With President Donald Trump set to greet Mahmoud Abbas, head of the Palestinian Authority, at the White House on May 3rd, the time has come to examine how the US allowed the PLO to trample upon ten US government PLO policy guidelines, and to examine what the current US administration can do to see to it that the PLO does not trample on Trump.
The US recognized the PLO during the final month of the Reagan administration December 1988, on the condition that the PLO would recognize UN resolution 242, which required the PLO to recognize the right of every nation to secure boundaries – especially Israel . The PLO immediately ignored this requirements for US recognition.
It is not too late for the US to ask the PLO, under the aegis of the Palestinian Authority, to recognize UN resolution 242, which it has yet to do.
The US acted as a witness and guarantor of the PLO/Israel Oslo Accords, signed on the White House lawn on September 13, 1993. Known as the DOP, "The Declaration of Principles", it spelled out mutual recognition of Israel and the PLO, and the formal denunciation of violence and terror. The DOP was premised on its ratification by the Israeli Knesset and by the central committee of the PLO. The Israeli Knesset ratified the DOP on Sept, 26, 1993, by a vote of 61 to 50, with nine abstentions. The PLO central committee was set to meet in Tunis to ratify the DOP on October 6, 1993. However, the one Israeli correspondent dispatched to Tunis to witness the PLO ratification, Pinhas Inbari, on the staff of the left wing newspaper Al HaMishmar, reported from Tunis that the PLO chairman announced that he could not get a quorum of the PLO to attend, so the PLO Central Committee did not convene to ratify the DOP.
It is not too late for the US, as witness and guarantor of the Oslo Accord, to insist the PLO, through the aegis of the PA, ratify the DOP. Otherwise, the agreement between Israel and the PLO does not hold water.
US law allowed the PLO, all of whose components were designated by the US law as FTOs, Foreign Terrorist Organizations, to open an embassy in D.C. and allowed the PLO to dispatch representatives to the USA, but only if PLO would cancel the PLO Covenant, the document which defined the purpose of the PLO: To replace and destroy the State of Israel. The PNC, the PLO National Council, met in special session on April 24, 1996, with the stated purpose that this session would renounce and cancel the PLO Covenant. The PLO, at that session, filmed by the Institute for Peace Education Ltd, only announced the formation of a committee to consider changes in the PLO Covenant.
A video and protocol of the session was sent to the US embassy in Tel Aviv, and to the US Congress. Prof. Yehoshua Porat, expert on the PLO and a candidate of the left wing Meretz party for the Knesset, reviewed the video and protocols of the PNC session, and affirmed that the PLO had not cancelled the PLO Covenant. The US embassy in Tel Aviv, however, ignored what had actually transpired at the PNC, and instead reported to the White House and to the US Congress that the PLO had fulfilled the requirements of US law with the cancellation of the PLO Covenant, allowing the US to roll out a red carpet to welcome PLO chairman Yassir Arafat as a dignitary in Washington one week later. The PLO was allowed to open an official embassy , which has functioned ever since, conditional on the US President signing a waiver every six months which extends the non- terror status of the PLO.
It is not too late for the US to insist the head of the PLO and the Palestinian Authority call the PNC into a special session to cancel the PLO covenant, as required by US law, before Abbas enters the White House on May 3rd, 2017. Otherwise, the entry of Abbas to the US represents a challenge to US law.
As an integral part of the US Aid package to the Palestinian Authority, the US funds PA schools which instituted a war education curriculum, despite US objections. That PA curriculum does not prepare Palestinian Arab children to live in state alongside Israel. That curriculum indoctrinates all Palestinian Arab children to conduct a Jihad to liberate Palestine, all of what they considere Palestine, with no attempt to train the next generation for peace with Israel.
It is not too late for the US to demand an overhaul of PA education to prepare the next generation for peace.
US law forbids any agency that receives funds from the US from placing members of a designate FTO - a foreign terrorist organization -- on the payroll of a US government funded entity. Yet the US funded UNRWA schools, which openly employ members and even leaders of HAMAS, putting them on the payroll. UNRWA, which now receives $400 million of its 1.2 billion dollar budget from the US, has ignored US directives to remove Hamas from the UNRWA payroll. And when UNRWA has removed some Hamas leaders from the UNRWA payroll, they simple return as senior employees of UNRWA.
It is not too late for the US, as the leading donor of UNRWA, to insist that UNRWA fire members and leaders of Hamas who receive salaries from UNWRA – especially Hamas teachers, who dominate the Gaza UNRWA teachers union. Elections are imminent.
It is not too late for the US to reverse its decision to force Hamas into the PA electoral process.
The US helped to create the PSF, the Palestinian Security Force of the Palestinian Authority. However, the US embassy and US State department have ignored all inquiries challenging the PSF inclusion of Palestinian terror organizations which have never demonstrated any peaceful intentions, to say the least.
It is not too late for the US to ask the PSF to remove Palestinian terror groups from its ranks.
The US enacted the Koby Mandell act which requires the US to pursue and prosecute thoe who maim or kill US citizens abroad. Until the inauguration of President Trump, the US would not enforce the act concerning American citizens attacked in Israel by terrorists. The new Trump administration has begun to file indictments of terrorists who murdered US citizens in Israel.
It is not too late, Trump has demonstrated, for the US government to enforce the Koby Mandell act.
The US established an office in the US State Department to monitor anti Semitism in 2008. However, that office has refused to examine PA anti-Semitism. While there are rumors that Trump will not renew funding for the US office that tracks anti-Semitism, it is not too late for the US to examine the tentacles of official Palestinian Authority ant-Semitism which can be tracked world- wide.
The US created a special commission to form a Palestinian Authority constitution. However, the Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Pietro Sambi , the late Vatican official who examined the draft of the proposed PA constitution, and reported to the US, wrote that the current PA constitution, which would form the basis of PA law in a Palestinian Arab state, does not allow for any juridical status of any religion other than Islam. Futhermore, the Papal Nuncio warned that the proposed US-funded PA constitution was based on the strict Sharia law used in Saudi Arabia, and not on a more tolerant Sharia law that Archbishop Sambi had witnessed in his earlier postings in Indonesia and Bangladesh.
It is not too late for the US government to reconsider the nature of jurisprudence that would exist in any kind of future Palestinian Arab entity.
David Bedein directs the Israel Resource News Agency, which he founded in 1987, and also heads the Center for Near East Policy Research.
He is the Author of "Genesis of the Palestinian Authority" published in March 2017 and "Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict: UNRWA Policies Reconsidered" published in May, 2014.