Nov 27, 2017

Coddling the PLO

As with all visitors to the Holy Land, I saw many fascinating things on my first trip to Israel, now many moons ago.

As I think about this year, as it ends, I remember walking through Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City. This year is the centennial of course of the British taking the holy city from the Ottoman Turks, which set today’s backdrop in motion.

Early Zionists felt that this event, when General Allenby dismounted and strode through the gate, would be the trigger for a quickly cascading series of events that would end with a modern Jewish state.

We all know though that other events can intervene, and intervene they did. A world war threw one monkey wrench into the machine, but it was perhaps dwarfed by the quagmire the Brits found themselves in as they mediated disputes between Jews and Arabs in Palestine.

It was in this period that oil was found in Arabia, thus setting in motion an atmosphere in which the West decided to placate the Arabs…often at the expense of the Jews.

Another thing I saw on that first trip was “Orient House,” an east Jerusalem quasi-headquarters-embassy for the Palestinians. It was illegal for the PLO/PA to operate in such a way during the early years of Oslo, so periodically it was shut down.

But the Arabs are nothing if not relentless. That is the key to their “successes,” both diplomatically and by way of terrorism.

They were also helped immeasurably by their Western friends, particularly in Washington D.C. The contradictions were also difficult to watch, too.

Ronald Reagan’s White House agreed to recognize Yasser Arafat and the PLO as the true representative of the Palestinians. Yet in 1987, Reagan also signed into law legislation that there would never be a PLO office on U.S. soil.

One wonders whether George H.W. Bush ever really disliked the PLO, and his successor hosted the blood-soaked Arafat a staggering and shameful 13 times! Barack Obama’s ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, at least in terms of facilitating a network in Washington, are well documented.

The PLO/PA opened an office in Washington seven years after Reagan used his pen. This established the lawlessness of Bill Clinton’s regime.

This week, the Trump administration has announced that this office might be shut down, due to the PA attempting to get the International Criminal Court to prosecute Israelis for alleged crimes against the Palestinians.

Though we might wish that Trump would do more to support Israel (the whole business of not moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem is a murky story that I’m not convinced is Trump’s fault), he is infinitely better to Israel than any of his predecessors.

According to the Times of Israel:

“Trump administration officials in recent days have been leaking like sieves about plans to relaunch the peace process as soon as next year. The Palestinians until now have been game — Zomlot, the PLO envoy to Washington, has been effusive in his outreach to Jewish groups, the media and American politicians about Trump’s ‘ultimate deal.’ They have put on hold bids to join international agencies.

“Nuh-uh, the Palestinians now say. Closing the office ‘is unprecedented in the history of US-Palestinian relations, which could have serious consequences on the peace process and US-Arab relations, as well as serves as a blow to peacemaking efforts,’ Nabil Abu Rudeineh, Abbas’ spokesman, said over the weekend.”

In reality, this is more game playing by the Palestinians. Push, pull, push, pull. They say they will in good faith be involved in the “peace process,” then do things to scuttle it.

I believe the PLO leadership has never been about state-building or their people. They are for themselves. Maintaining luxury lifestyles.

Whether their Washington office is closed for a bit or not, that self-absorbed mindset will continue as long as the West allows it.