America criticizes Isreal?

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A recp of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict last year contains an unusual level of detail.

By Matthew Cella

The State Department's report on international terrorism released Friday contained a subtle rhetorical shift toward the United States' most staunch Middle East ally.

The annual Country Reports on Terrorism analysis was dominated by the rise of the Islamic State group and incidents of worldwide terrorism. But it also contained an unusual implied criticism of Israel, a longtime friend that has seen its relations with the U.S. strained in recent months.
In an overviewdescribing activities in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, and Jerusalem, the State Department detailed the 50-day conflict last summer dubbed Operation Protective Edge in which Israel conducted 5,240 airstrikes in Gaza and carried out a 20-day military ground operation.


"According to publicly available data, the conflict led to the deaths of 2,205 Palestinians and 74 persons in Israel, among them 67 soldiers, six Israeli civilians, and one Thai civilian," the State Department report said. "The Israeli government estimated that half of those killed in Gaza were civilians and half were combatants, while the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) recorded 1,483 civilian Palestinian deaths – more than two-thirds of those killed – including 521 children and 283 women."

While unremarkable on its face, the disparity between figures reported by the Israeli government and figures compiled by the U.N. was highly unusual, as was the inclusion of a breakdown of civilian casualties – particularly women and children – among the Palestinians.
Consider the overview in the same State Department report in 2009, the first produced under the Obama administration. That document outlined the beginnings of the 22-day military campaign called Operation Cast Lead that started on Dec. 27 – but it did so with far less detail.

"By some reports, Israeli military operations in 2008 killed an estimated 782 Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, including at least 315 by year's end as a result of Israeli Air Force (IAF) airstrikes."

The next year, the administration in its overview detailed even less about Palestinian casualties in the conflict.

"On January 3, Israeli forces launched a ground invasion. Hostilities between Israeli forces and HAMAS militants continued through January 18, and the Israeli withdrawal of troops was completed on January 21," the 2010 report said. "Israeli officials believed Operation Cast Lead helped achieve a level of deterrence, as rocket and mortar attacks from Gaza dropped precipitously following the conflict."

Subsequent reports during the Obama administration document the firing of rockets and mortar shells and the subsequent responses with little elaboration.

Tensions have been high in recent months between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over a deal to limit Iran's nuclear ambitions. An op-ed this week in The Wall Street Journal by former Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren suggested Obama has made mistakes in the Israeli-U.S. relationship "deliberately," and that he was responsible for abandoning two core principles of the U.S.-Israel alliance: no public disagreements and no surprises.

Though subtle, Friday's State Department report may have been a little bit of both.


State Department Terror Report Contains Subtle Shift on Israel - US News
 
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Well that is a welcomed change if they were criticizing them. Israel has committed many atrocities in the Middle East and yet still they enjoy America's support through military financing. It is full time now the American tax payers demand that their tax dollars go towards helping people rather than to finance another country's army.
 
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Obama and Netanyahu weren't and haven't been the best of friends for a really long time. It wouldn't take long before personal differences began to affect the relationship between the two nations. Earlier this year, under the pretext of "the fight against ISIS", the U.S delivered $25 M worth of weapons to Lebanon. Was it a deliberate move to make Israel realize they made a mistake when their Prime Minister tried to undermine the president's attempts to secure a deal with Iran?
 
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If nothing else, Obama has proven he has balls. I'm sure he isn't as wonderful of a president as I think he is. But he's done a few things that has earned more and more of my respect. I'm going to miss him when he's gone.
 

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