PLO office in Washington will remain open

32 members of Congress have sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry requesting the closure of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) Washington D.C. office.

Senator Ted Cruz, a GOP presidential candidate, and Congressman Mark Meadows (R-NC) authored the letter.

The letter, sent on December 18, is in response to a deluge of knife attacks in Israel which has killed 21 and injured over 250 Israelis and states Palestinian leaders encourage violence against Israeli citizens.

“The United States government has an obligation to publicly denounce the PLO’s actions and should immediately revoke its waiver.  Allowing the PLO to maintain an office in Washington, D.C. provides no benefit to the United States or the peace process,” read part of the letter.

The State Department dismissed lawmakers’ request.

“We believe that closing the PLO office would be detrimental to our ongoing efforts to calm tensions between Israeli’s and Palestinians, advance a two-state solution and strengthen the US-Palestinian partnership.  We believe the PLO has a valid place and we’d oppose those efforts to close the office,” said State Department spokesperson Elizabeth Trudeau.

Analysis

Unfortunately, this depressingly familiar re-action from the State Department perfectly encapsulates American diplomacy under the Obama Administration.

Verging on a permanent state of hostility, attacks from Palestinians against Israelis have increased manifold and the PLO, feigning an air of despondency, consistently maintains they are unable to halt the malevolent handiwork of outliers or other unscrupulous members associated with the PLO.

While it is not suggested the PLO either directs or systematizes the activity of those who engage in terrorism, it is clear is the PLO has not troubled itself to either sufficiently condemn violence or suppress those who commit the perversions perpetrated against Israeli citizens.

Dissimilarly, in August 2015, Israel’s crackdown on Jewish extremism for attacks on Palestinian persons, property and Christian holy sites verged on totalitarianism with several Orthodox Jewish figures jailed for six months.

More troubling is the public agreement concluded in 2014 by which the Palestinian Authority (PA) formed an alliance with Hamas; this calculated move signaled a move toward violence.

With attacks against Israelis on an upward trajectory, the Obama State Department should not dispatch another banal statement encouraging conversation to end the perversions and unreasoned hatred.  On the contrary, the State Department should have had the stiffness of spine to force the PLO to shutter its operations in the United States for failing to serve peace by reproving violence and subjugating terrorists within their ranks.

 

[Reuters] [USA Today] [cruz.senate.gov] [Photo courtesy timesofisrael]

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