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This is going to win us lots of friends overseas.....Palestine
Posted by: samintx
Date: September 10, 2018 06:48PM
The administration’s move to close the PLO office in Washington is not directly connected to the Trump White House’s opposition to the International Criminal Court, although the administration is trying to link them.

But the Trump administration is trotting out discussions about the two on the same day — Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year — in a move certain to inflame the White House’s already bitter relations with Palestinians.

On the one hand, the State Department announced Monday that the administration is closing the PLO office in Washington because the Palestinians aren’t directly negotiating any peace agreement with Israel. A provision in a U.S. law says the PLO mission must close if the peace process does not go forward.

Meanwhile, National Security Adviser John Bolton discussed the U.S. refusal to recognize the ICC, which the Palestinians are trying to get to prosecute Israel for war crimes. He said the U.S. would retaliate if the ICC tries to prosecute any Americans over conduct in Afghanistan.

The administration is trying to draw a connection between the two and pressure Palestinians to talk directly with Israel. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert called the two developments “consistent.”

“This is yet another affirmation of the Trump administration’s policy to collectively punish the Palestinian people,” Palestinian official Saeb Erekat said.

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WHAT IT MEANS

It’s another strike at a half-century of U.S. policy toward the region. For decades, even amid close U.S.-Israeli ties, Washington had tried to position itself as a neutral party in the vexing Mideast conflict, willing to call out both sides when they take steps seen as contrary to the pursuit of peace.

Several U.S. presidents in both parties have tried to broker a peace accord without success. The two-state solution envisions an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel, with the boundaries negotiated in talks between the parties.

The U.S. does not currently recognize the Palestinian territories as an independent state, though the U.N. General Assembly overwhelmingly voted in 2012 to recognize Palestine as a “non-member observer state.”

Closing the PLO mission in Washington almost certainly will stiffen the Palestinians’ opposition to any Trump peace plan now being worked on by Trump’s Middle East point men, son-in-law Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt.

The Palestinian leadership has been openly hostile to any proposal from the administration, citing what it says is a pro-Israel bias.

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YANKING AID

The State Department announced this month that the United States is ending its decades of funding for the U.N. agency that helps Palestinian refugees. A week earlier, the administration slashed bilateral U.S. aid for projects in the West Bank and Gaza.

The U.S. supplies nearly 30 percent of the total budget of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency, or UNRWA, and had been demanding reforms in the way it is run. The department said in a written statement the U.S. “will no longer commit further funding to this irredeemably flawed operation.” The decision cuts nearly $300 million of planned support.

Those cuts came after the Trump administration announced it was cutting more than $200 million in bilateral aid to the Palestinians and spend the money for “high priority projects elsewhere.”

UNRWA was founded after the 1948 war surrounding Israel’s creation to serve some 700,000 Palestinians who fled or were uprooted from their homes. Today, it provides education and social services to over 5 million people across the region.

Hamas militants control Gaza, and the U.S. said the militants were endangering “lives of Gaza’s citizens and degrades an already dire humanitarian and economic situation.”

One issue the U.S. has had with support for the Palestinian Authority had been its stipends paid to the families of Palestinians killed, injured or jailed for attacks on Israel. Israel and the Trump administration, have repeatedly demanded that those payments from a so-called “martyrs’ fund” be halted because they encourage terrorism. PLO President Mahmoud Abbas has refused to do so.

The Palestine Liberation Organization quickly denounced the decision, calling it “the use of cheap blackmail as a political tool.”

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US EMBASSY

Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign promised to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to contested Jerusalem. The consulate opened in May with a star-studded reception that included the president’s daughter, Ivanka and Kushner, as well as Israel’s top leaders.

Israel killed more than 60 Palestinians, including a 14-year-old girl, during protests that followed. It was the bloodiest day since a war between Hamas and Israel ended in 2014.

Israel said it is defending its border and accuses Hamas, the Islamic militant group that rules Gaza, of trying to carry out attacks under the cover of the protests.

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WHAT THE PLO HAS SAID

PLO Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi called the U.S. policy “blackmail” that “once again seeks to punish the Palestinian people as a whole who are already victims of the ruthless Israeli military occupation.”

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Associated Press Writer Matthew Lee contributed to this report.

Follow Kellman on Twitter at: [www.twitter.com]

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This story has been corrected to show the name is the Palestine Liberation Organization, not the Palestinian Liberation Organization.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/10/2018 09:05PM by samintx.
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Re: This is going to win us lots of friends overseas.....Palestine
Posted by: Steve G.
Date: September 10, 2018 08:37PM
The Arab nations segregated and isolated Palestinians who fled the War of 1948 into camps, refusing to integrate them into their communities. This was done for the political purpose of having a permanent grievance as they next plotted to destroy Israel (which they attempted with their armies a few more times).
The Palestinians were used as political pawns. The UN (and the U.S. in particular) was expected to fund and maintain this fiction. Even now in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Egypt (former owner of Gaza) the Palestinian 'camps' remain outisde the life of these nations and have their own internal politics and indigenous terror groups.
The Palestinians who did not flee are citizens of the State of Israel and are part of the general population.
The funding has served to buy off the Palestinian autocratic, corrupt governing bodies with the hope of repressing the growing populations of people who have never even seen Israel and with the vain hope of actually creating a negotiated two state agreement which the Palestinians would not walk away from (as they have many times in the past). The way it has worked out has resulted in brutish regimes, seaside villas and mansions, private armies and huge bank accounts in Europe and elsewhere.

Will this bring the Palestinians back to the negotiations? It's anybody's guess. Nothing has worked so far. Of course, this may cause more harm than good. The reply is valid, however, 'let the Arab states pay for this...they have plenty of money'.
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