August 29, 2011 | Quote

Did the Palestinian Authority Think Through its U.N. Gambit?

But there are good arguments why that should come to an end if the PA gets its upgraded status from the U.N. Jonathan Schanzer from the Foundation for Defense of Democracies lays out several grounds for kicking the PLO out of the United States.

First, “In declaring independence, the Oslo Process will be null and void. This, in turn, will nullify the Palestinian Authority, which drew its legitimacy from Oslo. As such, the new Palestinian government would become the new representative of the Palestinians moving forward. Thus, the PLO — formerly the only entity that could negotiate on behalf of the rights of Palestinians — would have no role to play. Why would the U.S. want both PLO offices and a PA mission?”

Second, Schanzer argues, “The PLO has openly challenged the administration and the U.S. Congress” in going to the United Nations. Congress could well decide (along with a cutoff in funding) to change the law and make it illegal for the PLO to operate in the U.S. Indeed, Ros-Lehtinen argued well before the U.N. gambit that the PLO should not be allowed to operate here. In July 2010, she put out a statement: “Abu Mazen refuses to negotiate directly with Israel, instead praising the recently deceased mastermind of the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre and sending condolences to his relatives. But the U.S. rewards his corrupt, autocratic PLO with more symbols of legitimacy, treating it like a sovereign state. On the other hand, Israel continues to be an indispensable democratic ally — but the U.S. still refuses to move our embassy to Israel’s chosen capital. Instead of giving more undeserved gifts to the PLO, it’s time for us to kick the PLO out of the U.S. once and for all, and move our embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, where it belongs.” There is all the more reason to carry through on that threat if the Palestinians snub the United States and the entire peace process.

And finally, Schanzer points out that the “sputtering” reconciliation process between Fatah and Hamas is still going on. Should that proceed, there would be a basis to argue that Hamas taints all the Palestinian entities including the PLO, which then must be tossed out of the country.

Issues:

International Organizations Palestinian Politics