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March 21, 2011

State Department Condemns Palestinian Incitement

A follow up on our earlier post about incitement:

"The U.S. State Department issued an explicit condemnation of the naming of a square in a West Bank town for a Palestinian terrorist," JTA reports.

"We condemn this commemoration of terrorism and have conveyed our deep concern about this incident to senior officials in the Palestinian Authority and have urged them to address it," Mark Toner, the State Department's spokesman, said March 17. "We underscore that all parties have an obligation to end any form of incitement."

The statement was more definitive than one issued earlier in the week by a State Department official who said the Obama administration was seeking clarification on the matter.

Jewish groups, including the foreign policy umbrella body of the Jewish community, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, had complained that the earlier statement did not go far enough.

Toner's statement appeared to be a response to those complaints: Toner is the most senior spokesman at the State Department, and he led his briefing with the statement instead of reserving it as a response to a reporter's question -- a signal that the State Department uses to convey priority.

Posted by at March 21, 2011 02:20 PM


All parties? I was not aware that Israel is naming public buildings after people who slaughter Arab civilians, sponsoring children's television shows or kids' summer camps that glorify people who murder Arabs, or paying broadcasters and religious leaders to exhort people to commit genocide. If Mr. Toner has any evidence that Israel is engaging in incitement, he should share that information with us. Otherwise he should find the guts to condemn what needs to be condemned, without trying to appear evenhanded.

Where is the State Department's evenhandedness when it comes to condemning illegal building by Arabs, or Arab refusal to let Jews live in or even pass through towns in the PA administered areas? No, only Jewish building is condemned. Evenhandedness is never invoked except when the State Department can no longer avoid criticising the PA.

Posted by: ahad ha'amoratsim at March 22, 2011 05:01 PM

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