop poisoned candies near Palestinian Arab schools in order to sterilize the children who eat them; and that former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger masterminded the 9/11 attacks.

So why in the world would anybody believe anything the PA says whether about this traffic accident or anything else?

The answer is that nobody would believe the PA—nobody, that is, except those who have a political agenda.

Which is exactly what many of us warned when the Biden administration recently announced that it has established a “U.S. Office of Palestinian Affairs” inside the American embassy in Israel and has appointed Hady Amr to serve as the Special Representative for Palestinian Affairs.

Soon after news of the accident was reported, Amr rushed to Twitter and, in the name of the U.S. Office of Palestinian Affairs, called for “a thorough police investigation.” Strange—I don’t recall seeing any tweets from Amr demanding that the PA investigate any of the recent Arab terrorist car-rammings of Israelis, which were genuine attacks, not accidents.

Amr is a veteran pro-Palestinian activist. In the early 2000s, he was national coordinator for an anti-Israel group called the Middle East Justice Network. In a 2002 article, Amr wrote, “I was inspired by the Palestinian intifada.” Somebody who says he was “inspired” by mass Palestinian Arab violence against Israelis usually does not end up in a senior U.S. government position related to Israeli-Palestinian affairs. The Biden administration seems to have a peculiar idea of what constitutes appropriate qualifications for such a position.

Ironically, one of the first attacks of that “inspiring” intifada was a firebomb assault on the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem on December 13, 1987. Had the attack proceeded in the way that those terrorists intended, the American diplomats inside the building would have been burned alive. So, a man who was “inspired” by violence that included an attempt to slaughter American diplomats has now become one of those diplomats. Go figure!

But the problem extends far beyond any single official. The problem is a U.S. administration which increasingly seems to be searching high and low for ways to make Israel look bad. It started with the demands to investigate the accidental death of an Al Jazeera reporter. Now it demands an investigation into a traffic accident. What pretext will the administration find next for harassing the Israelis?

Let’s not wait to find out the answer to that question. Let’s not wait until the headlines read something akin to “Palestinian Stubs Toe, U.S. Demands Investigation.” Let’s do everything we can to make it clear to the Biden administration that this sort of grotesque exploitation of traffic accidents for the sake of scoring political points is unacceptable.

Stephen M. Flatow, is an attorney and the father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered in an Iranian-sponsored Palestinian terrorist attack in 1995. He is author of “A Father’s Story: My Fight for Justice Against Iranian Terror.”