Does Secretary of State Tillerson believe he works for the Obama administration, does he disagree with President Trump about Israel, or is it that he simply ignored Wavy Gravy’s famous advice and slipped himself some brown acid?
The State Department issued its annual “Country Report on Terrorism,” the first under Tillerson and the section on Israel and the Palestinians ignores President Trump’s stated policy, what UN Ambassador Nikki Haley has been saying at the United Nations, and would be something of which the team of Obama and Kerry would be very, very proud.
The State Department report blames the victim (Israel) for Palestinian violence; whitewashes PA incitement and payment to Arabs to murder Jews (an issue the President raised more than once when he traveled to the area in May); it condemns Israel’s steps to fight terrorism (and the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria); doesn’t acknowledge that Jerusalem is in Israel (again against Trump’s policy); and supports false reports by the United Nations and anti-Israel NGOs.
When President Trump spoke in Saudi Arabia two months ago, he was clear there were no excuses for Terrorism:
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“But this future can only be achieved through defeating terrorism and the ideology that drives it….A better future is only possible if your nations drive out the terrorists and extremists. Drive. Them. Out. DRIVE THEM OUT of your places of worship. DRIVE THEM OUT of your communities. DRIVE THEM OUT of your holy land, and DRIVE THEM OUT OF THIS EARTH….That means honestly confronting the crisis of Islamist extremism and the Islamist terror groups it inspires. And it means standing together against the murder of innocent Muslims, the oppression of women, the persecution of Jews, and the slaughter of Christians.”
But that’s not what the State Department report says, it excuses Palestinian terrorism and says it’s Israel’s fault.
“Continued drivers of violence included a lack of hope in achieving Palestinian statehood, 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.”
Oh really? “Lack of hope for achieving Palestinian statehood” is what we call in NY, bullsh*t. I know he was working hard for Exxon, but does Secretary Tillerson remember that Israel offered the Palestinians a very generous peace offer at the end of the Bill Clinton administration in 2000, and again in 2008 as the Bush #43 administration was waning down. Does he remember that Israel enacted a unilateral ten-month building freeze in 2009/10, but the Palestinians refused to discuss peace until there were three weeks left in the freeze? Then as the building freeze was running out they offered the Palestinian authority a permanent freeze if they would recognize Israel as the Jewish State which was also rejected by the Palestinians.
Interestingly, in the Strategic Assessment at the beginning of the report, the State Dept. report blames terrorism on Islamist ideology, saying for instance: “a common thread through much of the terrorism observed in 2016 was adherence to violent extremist ideology put forth by a fundamentalist strain of Sunni Islam . . .” The only difference between that terrorism and the terrorist attacks in Israel is the Israeli attacks harm mostly Jews. Is Tillerson fighting with Ivanka Trump or Jared Kushner driving him to have a problem with Jewish people?
The real drivers of the Palestinian terrorism are the desire to eradicate to murder Jews, and goal to push the Jewish State into the sea. Anything else is an anti-Semitic double standard. And in that effort, the Palestinian authority incites murderous acts against Jews and pays blood money to terrorists and their families.
And in that effort, the Palestinian authority incites murderous acts against Jews and pays blood money to terrorists and their families.
The State Department displays its anti-Semitic bias by citing no similarly absurd “drivers of terrorism” regarding any other country that’s a victim of terrorism. The “settlements” are a false issue. Remember the same Palestinian President Abbas, may have objected to settlements but did not make it a major issue during the Bush Administration. It was only when Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama broke an agreement Bush #43 made with Israel that the communities in Judea and Samaria became a major issue (the agreement with Bush allowed he building of new housing units as long as no more land was taken). It was, in the end, an excuse for Abbas not to negotiate (he did negotiate when Israel was building during the Bush administration).
If Secretary of State Tillerson has read any newspapers or viewed cable news in the past six months, he would have seen U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley has been working to force the United Nations to retract its biased, defamatory, anti-Semitic anti-Israel reports and activities. Her very first speech to the UN General Assembly included these words:
I’m here to say the United States will not turn a blind eye to this anymore. I am here to underscore the ironclad support of the United States for Israel. I’m here to emphasize the United States is determined to stand up to the UN’s anti-Israel bias.
Therefore unless Haley is speaking out of school it is the position of the Trump administration that the United Nations is biased against Israel. Despite that, the State Department report actually admits the source for their exaggerated claims of “settler violence against Palestinians” are reports and statistics from the admittedly biased UN and the radical, anti-Israel, “Yesh Din.” Most of the group’s funding comes from foreign governments but it does receive cash from the anti-Israel progressive sugar daddy George Soros via his Open Society Foundation and the New Israel Fund, which was named by the ADL as one of the top-ten anti-Israel groups in America
All this raises the question, why would the State Department use organizations known to be anti-Israel for its “settler” violence stats? Is Tillerson personally fighting this administration’s pro-Israel stance? Why is the State Department criticizing Israel’s counter-terrorism efforts? Most of the counter-terrorism actions consist of justifiable steps such as checkpoints (the NY State Police has checkpoints on New Year’s Eve to check for sobriety, more important are the Israeli checkpoints to check for possession of weapons. Their another popular Israeli counter terrorist activity is arresting terrorist cells. Tillerson should be praising the Israeli counter-terrorism activities for saving the lives of Jews, Muslims, and others.
