Late PLO leader and arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat. (AP/Enric Marti) (AP/Enric Marti)
Yasser Arafat

Standing with Israel during a time of crisis, US lawmakers have demanded that the Obama administration close the PLO embassy in Washington while Palestinian incitement and terror attacks against Israelis continue. 

Members of Congress sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry calling for the shutdown of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) semi-official embassy in Washington, in wake of continued Palestinian terror attacks in Israel that have killed 21 victims and wounded over 250.

Senators Ted Cruz (R, Tx) and Congressman Mark Meadows (R, NC) co-authored the letter which was signed by 30 other members of Congress, who demanded that the administration revoke the PLO’s waiver permitting it to maintain an office in the US capital.

In the letter, the senators accuse the PLO of inciting to terror, funding terrorism and paying imprisoned Palestinian terrorists a salary as an award for acts of terrorism, and bring materials provided by the Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) to substantiate their assertions.

Israel has been facing a wave of attacks, and “the spike in violence in Israel is directly connected to the Palestinian government’s teaching of hate and glorification of terrorism,” the letter stated.

Ted Cruz

Sen. Ted Cruz. (AP/Charlie Neibergall)

“Shockingly, despite being complicit in spreading hatred and terror, the PLO retains an office in Washington, D.C.,” the lawmakers wrote. “We ask that the State Department revoke the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s waiver to maintain an office in the United States.”

“Closing the PLO office in Washington, D.C., would send a clear statement that the kind of incitement to violence perpetrated by the PLO and its leaders will not be tolerated,” they stressed in the letter. “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.”

Against Everything the US Stands For

“Our close ally Israel is enduring another wave of Palestinian terrorism in the form of car-ramming, rock-throwing, and brutal knife attacks,” Cruz said in a statement on Monday.

“These horrific acts of terrorism are due to the continued incitement and glorification of violence by Palestinian leadership. Just last week, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called the recent attacks a ‘justified popular uprising’ following his remarks in September, in which he said, ‘We welcome every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem.’ It is long past time for the United States to hold the PLO and its leaders accountable for engaging in such rampant incitement, for celebrating the murder of Jews, and for providing payment to Palestinian terrorists jailed in Israel and their families. We must make it clear such actions are blatantly unacceptable and close the PLO office in Washington, D.C.”

Congressman Mark Meadows. (Courtesy)

Congressman Mark Meadows. (Courtesy)

“For too long the PLO has not just tolerated acts of terrorism against the Israeli people-but incited others to commit acts of violence in the name of jihad,” Meadows stated. “It goes against everything we stand for as an American people to allow the PLO to retain an office in our nation’s capital, considering its long and well-documented history of encouraging violence and terror against our Israeli allies. It’s time we send a clear signal that the United States does not tolerate extremism and demonstrate our unwavering support for our allies in Israel by revoking this waiver.”

The PLO’s office functions as the equivalent of a Palestinian Authority (PA) embassy to the US, performing both consular and diplomatic functions.

Its existence runs counter to US law, but the law also permits the president to waive the restriction and, since Clinton, three presidents have done so.

By: Max Gelber, United with Israel