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Congress to Obama: Time to Punish Arabs for Blowing Up Oslo and Blowing Off the US

In a letter circulated to members of Congress by the PLO Envoy, Aerikat sought to dissuade Congress from responding to the PA provocation.

President Obama meeting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the White House.

President Obama meeting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the White House.

A bi-partisan majority of congressional members sent a letter to U.S. President Barak Obama late last week.  In the letter, the members insist that the time has come for this U.S. government to hold the Arab Palestinian leadership responsible for their bald refusal to comply with repeated requests from the United States government to refrain from seeking an enhanced status at the United Nations General Assembly, as is required of the Arabs under the Oslo Agreements under which it is bound.

The PLO pledged in the Oslo Agreements that it would take no unilateral actions to change the status of the disputed territories and Gaza.

Congressional leadership that has long been involved in working with Israel and the Arab Palestinians in attempts to resolve the Middle East conflict, such as U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, U.S. Rep. Howard L. Berman (D-CA), Ranking Member of the Committee, U.S. Reps. Edward R. Royce (R-CA) and Eliot L. Engel (D-NY, Chairman-designate and Ranking Member-designate, respectively, of the Committee, along with more than 230 other members of  Congress, signed and sent the letter to the President on Friday, December 21.

The letter informed the President that “we believe the United States must react strongly to the ‘Palestinian’ leadership’s failure to uphold its obligations,” and explained that in order to send a clear message of U.S. disapproval, the Arab leaders must learn that their actions are not “cost-free,” and, “at a minimum, they result in setbacks to U.S.-’Palestinian’ relations.”

Congressional members suggested that the minimal steps the U.S. should take at this time would be to close the PLO office in Washington, D.C. and to call on the U.S. Consul General in Jerusalem – who is, illogically, responsible for relations with the Arab Palestinians but not Jewish or Arab Israelis – back to Washington for consultations.

The congressional letter to President Obama points out the necessity for the U.S. government to ensure that the UNGA vote on November 29 “does not serve as a precedent for elevating the status of the PLO in other UN bodies or international forums.”

Should the PLO attempt to force its hand by seeking membership in those other UN institutions, the congressional members told President Obama that, “we should do everything possible to make sure that does not happen, including by reaffirming our commitment to maintaining and enforcing U.S. laws that require withholding U.S. contributions from any international forum that grants membership to the PLO.”

The PLO envoy in Washington, Maen Aerikat, told the Palestinian News Agency Ma’an, that the congressional letter “is an attempt by Congress to undermine the U.S. administration in any possible role it is planning to play in Palestinian affairs.”

In addition to pointing out that “punitive measures won’t pay off.  If they were effective we would have already changed our mind,” Aerikat railed at Israel, suggesting it was behind the congressional effort.  He said, “It is a political decision, a decision on the part of the Israeli government to escalate things against the Palestinian people at home and here…the U.S. is their other front.”

In a letter circulated to members of Congress by the PLO Envoy on December 14, Aerikat sought to dissuade Congress from responding to the PA provocation.  Aerikat makes several points in his letter, one of which should qualify for the Chutzpah Hall of Fame.  Perhaps he forgot that the action taken by Congress was in response to the decision by his colleagues to spurn dialogue and negotation, and instead to take unilateral action by introducing a one-sided resolution at the U.N.  This is what Aerikat wrote:

Engagement and dialogue is the only way to express the views of Congress.  Biased and one-sided resolutions cannot contribute to an atmosphere that is conducive for a political resolution to the conflict.

Not all Jews supported the congressional effort.  In the interview with Ma’an, Aerikat appreciatively listed both J Street and Americans for Peace Now as organizations that oppose the initiative to punish the Arab Palestinians for violating the Oslo Accords by seeking unilateral changes through the UN vote.  Although not mentioned by the PLO Envoy, the Union for Reform Judaism has also actively lobbied against congressional efforts to shutter the PLO Office.

