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As PLO office closes in Washington, Palestinian ambassador says Trump is the problem not America

US Politics
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After 24 years the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s diplomatic mission in Washington DC closed yesterday, following instructions from the Trump administration to shutter their operations in the U.S.

The head of the mission Palestinian Ambassador to the U.S. Husam Zomlot issued a goodbye message from the West Bank, where he was recalled last May in the wake of the U.S. moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

“Today is the deadline they put for our ability as mission to continue our growing outreach efforts to the American people,” Zomlot said in the recording posted to social media this afternoon, addressing “millions of good hearted americans.”

“We will not miss this last opportunity to talk to you,” Zomlot said, adding, “While the decision by the Trump administration to close our mission is unfortunate and vindictive, it was unsurprising to us.”

The Palestinian leadership confirmed Monday the embassy would close soon, following reports of a leaked draft of a speech by National Security Advisor John Bolton last Sunday night that said the PLO mission would be shut down in the course of penalizing nations that seek prosecution against the U.S., Israel, or other allies at the International Criminal Court (ICC). Bolton, a long time critic of the ICC, indicated the following day at a summit for the Federalist Society that the measure against the PLO was both a sanction for its insistence jurists open an investigation into Israel, and for present unwillingness to engage the White House in its attempts at brokering an agreement with Israel.

“The Trump administration will not keep the office open when the Palestinians refuse to take steps to start direct and meaningful negations,” Bolton said Monday.

Closing the PLO Mission as a response to Palestinian actions at the ICC was raised as early as last November by Trump administration officials. Then Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters by going to the court the Palestinians had violated an obscure condition added by Congress in 2015 barring the Palestinians from the ICC. Confusion was raised in Washington a few days later when State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said State wanted to keep the PLO office open.

Palestinian Ambassador Husam Zomlot issues a goodbye message as the PLO Mission in Washington DC closes. (Photo: screen shot from Twitter)

Palestinian Ambassador Husam Zomlot issues a goodbye message as the PLO Mission in Washington DC closes. (Photo: screen shot from Twitter)

In his farewell message, Zomlot underscored that the Palestinian relationship with the U.S. would remain strong, however, ties with the Trump administration would still sour. Official communication between the negotiations team headed by the president’s son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner and special envoy Jason Greenblatt abruptly came to a stop last December when Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital—a redline for the Palestinians.

“The Trump administration gave us only two choices,” Zomlot said in his farewell recording, “Either we lose our relationship with the administration, or we lose our rights as a nation. Our president, leadership and the people of Palestine opted for rights.”

“While we are extremely saddened by the current state of affairs, we are firm about our choices and national rights. The issue is not with the U.S. or the American people, the issue is only with the Trump administration,” he said.

Zomlot concluded by promising to continue outreach to Americans despite no longer having his foreign mission, “We vow to double our efforts to strengthen our partnership between the two peoples,” he said.

Allison Deger
About Allison Deger

Allison Deger is the Assistant Editor of Mondoweiss.net. Follow her on twitter at @allissoncd.

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22 Responses

  1. Kay24
    Kay24
    September 14, 2018, 11:04 am

    No amount of apologies to the Palestinian people can make up for the role America has played in wiping them off the map. We should NOT have been sending those who occupies, steals from them, and massacres their children, for all these decades, nor should we have kept arming them with deadly weapons, that kills their families. Americans should be ashamed at the part we have played in protecting, and supporting them in the international arena.

    America is to be blamed for being the enablers. But right now it is Trump/Kushner/Adelson who keeps plunging that knife deep.

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso
      September 15, 2018, 8:42 am

      @Kay24

      “No amount of apologies to the Palestinian people can make up for the role America has played in wiping them off the map.”

      “[T]he Palestinian people” have not been wiped “off the map” and never will be. They’ve lived between the River and the Sea for about 15,000 years during which they’ve known and overcome many invaders and occupiers. They will still be there when the Zionist monster has withered and died.

      • Rashers2
        Rashers2
        October 2, 2018, 2:49 am

        Amen.

