US House wants to shut PLO Washington office, Senate refuses
The Republican-dominated US House of Representatives passed a motion calling for the closing of the PLO's Washington office
in response to the 'Palestinian Authority's unilateral action at the United Nations last month. Unfortunately, the Senate did not go along.
An attempt to force the issue through legislation is not likely to
succeed, given a failed attempt in the Senate earlier this month to
downgrade the status of the PLO’s delegation in Washington.
The House campaign followed a letter sent to President Barack Obama
by four senior Republicans and Democrats, who asked him to order the PLO
offices to be closed.
The letter was a response to PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ violation of
the Oslo Accords by circumventing talks with Israel and going to the
United Nations for de facto recognition.
The UN General Assembly overwhelmingly granted the PA non-member
observer status and passed a non-binding resolution recognizing a future
PA country on the basis of the Temporary Armistice Lines drawn by the
UN in 1949.
After the vote, three senators, Democrat Sen. Chuck Schumer of New
York and Republican Senators Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and John
Barraso of Wyoming, failed to win approval for an amendment to a defense
spending bill that would have closed the PLO offices as well as cut aid
to the Palestinian Authority.
The liberal Forward newspaper quoted Philip Wilcox, a former
U.S. consul general in Jerusalem and president of the Foundation for
Middle East Peace, as saying, “This is no more than posturing. It shows
how congressmen are willing to bow to the wishes of (the Israel lobby)
knowing the legislation will not go anywhere.”
Once upon a time, the United States barred all contact with the PLO. When the Oslo accords were signed in 1993 that changed. Blame our foolish leaders for it.
Labels: PLO, PLO mission, United States Senate, US House of Representatives