The Israeli efforts are certainly tamer than those of Saudi Arabia for example, which executed forty-seven terrorists on the same day for attacks that happened ten years prior. In fact, all of the countries in Israel’s neighborhood regularly execute terrorist suspects.
When Palestinian terrorists are captured by Israel they are sent to jail (where they get blood money from the PA), it is only when they attack the Israeli authorities are some of them killed or wounded because the police are defending themselves. Israel has only executed one prisoner in its 69-year history—Adolf Eichman one of the creators of the Nazi “final solution” against the Jews. Admittedly at times Israel, will “execute” a terrorist’s empty house with a bulldozer. But prisoners are treated humanely in Israel (and that doesn’t account for the rewards they get from the Palestinian Authority).
Another conclusion of the State Department report blames the violence on “the perception that the Israeli government was changing the status quo on the Haram Al Sharif/Temple Mount.” What it neglects to mention is where that perception is coming from…the Palestinian Authority. For example in September 2015 Palestinian President Abbas appeared on their state-owned TV to say:
“The Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher are ours. They are all ours, and they have no right to defile them with their filthy feet.” Abbas further said: “We salute every drop of blood spilled for the sake of Jerusalem
During his recent trip to the Middle East, President Trump made it a point to scold the Palestinian president for the incitement of violence.
Peace can never take root in an environment where violence is tolerated, funded and even rewarded. We must be resolute in condemning such acts in a single, unified voice.
And when they met privately President Trump lost his patience with the Palestinian leader. “You tricked me in DC!” the President was reported to have hollered at the stunned Palestinian, “You talked there about your commitment to peace, but the Israelis showed me your involvement in incitement.” While the above was first reported by an anonymous source, it was since confirmed by the P.A.
This report, however, ignored President Trump and praised the Palestinian president for his non-existent fight against incitement,
“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. While some PA leaders have made provocative and inflammatory comments, the PA has made progress in reducing official rhetoric that could be considered incitement to 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.
Later on, it adds, “PA President Mahmoud Abbas reiterated his commitment to nonviolence.” Perhaps Tillerson didn’t hear about Trump’s speech or his meeting with Abbas.
Just this past Friday, just before three Israelis were stabbed to death during their Sabbath dinner Fatah, the party controlled with an iron fist by Abbas sent messages calling for Palestinians to ramp up the violence. One of which appeared on Fatah’s official Facebook page and said in part:
“If I fall I will not be the first to die, and not the last to dieO my brothers, I write my will with my blood, please guard my revolution with your bloodThrough Fatah’s masses sweeping to attackI am Fatah, I am a revolution, I am a storm (i.e., Al-Asifa, another name for Fatah)[Fatah] Mobilization and Organization Commission’s Information Office#Rage_of_Jerusalem
The report also questions Israel’s sovereignty over Jerusalem. The part of the report dealing with the holy land is labeled “ISRAEL, THE WEST BANK AND GAZA, AND JERUSALEM” In other words to the State Department Jerusalem is not part of Israel. And they make a point to say it. Other countries simply list the name of the country.
This “carve out” by the state department ignores the words of a President who campaigned on (and still insists) the United States will be moving its Israeli embassy to the Israeli capital of Jerusalem. And those of Ambassador Haley who repeated the president’s promise to the U.N. Additionally when the Whitehouse.gov website was about to stream the post meeting comments of the President and Prime Minister during the President’s visit they put up the screen below, notice the location of the meeting; Jerusalem, Israel.
That was not a mistake, it was the first time an American President (even in a small way) recognized Israeli sovereignty over the holy city of Jerusalem.
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.
In other words, Tillerson’s report was more anti-Israel than Obama’s.
While elements of the report were anti-Semitic in nature I am not suggesting that Rex Tillerson is anti-Semitic. As CEO of Exxon, Tillerson had strong relationships with Arab countries, especially Qatar which along with Iran funds many of the anti-Israel terrorist organizations. I would suggest that it is those types of relationships that drive Tilleson’s policy which seems to go against the administration that appointed him. Additionally, one of Tillerson’s biggest supporters, when Trump was deciding who should run the state department, was Bush #41’s state department head, James Baker, who famously said, “F**k the Jews, they won’t vote for us anyway.” Baker’s policy single handily drove the Jewish vote away from the GOP. During Bush’s first run he earned nearly 35% percent of the Jewish vote, when he ran for reelection it dropped to 11% (and hasn’t surpassed 24% since).
The real issue here is who is in charge of foreign policy, the President, or the Secretary of State. Obviously, it is the President. Rumors broke out today that Rex Tillerson was considering resigning because he was unhappy with the way President Trump was treating attorney general Sessions. Perhaps the actual reason Tillerson is upset is his differences with the President over Middle East policy.
No matter why Tillerson is miffed (if he is at all) it is important for President Trump to publicly clarify the U.S. policy. Are we back to the “bad old days” of Obama, Clinton, and Kerry? Or will he fulfill the promises made during the campaign and during his Middle East trip two months ago?