More than half of all U.S. House members signed the Dec 21 letter. In addition to the members listed above, Eric Cantor (R-VA), Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Robert Brady (D-PA), Robert J. Dold, (R-IL), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Doug Lamborn (R-CO), Robert Turner (R-NY), Steve Rothman (D-NJ), Brad Sherman (D-CA), Allyson Y. Schwartz (D-PA), Michael Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Steve Israel (D-NY), Michael Grimm (R-NY), Rob Andrews (D-NJ), Paul Ryan (R-WI), Jim Jordan (R-OH), John Sarbanes (D-MD), Nita M. Lowey (D-NY), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL), were amongst the signers as well.

About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.


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19 Responses to “Congress to Obama: Time to Punish Arabs for Blowing Up Oslo and Blowing Off the US”

  1. Arie's Pragmatic Politics says:

    Once Obama's presidency is over – that is IF he goes quietly and does not try to foment violence in his "Arab spring" effort to retain power – he will join Carter and Clinton on their Saudi financed global "Let's kill a Jew Tour."

  2. I love the line about the PLO representative's letter deserving to be in the "Chutzpah Hall of Fame." Thank you for bringing this news to the public's attention.

  3. Chaiya Eitan says:

    Thank you, Congress!

  4. Ethan Perks says:

    J Street and Americans for Peace Now are both anti Zionist left wing groups funded by Soros. They do not speak for most pro Israel Jews. And certainly not this Jew! I'm happy to see that whatever else may divide our politicians they still recognize that Israel is friend.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Please list all of the Representatives and Senators who did not sign the letter.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Please list all of the Representatives and Senators who did not sign the letter.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Please list all of the Representatives and Senators who did not sign the letter.

  8. Lori Lowenthal Marcus says:

    Here's the link to the letter and the 23 pages of signatures. Off the top of my head I recall that Rep.s Keith Ellison, Chaka Fatah and John Dingle did not sign. Remember, it's only members of the House. http://www.scribd.com/doc/117655331/Letter-to-President-Obama-A-Majority-of-Members-of-Congress-Sign-Ros-Lehtinen-Letter-Urging-Consequences-for-Palestinians-UN-over-Unilateral-Stat?secret_password=scbcbqtlem1ftdesloz

  9. Arie's Pragmatic Politics says:

    Let's remember that Jeremy Ben-Ami, Director of J Street and on the direct payroll of the Nazi sympathizer Soros, stated in a videotaped interview – and available on YouTube – that the founding of the State of Israel "was the single greatest tragedy of the 20th Century." Explains why he has become the darling of Anti-Jew media like Haaretz, the NY Times, CNN, BBC and "politicians" like Obama, Rahm, Hagel, Clinton, Carter and Kerry

  10. Roc Diaz says:

    all what they do is blow smoke.

  11. keith ellison didn't sign….what a surprise !!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Seeing the photo I was thinking that only one thing is clearly visible in the face of Abbas: in Arabic it is the same word for "slave" and "negro"…..

  13. Margarita Isenstein says:

    If that's what he really said, he's a lunatic and should not have a media rostrum for his delirium

  14. Charlie Hall says:

    Including Israel supporters Clinton and Obama in the same sentence with Carter indicates a complete lack of understanding of what is going on.

  15. Charlie Hall says:

    Including Israel supporters Clinton and Obama in the same sentence with Carter indicates a complete lack of understanding of what is going on.

  16. Charlie Hall says:

    Why is Abbas in Black and White and Obama in color? The photo is clearly doctored. Is it even for real?

  17. Charlie Hall says:

    Steny Hoyer and Eric Cantor signed. So did Paul Ryan and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.

  18. Charlie Hall says:

    I notice a lot of very liberal Democrats among the signatories, and a lot of very conservative Republicans.

  19. Internet is full of photos of those two guys together, if this one is photoshopped by someone, no idea.

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