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US State Dept. Anti-Terrorism Report Focuses on 'Price Tagging'

Report calls on UN, NGOs to prosecute 'settlers' for ruining property - but not Palestinian Arab terrorists for trying to kill Israelis.
By Tova Dvorin
First Publish: 4/30/2014, 10:58 PM

John Kerry
John Kerry
AFP photo

The US State Department published inflammatory remarks about Israel and "settlers" on Wednesday, just days after US Secretary of State John Kerry said Israel could become an "apartheid state." 

The 2013 anti-terrorism report investigated terror activity across the globe in 2013, and was published on its website. The "Israel, West Bank, and Gaza" section, however, focuses intensely on "extremist Israeli settlers" and subtly calls for them to be prosecuted by the UN. 

"Attacks by extremist Israeli settlers against Palestinian residents, property, and places of worship in the West Bank continued and were largely unprosecuted [sic] according to UN and NGO sources," the report claims, citing the leftist UN Office of the Coordinator for Humanitarian Affairs.

The report also cited "399 attacks by extremist Israeli settlers that resulted in Palestinian injuries or property damage" and deemed them "violent extremists" - mostly over "price tag" attacks against Palestinian Arab homes and property. 

"Price tag" is a euphemism for politically-motivated vandalism and criminal damage usually attributed to Jewish extremists, carried out either in revenge for Arab terrorist attacks, or in protest of Israeli government policies such as the destruction of Jewish homes in Judea and Samaria.  

Leftist MKs consistently condemn "price tag" for giving Israel a bad image, both in local and international press. However, little to no press time is given to  numerous incidents of Arab "price tagging".

In addition, aArutz Sheva report in January revealed that in at least some of the cases, anti-Arab "price tags" were being systematically staged by Arab activists.

The State Department report also acknowledged terror against Israeli Jews in Judea and Samaria - which, unlike "price tagging", aims to kill people - as opposed to damaging property.

"The Israel Security Agency (ISA, or “ShinBet”) reported a total of 1,271 of what it defined as terrorist attacks originating in the West Bank against Israeli citizens in 2013," the report noted. "Of these, 858 involved firebombs, but the attacks also included shootings, stabbings, grenade and IED incidents, and rock throwing. The ISA identified an additional 126 attacks in Jerusalem, 122 of which involved firebombs."

Unlike the "price tag" attacks, however, the report made no mention of involving the UN or other NGOs.   

Ignoring Palestinian Incitement

In addition, the report claims that "[Palestinian Authority Chairman] Mahmoud Abbas consistently reiterated his commitment to nonviolence and recognition of the State of Israel" and that "the PA has taken significant steps to ensure that official institutions in the West Bank that fall under its control do not create content that leads to incitement to violence." 

The report utterly ignores the PA's ongoing incitement against Israel and Jews - a fact that was mentioned to Kerry several times throughout peace talks. 

In January, the Israeli government released its annual "Palestinian Incitement Index", which showed that incitement against Israel and the Jewish people is continuing on official media channels including - inter alia - by bodies that are very close to the PA Chairman and in educational and religious networks.

Such incitement ranges from the glorification of Nazism and the lionization of Adolf Hitler, to programs on official PA television featuring heavily-stereotyped Jews as villains (and encouraging violence against them), and various TV and radio shows which literally wipe the Jewish state off the map.

Israeli officials have stressed that in order to achieve peace, the PA must first stop its incitement against Israel, which includes educating young children towards hatred and terrorism.

The US was well aware of this incitement, as reports surfaced in February that Congress was weighing cutting aid to the PA over the ongoing smear campaign.