اجعلنا صفحة البداية RSS خدمة Add to favorite Facebook Twitter

Advanced

Congress petition to close PLO's US office 'won't pay off'
Published Friday 14/12/2012 (updated) 22/12/2012 18:49
Font- Font+
US President Barack Obama signs the US-Israel Enhanced Security
Cooperation Act in July 2012. (Reuters/Larry Downing)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian ambassador to Washington DC said Thursday that a congressional petition to shut down their delegation's office could harm American interests in the Middle East.

The letter, calling on US President Barack Obama to "respond strongly" to the PLO's successful effort to upgrade its status at the UN, was circulated to members of the House of Representatives this week for co-signatures.

The letter asks Obama to close the PLO office in Washington, recall the US consul-general in Jerusalem and reaffirm the US' commitment to withdraw funds from any international organizations that Palestine joins as a member.

It is sponsored by the current Republican leader of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, her successor Edward Royce, as well as the leading Democrat committee member Howard Berman and his successor Eliot Engel.

Palestine's pursuit of the UN vote on Nov. 29 "violated both the letter and spirit of the Oslo Accords, and it opened the door for expanded Palestinian efforts to attack, isolate, and delegitimize Israel in a variety of international forums," the lawmakers wrote.

Palestinian leaders argue that Israeli settlement expansion also violates the 1993 Oslo Accords which established interim Palestinian self-government. In total 138 states voted to admit Palestine a non-member state at the UN. Israel, the US, and seven others voted against the upgrade.

PLO envoy in Washington Maen Areikat told Ma'an on Thursday that the lawmakers' petition to Obama is an "attempt by Congress to undermine the US administration in any possible role it is planning to play in Palestinian affairs."

"Trying to actually sever ties with the PLO delegation in Washington will definitely affect open channels and communications between the US and the Palestinian people," he said.

Closing the PLO office would "harm US credibility and standing in the Middle East at this crucial time during transitions in the area ... (and) impact the regional role of the US in the future," Areikat continued.

The letter is supported by AIPAC, an influential pro-Israel lobby group, while American Jewish groups J Street and Americans for Peace Now have come out against the effort and urged representatives not to sign it.

Areikat says he understands that "the number of signatures is piling, and it will increase with AIPAC endorsement." However he noted that the US Congress is currently focused on America's economic situation during its short "lame duck" session.

"The real fight will be early next year, this is just a rehearsal," he told Ma'an.

"It is a political decision, a decision on the part of the Israeli government to escalate things against the Palestinian people at home and here ... the US is their other front," he said.

Areikat continued: "Punitive measures won’t pay off. If they were effective we would have already changed our mind."
Print
1 ) Reader / from Edmonton
14/12/2012 17:10
America should strongly respond to the recognition of the state of Palestine by extending full diplomatic relations.

2 ) betz55 / USA
14/12/2012 17:38
And there it is folks, the best Congress AIPAC can buy on display for all the world to see. Illeana and the rest of the israel firsters in Congress should be ashamed of themselves. What a bunch of idiots on the wrong side of history.

3 ) Yehuda Solomon / Israel
14/12/2012 18:48
Israel understands the motivations behind such a letter but it won't accomplish what its signers want. We strongly thank our U.S. Congressional supporters for their sincerity but despite what they or our ambassador might say or want the Palestinian embassy in America doesn't affect us for better or worse. The Palestinians have no faith in the U.S. anyhow so there's not much that shutting down its embassy in the U.S. would accomplish for anybody.

4 ) FREE I / USA
14/12/2012 19:06
Shows how strong the Zionist lobby is in this country wake up some of us know what ZOG mean?????

5 ) Yehuda Solomon / Israel
14/12/2012 21:00
Israel understands the motivations behind such a letter but it won't accomplish what its signers want. We strongly thank our U.S. Congressional supporters for their sincerity but despite what they or our ambassador might say or want the Palestinian embassy in America doesn't affect us for better or worse. The Palestinians have no faith in the U.S. anyhow so there's not much that shutting down its embassy in the U.S. would accomplish for anybody.