  2. Citizen
    Citizen
    September 14, 2018, 3:27 pm

    Mr. Zomlot seems to be unaware that the American people mostly remain totally ignorant about Israel and the US government enablement of Israel’s rogue conduct as a de facto agent of Israel.
    Ohio billboard tells Americans (kept ignorant by US corporate media news) about lavish aid to rogue Israel https://israelpalestinenews.org/ohio-billboard-tells-americans-about-aid-to-israel/ via @ifamericansknew

    Some individuals in Cleveland who would like to put up a billboard in that area. Please let us know if you could donate to this project, and if so how much you could pledge at ifamericansknew.org.

  3. mondonut
    mondonut
    September 14, 2018, 7:02 pm

    Two peoples?

    Americans and Palestinians are two peoples, but Israelis and Palestinians are not?

    • Talkback
      Talkback
      September 15, 2018, 4:00 am

      According to the the Supreme Apartheid Court there is no proof of the existence of a uniquely “Israeli” people. In a racist country its all about race, not about citizenship. That’s why it always calls itself a “Jewish” state and NEVER an “Israeli” state and differentiates between nationals and citizens similiar to the Nazis.

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso
      September 15, 2018, 8:46 am

      @mondonut

      In reality, there is no such person as an “Israeli.”

      The entity known as “Israel” differentiates between citizenship and nationality, i.e., “Israeli” nationality does not exist, only Jews and non-Jews, and each citizen carries an appropriate identity card. While the implications of this absurdity for discrimination and racism against non-Jews are obvious, it has been upheld by Israel’s Supreme Court.

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        September 15, 2018, 10:59 am

        @the entity known as “Misterioso”

        In reality, there are millions of citizens of the state of Israel, aka “Israelis”.

      • Misterioso
        Misterioso
        September 15, 2018, 12:38 pm

        @Sibiriak

        “In reality, there are millions of citizens of the state of Israel, aka “Israelis'”

        I repeat, as confirmed by its Supreme Court, “Israeli” nationality does not exist and as such, it is a key component of the apartheid system that flourishes west of the green line.

        Do some meaningful research!!

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        September 15, 2018, 2:00 pm

        Sibiriak: “In reality, there are millions of citizens of the state of Israel, aka “Israelis’”

        Misterioso: I repeat, as confirmed by its Supreme Court, “Israeli” nationality does not exist and as such…
        ————————————-

        I never said an Israeli nationality exists. I said Israeli citizenship exists. “Israelis” are people with Israel citizenship (regardless of their nationality.)

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        September 15, 2018, 2:09 pm

        ” there are millions of citizens of the state of Israel, aka “Israelis”.”

        Haven’t we been over that “citizen” thing concerning Israel before? Or has that changed now that the “nation-state law” has passed.

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        September 15, 2018, 2:45 pm

        Mooser: Haven’t we been over that “citizen” thing concerning Israel before?
        —————————-

        Yes, but apparently the facts need constant repeating. It is confusing, I grant you that.

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        September 16, 2018, 5:54 am

        Sibiriak: “In reality, there are millions of citizens of the state of Israel, aka “Israelis”.”

        But there are not Israel’s nationals which are only Jews. So there’s no Israeli (constitutive) people of Israel.

        That’s the Apartheid trick in Israel’s “Animal Farm”: All citizens are equal. But some citizens (nationals) are more equal than others. Citizenship in Israel is less than citizenship in real democracies. Only nationals are “full” citizens In Israel.

      • CigarGod
        CigarGod
        September 17, 2018, 10:51 am

        I like where you are going with this, Talkback.

