Rex Tillerson’s State Department added blistering anti-Israel language to this year’s “Country Reports on Terrorism,” adopting a tone not seen even during the hostile Obama era.
On Wednesday, Tillerson submitted the annual report to Congress. This year’s report may come as a shock to the overwhelmingly pro-Israel majority that elected Donald Trump president.
The report appears to blame Israel for the lack of peace between the two sides, pointing to a “lack of hope” as a “driver” for Palestinian violence.
Tillerson’s State Department concluded that Palestinian terrorism is motivated by “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.”
Continuing its pro-Palestinian posture, the next paragraph of the State Department memo commends the Palestinian Authority chairman for condemning acts of violence.
“Explicit calls for violence against Israelis, direct exhortations against Jews, and categorical denials by the PA of the possibility of peace with Israel are rare and the leadership does not generally tolerate it,” the memo states.
The aforementioned statement is simply not true. Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah party have a long history of promoting violence against Israel, and using inciting language to fan the flames of terror against its Jewish population.
The State Department report does label Israel a “committed counterterrorism partner.” However, the sometimes-positive language toward America’s closest Middle East ally does not excuse the morally reprehensible act of sanctioning Palestinian violence against innocents.
By excusing Palestinian terrorism as motivated by a “lack of hope,” the State Department is helping to create a morally paradoxical environment in which the Israeli victim becomes the perpetrator and the Palestinian perpetrator becomes the victim.
Conservative Review looked through the Obama-era State Department country reports on terrorism and found that the Tillerson-led assessment added the aforementioned anti-Israel language.
Last year’s report under Obama said the Palestinians argued that terrorism is sometimes caused by frustration over “occupation.” But that report was much less accusatory because it makes clear that the position is reflecting the views of Palestinian officials, and not the U.S. government.
Tillerson continues to shock supporters of Israel with his pro-Palestinian policy promotion.
In May, the embattled secretary of state blackmailed Israel, using the debate over its embassy move as a bargaining chip for Palestinian statehood. That same month, he described Tel Aviv, not Jerusalem, as the “home of Judaism.”
Unlike U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, Tillerson refuses to recognize that the Western Wall is in Israel. Moreover, his State Department continues to reject Israeli claims over the city of Jerusalem.
Jordan Schachtel is the national security correspondent for Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @JordanSchachtel.