US Cuts Palestinian Representation in D.C. ❌

 Win McNamee / Getty Images

Win McNamee / Getty Images

Bye Felicia PLO

On Monday, the US announced that it will be closing the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) Washington office, citing stalled peace talks with Israel. The Trump administration warned Palestinian officials in November that they would make this move if significant progress had not been made on a peace proposal. 

Rising tensions

The closure comes as the US increasingly aligns with Israel. Last December, President Trump moved the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and controversially declared the latter to be the capital of Israel. Late last month, the US ceased funding to UNRWA, which aids Palestinian refugees. 


A BAD DECISION:

New Yorker: Trump Shutters the Palestinian Diplomatic Mission—and Middle East Peace

LA Times: Trump's latest step backward on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: shutting down the PLO's Washington office

Outlets that disapprove with the decision believe Trump is jeopardizing peace and denying Palestinians of their human rights. They emphasize that the Trump administration’s actions against Palestinians undermine the US’s role as an unbiased mediator. Articles also denounce the US for being a supposed model of civil liberties yet acts in a way that punishes Palestinians and their human rights.

A NECESSARY DECISION:

Breitbart: Trump Administration Orders Closure of PLO’s Washington Mission Citing Palestinian Misbehavior

National Review: Trump to Close Palestine Liberation Organization Office in Response to Stalled Peace Talks

Outlets that support the decision say it is a necessary reality check during a stagnant state of foreign affairs and negotiations. They call out the PLO for denying peace proposals due to pro-Israel bias. Articles are optimistic that the US’s decision will push Palestinian officials towards negotiations and help them realize that their hardline stance worsens the conditions of their people. 


Barriers to peace?

While Israel is traditionally a US ally, this move is a contradiction to decades of US foreign policy that has emphasized a two-state solution. Furthermore, the PLO is symbolic for being the highest level of US engagement with the Palestinians. Closure of such an organization will likely instill skepticism and reluctance from Palestinians to move forward with a US-proposed peace plan.

How well do we really understand this?

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