House Urges Obama to Shut PLO Office as Punishment for UN Vote

Letter signed by more than half of U.S. House of Representatives also calls for defunding of UN-affiliated organizations that similarly enhance PLO membership.

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail

WASHINGTON - Just over half of the U.S. House of Representatives called on President Obama to shut down the PLO office in Washington as punishment for its ascension in United Nations status.

"One important way of expressing U.S. disapproval would be to send the message that such actions are not cost-free and that, at a minimum, they result in setbacks to U.S.-Palestinian relations," said the letter sent Dec. 21, initiated by the incoming and outgoing leaders of both parties on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and signed by 239 members, including leaders such as Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), the majority leader, and Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), the minority whip.

"We can do this by closing the PLO office in Washington, D.C. We can also call our Consul-General in Jerusalem home for consultations," the letter said.

The Palestine Liberation Organization had its status elevated last month to non-member observer state, which could facilitate efforts to charge Israel with war crimes in the international court system.

The letter was initiated by Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), Ed Royce (R-Calif.), respectively the outgoing and incoming chairs, and Reps. Howard Berman (D-Calif.) and Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), respectively the outgoing and incoming ranking Democrats.

The letter also calls for defunding of UN-affiliated organizations that similarly enhance PLO membership.

The letter was backed by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

The letter follows an attempt earlier this month to attach a similar amendment to a Senate defense funding law; that amendment never came to a vote.

Notably, the letter sent Dec. 21 did not include a call to defund the PLO-affiliated Palestinian Authority, as the Senate amendment did.

Separately, Ros-Lehtinen and 59 other lawmakers from both parties sent a letter of thanks Dec. 21 to the seven nations to join the United States and Israel in what was a lopsided 138-9 U.N. General Assembly vote in favor of enhanced Palestinian statehood status, with 41 countries abstaining.

The seven countries are: Canada, the Czech Republic, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, and Panama.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.Credit: AP



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN


בנימין נתניהו השקת ספר

Netanyahu’s Israel Is About to Slam the Door on the Diaspora

עדי שטרן

Head of Israel’s Top Art Academy Leads a Quiet Revolution

Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

Skyscrapers in Ramat Gan and Tel Aviv.

Israel May Have Caught the Worst American Disease, New Research Shows

ג'אמיל דקוור

Why the Head of ACLU’s Human Rights Program Has Regrets About Emigrating From Israel


Netanyahu’s Election Win Dealt a Grievous Blow to Judaism