Trump Again Seeks to Strong-arm Palestinians into Submission

September 10, 2018

(WASHINGTON, D.C. 9/10/2018)— The Palestine Liberation Organization Mission in Washington, D.C. was ordered closed today by the Trump Administration. The reason given by the State Department is that the PLO “has not taken steps to advance the start of direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel.” However, there is no question that this closure is yet another step in Trump’s strategy to force an agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians by erasing the few remaining rights Palestinians have left in accordance with UN resolutions. Once again, this administration is acting as a one-sided broker on behalf of Israel for the so-called “Deal of the Century.”
Of course, this move comes in direct contradiction to Trump’s own claims of being a "neutral guy” when he was a candidate back in February 2016. He even acknowledged in 2015 that Israel does not want peace. “A lot will have to do with Israel and whether or not Israel wants to make the deal — whether or not Israel’s willing to sacrifice certain things,” he said. “They may not be, and I understand that, and I’m okay with that. But then you’re just not going to have a deal.”
Since he took office, the only rights that Trump has been intent on sacrificing are those belonging to Palestinians. The following is a list of Palestinian rights that Trump has “taken off the table” to bully them into accepting any offer regardless of how unfair, unrealistic, and unlawful as it comes in total violation of international law:  

·     Unilaterally declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel
·     Allowing Israel to increase the construction of the settlements in the West Bank as well as within the Jerusalem area, including the E1 region linking Jerusalem with Ma’aleh Adumim. This would terminate any Palestinian geographic contiguity and rule out the idea of Palestinian sovereignty over territory in the West Bank. Israel’s insistence on evicting the West Bank community of Khan al-Ahmaronly strengthens this scenario 

·     Canceling all U.S. funding of UNRWA in the amount of $350 million
·     Pressuring UNRWA to redefine the definition of a Palestinian refugee
·     Cutting off humanitarian aid to the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza in the amount of $200 million under the pretext of ensuring “that U.S. taxpayer dollars were being spent in accordance with U.S. national interests and then also providing value to the U.S. taxpayer”
·     Cutting off $25 million in aid to Palestinian hospitals
·     And now the Trump Administration is closing the PLO’s Mission to the U.S to force the Palestinians to yield to American and Israeli pressure to surrender and to give up what is left of their rights
According to AMP National Policy Director Dr. Osama Abuirshaid, the Trump Administration's decision to close the PLO Mission is "part of a broader strategy to take away what is left of Palestinian rights rather than granting them those rights guaranteed by UN resolutions." "Trump’s vision—or the lack thereof—for a 'peace deal' is a recipe for failure and most likely disaster. It will not be without consequences as it continues to increase instability in an already fractured region, and will most certainly weaken the reputation and leadership of the United States," he added. 

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