The State Department has put the majority of blame on Israel in its latest country-by-country report for terrorism in the country.
In addition, the report makes the blatantly false claim that the Palestinian Authority (PA) calls for terrorism are “rare” and that, “The PA has taken significant steps during President Abbas’ tenure (2005 to date) to ensure that official institutions in the West Bank under its control do not create or disseminate content that incites violence.”
The main factor driving terrorism, according to the State Department, is the “lack of hope in achieving Palestinian statehood” created by Israeli policies. Those policies were named by the State Dept. as “Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank, settler violence against Palestinians in the West Bank, the perception that the Israeli government was changing the status quo on the Haram Al Sharif/Temple Mount, and IDF tactics that the Palestinians considered overly aggressive.”
The report flies in the face of facts, particularly the incessant incitement against Israel, Israelis and Jews by President Abbas and on his state-run media facilities.
From paying salaries to terrorists and their families to naming schools, sports facilities and the like after the most brutal Palestinian terrorists to running TV shows for young children that glorify killing Jews, the PA has been responsible for mass incitement of its population for over a decade.
For a complete documentation of the massive incitement by the Palestinian Authority, see PalWatch.org
The report also flies in the face of the positions of U.S. President Trump who forcefully called out Abbas over the incitement in a face-to-face meeting during Trump’s recent trip to Israel.
Official Palestinian incitement has also been blamed for the wave of attacks beginning in October 2015 where Palestinian terrorists carried out 181 stabbing attacks on Israelis, 159 shootings and 60 car rammings. More than 50 Israeli were killed and close to 1,000 injured in those attacks.
Most recently, the PA has used the recent terror attack on the Temple Mount to incite Palestinians and Muslims around the world that Israel intends to take over the Temple Mount. After a terror attack where Arab terrorists smuggled guns on to the Temple Mount and used them to kill two Israeli policemen guarding worshippers, Israel installed metal detectors at the entrance to the mount.
The Palestinian Authority has been vocally inciting its faithful that the security measures constitute a forbidden change of the “status quo” on the mount. That incitement has led to violent rioting since the terror attack. Just yesterday, the PA issued a statement saying the “campaign for Jerusalem has effectively begun, and will not stop until a Palestinian victory and the release of the holy sites from Israeli occupation.” Abbas also said he would pay the hospital bills of anyone injured in riots while fighting against the Israeli police. “We will spend $25 million supporting the Palestinians of Jerusalem,” he said.
(Below the Temple Mount, worshippers at the Western Wall have gone through metal detectors for years for security purposes.)
The Temple Mount is managed by the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, an Islamic religious trust that is overseen by the Jordanian government. Even after Israel won back the eastern part of Jerusalem in 1967, it has allowed the waqf to retain control of the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism. The “status quo” refers to the fact that the waqf controls the Temple Mount and that Israel, by law, only allows Muslim prayer on the mount to avoid tensions over the area. Those factors have not changed.
Yet, the Palestinian Authority continues its libel through media incitement that Israel intends to take over the mount. Over the weekend, a 19-year old Palestinian terrorist — motivated to defend the mount — broke into a home and stabbed to death a father, son and daughter as the family was sitting down to eat their Sabbath meal.
The Taylor Force bill, which would forbid using American taxpayer money to pay Palestinian terrorists, is now making its way through Congress.
In defending the report, a State Department official disingenuously quoted in the Washington Free Beacon stated, “We recognize that in any community, a combination of risk factors can come together to create a higher risk of radicalization to violence,” the official said. “There is no one single pathway to violence—each individual’s path to terrorism is personalized, with certain commonalities.
“Therefore, it is difficult to pinpoint precisely what the sources of radicalization to violence are. What could drive someone to violence in one instance could vary significantly with someone else who is similarly situated.”
In response, the Free Beacon writes, “The State Department’s response prompted a fierce backlash among U.S. officials and Trump administration insiders, who said the State Department under the leadership of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has gone rogue and is out of line with the White House’s position on a range of sensitive diplomatic issues, including the Israeli-Palestinian impasse.”
In terms of statehood, the Palestinians have been offered statehood three times and they have rejected each offer — once by the United Nations in 1947, and twice by Israel (in 2000 and 2008).