Incitement Enables Terror in Israel, in Turkey, and Elsewhere

While Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah party do not organize suicide bombings or aim rockets at Israeli civilians, they engage in and abet hate-filled rhetoric and calls to shed Jewish blood that have real and dire consequences. Many Israelis understand that peace is impossible without curbing such incitement, which is endemic throughout the region. Michael Rubin explains why those concerned with terrorism elsewhere must be equally attentive:

Increasingly, as Turkey’s recent string of terrorist attacks show, [such incitement] is becoming a cancer within Turkish society. Consider the New Year’s attack on the Reina nightclub. The Friday prayer sermon read by imams across the country on December 30 condemned New Year’s celebrations as illegitimate and suggested no truly believing Muslim would mark the occasion. There may not be direct causality between the sermon and the attack . . . but the bombardment of society with anti-secular and anti-tolerant attitudes made Reina a legitimate target in some Islamist circles. . . .

Turkey is not alone. Incitement is a staple of [official Iranian] rhetoric—be it weekly state-sanctioned “Death to America” chants or the entreaties to genocide against Israel and Jews more broadly. Incitement, too, explains ordinary Egyptian intolerance toward Israel decades after the two countries signed a peace agreement.

It is one thing for diplomats and counterterror practitioners to wring their hands at online terror recruitment by al-Qaeda, Islamic State, and like-minded groups, but U.S. policy continues to fall flat when it comes to incitement promoted by authorities or states like the Palestinian Authority, Iran, Egypt, or Turkey. Turkey is perhaps the most tragic case because the country’s transformation has been entirely preventable had the Bush and Obama administrations not chosen to hide their heads in the sand.

Read more at Commentary

More about: Anti-Semitism, Mahmoud Abbas, Politics & Current Affairs, Radical Islam, Terrorism, Turkey

The State Department Seems to Be Covering Up Palestinian Incitement

July 26 2017

Last week, the U.S. State Department released its annual report on global terrorism in the year 2016, and, for apparently the tenth consecutive year, the report defended the Palestinian Authority in language identical or nearly identical to that used in years before. For example, the 2016 report notes that “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.” That same sentence also appeared in the department’s reports for 2015, 2014 and 2013. Similar repetition of language from those years and years earlier can be found across the report.

What’s going on? “Two prominent former Israeli diplomats are charging that the State Department is recycling parts of its old reports in order to whitewash the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) incitement to violence,” Rafael Medoff writes, quoting the former Israeli diplomat Alan Baker:

[According to Baker], State Department officials seem to be “taking previous reports and copying them, making slight changes where they consider it relevant,” instead of objectively assessing the PA’s most recent behavior.

Baker said that not only has the PA failed to take “significant steps” against incitement, but “the opposite is the case—their own actions, statements and publications, naming streets and squares after terrorists, formally paying fees to terrorist families, all point to a distinctive step backward in violation of Palestinian commitments pursuant to the Oslo Accords.”

The result, Baker said, is that “the Palestinians see it as a license to continue and as support for their struggle. If the State Department closes a blind eye, this is tantamount to giving a green light.”

[According to a second Israeli diplomat], the State Department slants its reports about the PA because the department “fears that its own words will be used to buttress congressional efforts to cut aid to the PA. . . . ”

Read more at JNS

More about: Israel & Zionism, Palestinian Authority, Politics & Current Affairs, State Department