6 ) Robert / US
14/12/2012 23:29
I Agree with comment #1 &2

7 ) peter hindrup / australia
15/12/2012 00:02
‘it opened the door for expanded Palestinian efforts to attack, isolate, and DELEGITIMIZE Israel in a variety of international forums," the lawmakers wrote.’ Delegitimize: this comes up regularly in the midst of what Israel fears. Therefore it ought be investigated and expanded upon. I know of no other country that harps upon being delegitimized.

8 ) gabi / australia
15/12/2012 02:00
# 2 - "wrong side of history" is spot on. Pity a strongly worded letter was not sent by the US to Israel in 1949 when Israel was admitted as a UN member (res. 273) on the premise that it, finally, was prepared to abide by res. 194 (return of refugees OR just compensation) which they then almost immediately reneged on. The US Israel firsters are truly a bunch of idiots - you have to wonder where their loyalties would lie if push came to shove. Having said that though, Obama does not look happy!

9 ) Azzi (from) / Gazzi
15/12/2012 11:38
In the early 1990s, the U.S. Congress passed two laws stating that any UN agency that grants full membership as a state to the Palestinians would automatically lose U.S. funding. Following the vote to recognize the Palestinian Authority, the U.S. was forced to immediately cut off funding to the organization. A law passed by Congress can only be rescinded by Congress. The end result now also means the U.N. General Assembly funds will be cut. Way to go, PLO! Shoot the UN in the foot!

10 ) Frederick USMC / US
15/12/2012 23:06
As one who served my country, I am appalled at the policy of my government which supports a state who has victimized a people for decades. The Palestinians have the same rights as any other world citizens. As a supposed beacon of democracy and freedom, we are on the wrong side of this fight. Stop catering to AIPAC and force Israel to commit to a lasting and permanent two state solution enforced by the world community. Israel has made every excuse not to and frankly their lies are an insult.

11 ) Ben Smida / USA
16/12/2012 00:32
This move is a preemptive strike attempt to derail any future plans Mr. Obama might contemplate to enter history by ending the conflict in Palestine. After all he already cashed in the Nobel Peace Prize down payment but did not deliver yet. It won't be easy for anyone to deal with the Israeli Propaganda Machine but we're talking here about writing History . So it will require someone really special to do it. We hope Mr. Obama can with our help. So call your Congress Rep & stand up for Palestine

12 ) Mark / USA
16/12/2012 11:01
They should also shut down AIPAC, ZOA, J-Street and the ADL And arrest their leaders for treason. Enough is enough. I'm f'ing sick and tired of Israel meddling in U.S. policies. Get the hell out of Washington.

13 ) @ Betz #2 / USA too
16/12/2012 17:39
"And there it is, on display for all the world to see", you are a total idiot or liar, since IF the US Congress was for sale, then certainly OPEC, and the Arab League states could offer 1,000 times larger bribes than AIPAC

14 ) Robert / US/Army
16/12/2012 17:49
Fredrick i couldnt have said it better !! I also served and the oath is to protect the country against Foreign and Domestic Enemies .aipac has to go !!

15 ) Robert / US
18/12/2012 23:37
Yes Yes Mark !!!.We are all tired of these THUGS !!

16 ) Nine against 194 / New York
21/12/2012 10:18
I fully agree with Reader @ 1. In a democracy majority decision has to be respected and upgrade the PLO Mission in USA.That will be the start for PEACE
Name Country
Comment
Characters
Note: Comments will be reviewed for appropriate content. Click here for more details.

Share/Bookmark

Israel must hold 'independent' probe into West Bank killings
The ghosts of Gaza: Interview with a front-line resistance fighter
Interview: Diana Buttu on Palestinian unity and the way forward

Close Next Previous
All Rights Reserved © Ma'an News Agency 2005 - 2014