Amid all the slights and grievances, real and perceived, between conservatives and liberals in America, you might imagine some common baseline moral sentiments—like, say, mourning a young American woman killed in ISIS custody. But to some well-compensated mavens of the right, she's just a dead "bitch."
The family of Kayla Mueller confirmed this week that she was dead, after a year and a half in captivity, held by the Islamic State in Raqqa, Syria. The 26-year-old Arizonan had accompanied a friend to Syria on a job for Doctors Without Borders when she was taken. Western news outlets, out of respect for the family and concern for her safety, had observed a media blackout of her identity until last weekend, when her death was first suspected.
You'd think that the plight of a young American woman held by gnarly Islamist guerrillas considered too extreme for Al Qaeda would evoke sympathy from all corners. But among hardcore right-wingers who are more pro-Israel than thou, Mueller was a treasonous terror-lover who got what she deserved. Because, you see, she had sympathy for Palestinians.
There was this from "Writer, Dad, Husband, Editor of Breitbart California" Joel Pollak:
Sad that Kayla Mueller was anti-Israel activist. If she understood both sides she might have avoided idealizing the enemy that killed her
— Joel Pollak (@joelpollak) February 11, 2015
If Pollak was going out on a limb, it must have been a strong one, capable of carrying a motley assortment of conservatives eager to cackle over Mueller's demise. Noted racist dickbag Jim Hoft, aka "The Gateway Pundit," intoned simply: "Mueller protested Jews." To caption a photo of the young woman at a Kiwanis Club meeting, he derisively labeled her "a peace and justice activist."
They were joined by the well-known anti-Muslim blog Barenaked Islam (motto: "It isn't Islamophobia when they really ARE trying to kill you"), which observed Mueller's death thus:
The post continued:
Just as with Rachel Corrie, the press tries to paint Kayla as a selfless volunteer helping poor Arab refugees. But she was working to support the goals of Palestinian terrorists and to interfere with the IDF on behalf of terrorist groups. As an ISM activist she was a tool for the worldwide jihad.
No wonder Barack Hussein Obama called her "The Best of America."
She may have helped injured Arabs in "refugee" camps, but she was working to support the goals of Palestinian irredentists and to interfere with the IDF on behalf of terrorist groups.
As an ISM activist she was a tool for the worldwide jihad...
Kayla admitted to being present at the weekly riots.
She was also a human shield in support of terrorists...
This certainly doesn't sound like a tireless "aid worker". Instead, it connotes a supporter of Palestinian Arab terrorist groups. Her praise of the muezzin calls and "resistance" suggests she's on the side of the worldwide jihad, not viewing all human beings, even Jews, as having the same rights.
Well, that's certainly one reading of Mueller's life and work. She isn't here to defend herself, after all.
But even these ruminations on the life and death of an American hostage were circumspect compared to the droolings of a rabid conservative shock-radio olingo calling itself Debbie Schlussel, which called Mueller a "Jew-Hating, Anti-Israel Bitch":
No tears for the newly-departed Kayla Mueller, the ISIS hostage whose parents confirmed today that she is dead. Mueller was a Jew-hating, anti-Israel piece of crap who worked with HAMAS and helped Palestinians harass Israeli soldiers and block them from doing their job of keeping Islamic terrorists out of Israel. She also worked to prevent Israel from tearing down terrorists' "houses," which the Palestinian terrorists used to smuggle weapons from and to HAMAS in order to perpetrate terrorist attacks. And she wrote several lying, anti-Israel blog posts.
Schlussel added that her rancor is not limited to Mueller:
As I noted last week and many other times on this site, I have no sympathy for any of these "American" (in name only!) hostages of ISIS. And my attitude when I hear they've been snuffed out is, so sad, too bad. Every single one of these hostages has been a leftist America-hater. They are anti-American "journalists" there to tell us how "moderate" and "democratic" these beheaders and live-human-burners are. Or they are anti-American "aid workers" (that's like the Middle East version of Barack Obama's "community organizer").
True to her word, Schlussel also called Stephen Sotloff—a Jewish American journalist who was beheaded last year—"an apologist for jihad and supporting not just Muslims, but the most extreme Muslims he could find, especially the terrorist variety."
The International Solidarity Movement, the pro-Palestinian group that Mueller worked with and that all these frothing partisans hate with a seething rage, is hardly a sinless neutral arbiter in the Mideast conflict. It certainly has a political bent, and a willingness to use optics and public relations to further its aims. But that sort of awareness—the sort that appeals to human empathy, even in a manipulative way—is a far sight better than the haughty bloodlust evinced by critics of a dead young woman, critics whose alleged respect for life leads them to dance a gleeful horah on her corpse.