PLO flag will fly in DC, PA officials receive diplomatic immunity
The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has opposed the Obama Administrations announcement that it is upgrading the diplomatic status of Mahmoud Abbas Palestinian Authority (PA) by granting its mission in Washington which is actually a PLO mission the same status it enjoys in most European countries: that of a PLO general delegation. This amounts to a reward for continuing P.A. incitement against Jews and Israel, promoting hatred and violence, as well as its refusal to negotiate. A general delegation is lower than an embassy (which normally only sovereign states enjoy in foreign countries) but has been described in the Israeli paper Haaretz as a major step above what the PA has had until now. The upgrade gives PA officials in Washington something they did not have before diplomatic immunity. The U.S. has given Abbas PA this upgrade despite the complete absence of Palestinian action to arrest terrorists, and end incitement to hatred and murder against Israel in its controlled media, mosques, schools and youth camps.
Some anti-peace actions by Abbas and the PA in the past month:
· July 2010: Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas and the Fatah movement he co-founded which controls the PA, honored Grand Ayatollah Muhammad Hussein Fadlallah, a Lebanese Shia cleric belonging to the terrorist group Hizballah, whose name was on the U.S. list of wanted terrorists. Abbas dispatched a personal emissary to visit the dying Fadlallah in hospital and after his death sent condolences to his family. (Shortly before his death, Fadlallah issued a fatwa (Islamic religious ruling) sanctioning suicide bomber attacks on U.S. troops and Israel) (Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 4, 2010, translation courtesy of Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook, Abbas honors terror leader Muhammad Hussein Fadlallah, Palestinian Media Watch Bulletin, July 11, 2010).
· July 2010: Abbas was reported in the official PA daily, Al Hayat Al-Jadida as saying to a meeting of Arab writers and journalists in Jordan that he and the PA are unable to confront Israel militarily, and this point was discussed at the Arab League Summit in March in Sirt (Libya). There I turned to the Arab States and I said: If you want war, and if all of you will fight Israel, we are in favor (Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik, Mahmoud Abbas: If all of you [Arab States] will fight Israel, we are in favor, Palestinian Media Watch, July 7, 2010).
· July 2010: Abbas honored Muhammad Daoud Oudeh, also known as Abu Daoud, the mastermind of the 1972 Munich Olympics hostage-taking by Fatah terrorists of eleven Israeli athletes. Abbas stated that Oudeh was one of the prominent leaders of the Fatah movement and lived a life filled with the struggle, devoted effort, and the enormous sacrifice of the deceased for the sake of the legitimate problem of his people, in many spheres. He was at the forefront on every battlefield, with the aim of defending the [Palestinian] revolution. What a wonderful brother, companion, tough and stubborn, relentless fighter. Abbas also called Oudehs family to express his condolences (Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 4, 2010, translation courtesy of Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik, Abbas honors mastermind of Munich Olympics massacre, Palestinian Media Watch Bulletin, July 6, 2010).
The Haaretz reports adds: Prior to this decision, the PA mission in Washington was at a very low level from the point of view of protocol: Its diplomats did not have diplomatic immunity, and it was not even allowed to fly the PLO flag at the entrance to its offices. Now, its diplomats will enjoy diplomatic immunity and its offices will be able to display the PLO flag The PA has been seeking an upgrade in diplomatic relations ever since U.S. President Barack Obama took office last year. But after 18 months without progress, it was surprised to suddenly receive a letter from the State Department on Tuesday announcing that the U.S. had agreed. The letter was sent to Maen Areikat, who heads the PLO mission in Washington. The Americans began seriously considering the upgrade two weeks ago as one of several steps it intends to take in an effort to entice Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas into direct talks with Israel (Natasha Mozgovaya, Barak Ravid & Avi Issacharoff, U.S. upgrades diplomatic ties with Palestinians in bid to woo Abbas: Palestinian mission in Washington granted title of ‘general delegation’ and given permission to hang PLO flag at entrance, Haaretz, July 23, 2010).
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, Once again, we see Abbas and the PA being rewarded with major one-sided concessions from the Obama Administration, despite having done literally nothing to merit such rewards and in fact having done the diametric opposite being continuously involved in vile, duplicitous anti-peace, pro-terror actions in recent weeks, months and years.
Why should the PA even consider ending incitement against Israel and making concessions for peace when it receives massive, unmerited rewards like this diplomatic upgrade, as well as the huge reward under President Obama of an increase in aid for the Palestinians to $1.3 billion double the already large sums given to the P.A. under George W. Bush. The P.A. now receives more funding per capita than any other nation or entity on earth. This is even more remarkable and indefensible in a time of huge deficits and strains on the U.S. economy. Abbas and the P.A. are receiving the message loud and clear that extremism pays, involves no penalty or risks and is in fact rewarded.
It is detestable that the flag of the terrorist PLO (which is the same as that of the PA) will now fly in our nations capital, a monument to this Administrations ignoring Palestinian extremism, hatred, terrorism and murder. Some months ago, President Obama said he would hold the PA accountable for incitement. As could be surmised at the time based on an already bad record of ignoring Palestinian incitement this has proved again to be nothing but empty words.