Bi-Partisan Legislation Introduced by U.S. Senators Urges Closure of D.C. PLO Office, Possible Termination of Aid to PA
Bi-partisan legislation has been introduced by U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), Chuck Schumer (D-New York), John Barrasso (R-Wyoming), and Robert Menendez (D-New Jersey) which calls for the immediate closure of the PLO’s office in Washington unless the Palestinians enter into peace negotiations with Israel and also eliminates American assistance to the PA if the International Criminal Court “adjudicates any matter proposed or supported by the Palestinian Authority.”
“Senator Schumer is pushing to get a vote between today and tomorrow and encouraging both Democrats and Republicans in the Senate to support it,” Senator Schumer’s Press Secretary Marisa Kaufman told The Algemeiner in an email.
Asked about the level of support for the bill in the Senate Kaufman said, “we’re optimistic we’ll get significant support.”
Senator Schumer said of the PA’s bid: “Over the past year, Palestinian leaders have indicated an intention to apply for full membership in the International Criminal Court and over a dozen other international institutions in order to assert Palestinian claims against Israel. These unhelpful efforts would not only unfairly target our Israeli ally, but would devastate efforts to resume the peace process and do possibly irreparable harm to those international institutions. We stand united in preventing this from happening, and will do everything in our power to block the Palestinians from using the International Criminal Court and other international bodies to assert Palestinian claims against Israel.”
Senator Graham said: “Granting United Nations membership to the Palestinian authority is a nightmare in the making for the peace process and future relations between the Congress and UN. Granting a form of member-status to the Palestinians goes around the only viable way to negotiate a two state solution, that’s between the parties themselves.”
Senator Barrasso, who introduced separate legislation yesterday that would cut funds to both the PA and the UN, said “The Palestinian Authority’s attempt to change their United Nations’ status is a purely political maneuver that will circumvent direct peace process negotiations with Israel.”
Senator Menendez added, “We will not stand idly by and allow the Palestinians to evade the peace process by pressing their political cause through alternate means[…].”
The Palestinian authority’s bid for upgraded status at the UN is expected to go through Thursday despite objections from Israel and the United States.