ZOA calls on Rex Tillerson to quit over State Department saying Palestinian terrorism stems from ‘lack of hope’
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ZOA calls on Rex Tillerson to quit over State Department saying Palestinian terrorism stems from ‘lack of hope’

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson speaking about Iran and North Korea at the State Department in Washington, D.C., April 19, 2017. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Zionist Organization of America called on Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to resign over the State Department terrorism report that the ZOA called “bigoted, biased, anti-Semitic, Israel-hating (and) error-ridden.”

“This Tillerson State Department Report blames Israel for Palestinian Arab terrorist attacks on innocent Jews and Americans, ignores and whitewashes the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) ‘pay to slay’ payments to Arabs to murder Jews, among other travesties,” said a ZOA statement Monday about the report published last week.

In the report, the State Department listed as “continued drivers of violence” 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.”

The report also said that Palestinian leaders had addressed incitement.

“The PA has taken significant steps during President [Mahmoud] 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,” it said. “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.”

The ZOA said the report directly contradicted multiple criticisms of the Palestinian Authority for incitement by President Donald Trump and the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley.

The ZOA statement praised Rep. Pete Roskam, R-Ill., for his letter to the State Department last week seeking changes in the report.

“I strongly encourage you to modify this report to accurately characterize and hold accountable the root causes of Palestinian violence — PA leadership,” Roskam said.