Given the current political climate and congressional efforts to defund the Palestinian Authority over concerns about terrorism (everything wrong with these efforts is explained here), one would expect Trump’s State Department to sing the same tune. But it looks like a level of independence and common sense is still intact in the State Department, which just put out a report on terrorism that threw some who, dare we say, maybe less informed for a loop. The report praises the Palestinian Authority’s efforts to prevent violence and terror attacks, noting they thwarted hundreds of attacks, and saying incitement to violence is “rare and the leadership does not generally tolerate it.” So what are the factors that contribute to Palestinian violence? “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.” Incoherent outrage in 3, 2, 1… Congressman Peter Roskam, co-chair of the House Republican Israel Caucus, sent a letter objecting to the report, and “pro-Israel” social media commentators fumed on Twitter. How dare the State Department put facts above a manufactured narrative?!

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