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Sen. Cruz and Rep. Ros-Lehtinen Introduce the PLO Accountability Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, on Wednesday introduced the PLO Accountability Act (S. 2537/H.R. 4522). Rep. Ros-Lehtinen was joined by Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) in leading this effort in the House of Representatives, accompanied by 11 other original cosponsors. 

Cruz’s and Ros-Lehtinen’s bill would close down the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) office in Washington, D.C. unless and until the President certifies, in writing, to Congress that the Palestinians have not, on or after April 1, 2015, obtained state standing in the United Nations or any of its member or affiliate organizations; that they have ceased to be members of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and that any and all preliminary examinations or ongoing investigations against Israel or Israeli nationals at the ICC are dropped; that they no longer provide financial payments to terrorists imprisoned in Israel or the families of those who have committed attacks; and that they no longer promote anti-Israel and anti-Semitic incitement. 

The Anti-Terrorism Act of 1987 (P.L. 100-204) prohibited the PLO from maintaining an office in the United States. However, since 1994, this prohibition has been waived and a PLO office has been allowed to operate in Washington, D.C. for the purpose of implementing the Oslo Accords and facilitating the Middle East Peace process. 

“The Palestinian Liberation Organization has for decades been a relentless advocate for terrorist violence against the Jewish people,” Sen. Cruz said. “The United States needs to make it perfectly clear to the Palestinians that this behavior is intolerable, and that we stand with our ally Israel. Closing the PLO office in Washington D.C. sends the clear signal that the days of America turning a blind eye to the militant anti-Semitism of this organization are over, and that we will no longer allow political correctness to force us to host terrorist organizations in Washington, D.C.”

Rep. Ros-Lehtinen said, “The PLO office in Washington, D.C. was allowed to open in 1994, despite a prohibition in U.S. law, with the intention of implementing the Oslo Accords and facilitating a Middle East peace, but in the 22 years its doors have been open, the PLO has done nothing but violate Oslo and make the possibility of a lasting peace even more remote. There is simply no justification in allowing the PLO office to remain while Palestinian leaders openly incite violence against Israel, continue their efforts to delegitimize the Jewish State at the UN, and move forward with their scheme to achieve unilateral statehood at the UN without reaching a negotiated agreement with Israel. The legislation that we have introduced in both the House and Senate will ensure that the Palestinians no longer get a free pass and will be held accountable for their actions.” 

The full text of the PLO Accountability Act can be found here.


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