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Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Weekly Commentary: Palestinians Test US Secretary of State Tillerson

Weekly Commentary: Palestinians Test US Secretary of State Tillerson
Dr. Aaron Lerner 14 June 2017

"They [the PA] have changed their policy, at least I have been informed they
have changed that policy, and they are, their intent is to cease the
payments to the family members of those who have committed murder or
violence against others. So, it is - we've been very clear with them that
this is simply not acceptable to us. It is certainly not acceptable to the
American people."
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at Senate Foreign Relations Committee 13
June 13, 2017

Note the phrase "at least I have been informed."

Since this testimony, Palestinian officials have made every effort to make
it clear that Mr. Tillerson is misinformed.

So there are two possibilities now for US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson:

#1. The traditional State Department "three monkey" approach towards the
Palestinians (hear no evil , see no evil...).

#2. Publicly express his profound disappointment that Mahmoud Abbas mislead
him. And making it clear that since, as Tillerson noted at the hearing,
"we've been very clear with them [the PA} that this is simply not acceptable
to us," that there will be consequences.

Let's be clear about this.

The money to terrorists is the expression of the fundamental position that
Palestinians have not only an inherent right to murder Israelis (which is
why Abbas insists all murderers be freed) but that those who murder Israelis
do so for the benefit of the Palestinian collective regardless of how
gruesome the act.

The ball is now in US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's court.

How he reacts now will signal the Palestinians if he is indeed the patsy
that they make him out to be.
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