        ParaphrasingAF:
        Squealer the Pig teaches the sheep a new chant: “Four legs good, two legs better”

  4. JLewisDickerson
    JLewisDickerson
    September 14, 2018, 9:31 pm

    THE END IS NIGH!
    ‘End of days’ prophecy announced by Jewish fundamentalist group linked to Israel government
    • The birth of a red calf in Israel has led to an Israeli Jewish fundamentalist group to say the end of times prophecy ushering Armageddon has been fulfilled
    September 11, 2018
    LINK – https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20180911-end-of-days-prophecy-announced-by-jewish-fundamentalist-group-linked-to-israel-government/

  5. niass2
    niass2
    September 14, 2018, 11:52 pm

    Have a nice vacation while we reverse his stupid idea. Trump is a problem. Not just for you but for us and his kids and anyone else I can think of. I was going to ask him for a job in healthcare, but my goal was to insure people, not make them uninsured. SO, I am NOT ECONOMICALLY VIABLE. Nothing makes sense and up is down. Go say hi to your family and we’ll see u in 58 days…………..or whenever the damn democrats foreign relations committee works on this. No office? Have a Cigar for now. next year is here and did you notice I think Trump is a lame duck quack quack. In this Jewish household we’ll give you a phone and a desk just stop by. I need a job can I work for you? Nevah give up and his peace deal thing is DOA just wait him out its almost over.

  6. DaBakr
    DaBakr
    September 15, 2018, 1:02 am

    Big deal…. Lana del ray gave up supposedly $700k she could have donated to needy Arab causes but her publicist said, “uh-uh” . Israel learned a long time ago there is no free ride or free lunch. Time the arab leadership woke up and looked around the world, the icc, the UN, and the superpower interests.

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso
      September 15, 2018, 8:34 am

      @DaBakr

      “Israel learned a long time ago there is no free ride or free lunch.”

      Bull crap. Israel has had a “free ride” courtesy of US taxpayers for 70 years.

      https://fas.org/sgp/crs/mid…
      “Congressional Research Service, U.S. Foreign aid to Israel, Jeremy M. Sharpe, Specialist in Middle East Affairs, April 10, 2018.”
      “Israel is the largest cumulative recipient of U.S. foreign assistance since World War II. To date, the United States has provided Israel $134.7 billion (current, or non inflation-adjusted, dollars) in bilateral assistance and missile defense funding. Almost all U.S. bilateral aid to Israel is in the form of military assistance, although in the past Israel also received significant economic assistance. At a signing ceremony at the State Department on September 14, 2016, representatives of the U.S. and Israeli governments signed a new 10-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on military aid covering FY2019 to FY2028. Under the terms of the MOU, the United States pledges to provide $38 billion in military aid ($33 billion in Foreign Military Financing grants plus $5 billion in missile defense appropriations) to Israel. This MOU replaces a previous $30 billion 10-year agreement, which runs through FY2018.”

      • Albert Westpy
        Albert Westpy
        September 15, 2018, 2:03 pm

        Spot on !

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        September 15, 2018, 4:42 pm

        $3.3 billion was supposed to be the annual limit for U.S. military aid to Israel. However, the figure is actually set to be higher this year as a result of Congress’ recent passage of a massive $716 billion defense bill that provides an additional $550 million in U.S. aid for Israeli missile defense systems. That defense bill also authorizes an additional $1 billion for U.S. weapons stockpiles in Israel.

        Furthermore, the $3.3 billion in annual aid is set to continue for the next decade based on the current text of the bill and the 2016 Memorandum of Understanding between Israel and the Obama administration — totaling over $38 billion over the next decade when accounting for annual military aid and annual aid given specifically to fund Israeli missile defense.

        That startling figure roughly equates to $23,000 for every Jewish family living in Israel.

    • CigarGod
      CigarGod
      September 15, 2018, 11:24 am

      DaBakr:
      A characteristic of the Zionists here, is trying to equate money with morality.

  7. brent
    brent
    September 16, 2018, 12:07 am

    Oh, had Abbas has been cautious and asked for clarification on just which Jerusalem boundaries Trump was referring to AND what Palestinian rights to East Jerusalem he respected instead of “derogating”/rebuking that giant ego. Studying how other world leaders dealt with Trump would have been a good place to start.

    Mr. Zomlot would be wise to take into consideration that Americans who seek fair play in Jerusalem, are unable to persuade their Members of Congress to stand up because for sure some act of violence, that is not criticized or rejected, will be well reported to the American public in such a way to justify Israel’s aggressions as acts of self-defence. The claim to self defense enables the double game to endure. There is little safe political ground on which a politician can safely stand. Part non-violence, part violence has negated the advantage of either.

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