The Washington Free Beacon reported this week on the continuing omission of Israel from a U.S.-sponsored organization called the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF). At a recent forum meeting in Spain, Maria Otero, U.S. undersecretary of state for civilian security, democracy and human rights, delivered a speech titled "Victims of Terrorism," but, in her roll call of victims, she didn't mention Israel. The conference at which she spoke was described as a "high-level conference on the victims of terrorism," but Israel wasn't a participant.
It bears repeating because it is so fantastic: At an international conference devoted to victims of terrorism, the world's leading victim or, better, leading target of terrorism -- Israel -- was nowhere in sight, or mind.
Welcome to the GCTF -- U.S. counterterrorism's new "normal." This 30-member organization got its official start last September as a "major initiative" of the Obama administration when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced its launch in New York.
It was quite an occasion; Hillary curled her hair. Seated next to her Turkish co-chairman, ensconced amid ministers from Algeria, Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, Morocco, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and 18 other miscellaneous member-states plus the European Union, she then said the magic words: "From London to Lahore, from Madrid to Mumbai, from Kabul to Kampala, it's innocent civilians who have been targeted ..."
Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Ashkelon? Poof, gone. And that's the point: This new counterterrorism organization, with its related counterterrorism center coming soon to Abu Dhabi, is Judenfrei. Not coincidentally, it is also heavily Islamic. Eleven member-states -- slightly more than one-third of the organization's membership -- also belong to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), a bloc of 56 Islamic countries working to impose Islamic law (Shariah) on the world. Six of those 11 members additionally belong to the Arab League. Both groups have defined "terrorism" to exclude Israeli victims (sometimes U.S. soldiers), and "terrorists" to exclude groups dedicated to the destruction of Israel, such as Hamas and Hezbollah. It is no wonder the Arab-Islamic members would now unite in "counterterrorism" without Israel.
What is both shocking and shameful, however, is that the U.S. would, too. It shows that the U.S. has implicitly but clearly accepted the Arab League/OIC definitions of terrorism and terrorists.