Cruz, Meadows to Secretary Kerry: Close the Palestinian Liberation Organizations Office in Washington, D.C.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Last week, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, requesting that the State Department revoke the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s (PLO) waiver to maintain an office in Washington, D.C. The letter, signed by 32 members of Congress, cites Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) reports that the PLO funds terrorism by paying “salaries” to Palestinians who are put in Israeli jails as a way of rewarding and incentivizing terror attacks.
“Our close ally Israel is enduring another wave of Palestinian terrorism in the form of car-ramming, rock-throwing, and brutal knife attacks,” Sen. Cruz said. “These horrific acts of terrorism are due to the continued incitement and glorification of violence by Palestinian leadership. Just last week, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called the recent attacks a ‘justified popular uprising’ following his remarks in September, in which he said, ‘We welcome every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem.’ It is long past time for the United States to hold the PLO and its leaders accountable for engaging in such rampant incitement, for celebrating the murder of Jews, and for providing payment to Palestinian terrorists jailed in Israel and their families. We must make it clear such actions are blatantly unacceptable and close the PLO office in Washington, D.C.”
“For too long the PLO has not just tolerated acts of terrorism against the Israeli people-but incited others to commit acts of violence in the name of jihad,” Rep. Meadows said. “It goes against everything we stand for as an American people to allow the PLO to retain an office in our nation’s capital, considering its long and well-documented history of encouraging violence and terror against our Israeli allies. It’s time we send a clear signal that the United States does not tolerate extremism and demonstrate our unwavering support for our allies in Israel by revoking this waiver.”
The full text of the letter can be read here or below:
The Honorable John F. Kerry
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW Washington, DC 20520
December 18, 2015
Dear Secretary Kerry,
Palestinian incitement to violence is a serious and ongoing threat to peace. In recent months, Israel has seen a dramatic increase in deadly attacks carried out by Palestinians sympathetic to the message of hatred and intolerance proclaimed by leaders within the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). The spike in violence in Israel is directly connected to the Palestinian government’s teaching of hate and glorification of terrorism.
Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) reported that the PLO funds terrorism by paying “salaries” to Palestinians who are put in Israeli jails as a way of rewarding and incentivizing terror attacks. The longer the term, the higher the salary. Each year, the PLO provides about $150 million to terrorists imprisoned in Israel and families of deceased terrorists.
Shockingly, despite being complicit in spreading hatred and terror, the PLO retains an office in Washington, D.C. In the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1987, Congress forbade the PLO from establishing or maintaining an office in the United States. However, each year since 1994, a President has signed a waiver allowing the PLO office in Washington, D.C. to remain open.
This fall, both the House of Representatives and the Senate unanimously passed resolutions condemning Palestinian incitement. The United States government has an obligation to publicly denounce the PLO’s actions and should immediately revoke its waiver. Allowing the PLO to maintain an office in Washington, D.C. provides no benefit to the United States or the peace process.
We ask that the State Department revoke the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s waiver to maintain an office in the United States. Closing the PLO office in Washington, D.C. would send a clear statement that the kind of incitement to violence perpetrated by the PLO and its leaders will not be tolerated.
Member of Congress
United States Senator