Kredo: State Department Has Gone Rogue on Israel

Washington Free Beacon reporter Adam Kredo discussed his story on State Department hostility toward Israel on Friday with radio host Mark Levin, saying the agency had gone "rogue" on the issue.

Kredo reported last week on a criticized State Department report on global terrorism that placed blame on Israel for Palestinian terrorist attacks and being an impasse in peace talks. State Department officials stood by the report when Kredo followed up:

Officials in the Trump administration's State Department are standing by a recent report criticized by Congress that blamed Israel for terror attacks and claimed Palestinians rarely incite violence, telling the Washington Free Beacon that it remains unclear why terrorists engage in violent acts.

Rep. Peter Roskam (R., Ill.), co-chair of the House Republican Israel Caucus, criticized the State Department Thursday for releasing a report portraying Israel as the culprit in terrorism and downplaying Palestinian incitement of violent acts against the Jewish state, the Free Beacon first reported.

Roskam demanded the State Department alter its report to bring it more in line with what he believes are the facts on the ground—that Palestinian leaders routinely incite violence against Israel, which has been forced to defend itself against a growing wave of terror attacks on Jewish citizens.

A State Department official, speaking on background, defended the report's conclusions and said that it cannot precisely pinpoint the motivations behind Palestinian terror attacks on Israel.

"We recognize that in any community, a combination of risk factors can come together to create a higher risk of radicalization to violence," the official said. "There is no one single pathway to violence—each individual's path to terrorism is personalized, with certain commonalities. Therefore, it is difficult to pinpoint precisely what the sources of radicalization to violence are. What could drive someone to violence in one instance could vary significantly with someone else who is similarly situated."

Levin said he found the story "stunning," and Kredo said he had not seen an on-the-record answer quite like it in a decade of covering diplomacy. Hours after a Palestinian stabbed three Israelis to death in the West Bank, Kredo asked the Rex Tillerson-led State Department about its terrorism report and he was told that Palestinian calls for violence against Israelis were rare.

As Kredo noted, that is demonstrably false; the Palestinian Authority has routinely praised acts of terrorism and uses U.S. taxpayer aid to pay salaries to terrorists imprisoned in Israel.

"The answer that came from the State Department is quite confusing," Kredo said. "It almost reads as a college thesis, and essentially what they said to me is, 'We don't know what spurs terrorism. It's a combination of complicated factors, and there's no one single pathway to such violence.'"

Kredo said his sources told him this showed a State Department that has gone "rogue" and does not follow Trump White House policy.

"The State Department is filled with holdovers from the former Obama administration and has a reputation for going rogue on these types of issues, particularly Israel," Kredo said.

A source who advises the White House on Israel told the Free Beacon that people around Trump understand that the Palestinians who hate and kill Israelis are taught to do so at a young age, while Obama officials never wanted to admit it.

"The problem is that the Obama team spent eight years filling the State Department with career staffers who think exactly like they think, and those people are still running things," the source said. "Some really good people have tried to clean house, but every time anything got going Tillerson went to the president personally to protect the Obama holdovers. So they feel safe producing this kind of mind-numbing nonsense and sending it to Congress."