US State Department Report Distorts Middle East Reality

New York, NY…In its recent annual report, the US Department of State appears to be rehashing outdated information from earlier reports that contradict today’s Middle East reality,” said Stephen M. Greenberg, Chairman, and Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO, of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

“We have written to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to express our deep concern regarding this year’s annual report about the global condition and its references to the current Israeli-Palestinian situation. The report says, among other assertions, that President Abbas has worked during his tenure, beginning in 2005, against incitement, when in fact, the contrary is true. He is personally responsible for tributes to terrorists, calls to defend al-Aqsa Mosque, and many other false allegations against Israel meant to arouse passions and lead to situations such as the one we are witnessing on the Temple Mount. Even in this instance, he calls for the protests to continue despite the removal of the metal detectors, which never should have been a provocation at all.

President Abbas, contrary to the report, refuses to stop the payments to terrorists, their families or survivors, who have killed or maimed Israelis. He allocates hundreds of millions of dollars each year for this purpose. President Trump, like his predecessors, has spoken against this and the Congress is taking concrete actions after repeated warnings and admonitions to stop this horrific practice. President Abbas continues to name squares for terrorist killers and to honor those who engage in these vile acts. Textbooks in the Palestinian Authority (PA) contain highly offensive material and he continues to resort to international fora, including the United Nations and the International Criminal Court (ICC), to bypass direct meaningful negotiations and lodge baseless charges against Israel.

We cannot understand how language used in reports as far back as 2010 is repeated verbatim. We hope that Secretary Tillerson will rescind this report and see to an amended version that properly puts the responsibility for the terrorism and incitement that has taken such a heavy toll where it belongs on President Abbas and the PA. This report cannot be allowed to stand because other countries and terrorist groups may use it to justify their anti-Israel actions,” said Greenberg and Hoenlein.

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