Since 1994, the quasi-terrorist group called the Palestine Liberation Organization has been allowed to have what amounts to an embassy in Washington, DC. This is because the State Department, including eight years under George Bush, fancied the PLO thugs to be a “partner for peace.” The PLO is barred from the US as a terrorist organization but administration after administration has issued a waiver to the law. Under existing law, State was required to close the PLO offices if they take part in any action against Israel in the UN. They’ve cavalierly violated this requirement on several occasions.
But a day of reckoning may be here.
— Matt Lee (@APDiploWriter) November 18, 2017
The best thing the Trump administration can do for Mideast Peace is to force the Palestinian Authority to choose between peace and war. And the best way of doing that is by stopping the fiction that the PLO and Hamas are anything but what they are: vicious terrorist groups that should be eradicated.
My guess about the cause was correct:
The Trump administration put the Palestinians on notice Friday that it will shutter their office in Washington unless they’ve entered serious peace talks with Israel, U.S. officials said, potentially giving President Donald Trump more leverage as he seeks an elusive Mideast peace deal.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has determined that the Palestinians ran afoul of an obscure provision in a U.S. law that says the Palestine Liberation Organization’s mission must close if the Palestinians try to get the International Criminal Court to prosecute Israelis for crimes against Palestinians. A State Department official said that in September, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas crossed that line by calling on the ICC to investigate and prosecute Israelis.
But the law leaves the president a way out, so Tillerson’s declaration doesn’t necessarily mean the office will close.
Trump now has 90 days to consider whether the Palestinians are in “direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel.” If Trump determines they are, the Palestinians can keep the office. The official said it was unclear whether the U.S. might close the office before the 90-day period expires, but said the mission remains open at least for now.