Aug 14, 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The State Department recently released the “Country Reports on Terrorism 2016,” its annual assessment of global terrorism for the year, in which the report contains nearly identical language in defense of the Palestinian Authority (PA) for the 10th consecutive year. Instead of providing careful assessments of the PA’s recent incitement to violence, state officials have “recycled” parts of its old reports that “whitewash” and overlook the PA’s agenda for violence.
The 2016 report states: “The PA has taken significant steps during President [Mahmoud] Abbas’s 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.” However, Jewish News Service found that the same sentence also appeared in the department’s reports for 2015, 2014 and 2013. Similar repetition can also be found in the section of the reports regarding violence incitement in the mosques. The 2014 report stated, “The PA maintains control over the content of Friday sermons delivered in over 1800 West Bank mosques to ensure that they do not endorse incitement to violence.” The identical sentence regarding the mosque sermons also was used in the reports for 2013, 2012 and 2011 and almost identical language was included in the 2010 and 2009 reports. The 2007 and 2008 reports claimed then-PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad “has condemned every attack against Israelis” since he took office. Very similar language appeared in 2009 and 2010.
Previously, the reports have typically sidestepped the issues of PA incitement and terror condemnations and claimed the PA was taking strong action against terrorism. The reports from 1996-1999 all used this sentence: “The PA, which is responsible for security in Gaza and most major West Bank cities, continued to act against Palestinian perpetrators of violence against Israel.” The State Department report then stated that the PA efforts led to a decrease in terror attacks in Israel but the report did not cite statistics. However, in reality, there has been a significant increase in both numbers of attacks and in casualties. In 2015, 108 terror attacks resulted in 83 killed and 251 wounded. In 2016, 122 attacks resulted in 90 dead and 381 wounded.
The State Department’s report is inaccurate about the PA not inciting violence since 2005. The Palestinian Media Watch has documented examples of incitement to violence since 2005. The following three videos are just a few examples. One shows the violent image of a dagger being thrust into the Star of David, which has appeared hundreds of times in a video clip for children on PA TV from 2001 – 2008. Another video shows a song promoting violence and death broadcast live on PA TV on June 4, 2010, and was rebroadcast June 24, July 9, July 13, July 16, July 20, Sept. 21, and Dec. 31, 2010. It was rebroadcast in 2011 on Oct. 3, 4, and 7. The third video gives many examples of how the PA promotes violence to adults and children.
Rep. Peter Roskam, co-chair of the House Republican Israel Caucus, condemned the recent State Department’s report in a letter to Secretary to State Rex Tillerson. Rep. Roskam wrote, “The State Department report includes multiple findings that are both inaccurate and harmful to combating Palestinian terrorism. This report wrongly insinuates Israeli security measures on the Temple Mount and a stalled peace process as key forces behind terrorism.” Roskam has called on the Trump administration to immediately amend the report.
Liberty Counsel and Christians in Defense of Israel have been instrumental in encouraging legislators to pass the Taylor Force Act, which will defund the PA until they cease and denounce their “Pay to Slay” policy, which rewards terrorists and their families for acts against Israel and the United States. The Taylor Force Act passed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and will now advance to a floor-wide vote.
“The so-called ‘findings’ contained in the State Department’s ‘Country Reports on Terrorism 2016’ are appalling and a blatant whitewashing of the Palestinian Authority’s incitement to violence,” said Mat Staver, Chairman of Liberty Counsel and President of Christians in Defense of Israel. “This report loses all credibility because it is a well-known fact that the Palestinian Authority encourages and rewards terrorism against Israeli Jews. The PA pays $300 million each year to reward Palestinian families whose family member commits an act of terrorism. We call upon Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to demand a thorough review of the Palestinian Authority’s role in violence and incitement to commit violence. If the State Department closes its eyes to the Palestinian Authority’s agenda for violence, it only gives them a green light to continue,” said Staver.
Liberty Counsel is an international litigation, education, and policy organization. Liberty Counsel has a number of affiliated ministries, including Christians in Defense of Israel and Covenant Journey, a program that provides a life-changing experience in Israel for Christian college-age students who have leadership potential. Find out more at www.LC.org and www.CovenantJourney.org.