To Arabs, Trump Just Did the Unthinkable, Shut Down Palestinians' DC Headquarters


The Trump administration is shutting down the Washington headquarters of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

According to The Washington Post, the announcement was made in a statement released by the State Department — and it was an announcement that practically screamed frustration with the Palestinians’ obstinance when it comes to real negotiations.

“PLO leadership has condemned a U.S. peace plan they have not yet seen and refused to engage with the U.S. government with respect to peace efforts and otherwise,” the statement declared, according to The Post.

As the Times of Israel notes, the Palestinian Authority “has boycotted the Trump administration and rebuffed its peace efforts since the US president’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December of last year.”

“The Palestinians claim East Jerusalem — which Israel captured from Jordan in the 1967 Six Day War and later annexed — as the capital of their future state.”

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A statement from the Palestinian Authority’s Negotiations Affairs Department confirmed the move.

“We have been notified by a U.S. official of their decision to close the Palestinian Mission to the U.S.,” a statement by chief PLO diplomat Saeb Erekat read.

“This is yet another affirmation of the Trump Administration’s policy to collectively punish the Palestinian people, including by cutting financial support for humanitarian services including health and education. To this regard, we will take the necessary measures to protect the rights of our citizens living in the United States to access their consular services.”

The Palestinian Authority’s announcement quickly degenerated into an airing of grievances against alleged crimes committed by Israel.

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“This dangerous escalation shows that the U.S. is willing to disband the international system in order to protect Israeli crimes and attacks against the land and people of Palestine as well as against peace and security in the rest of our region,” Erekat’s statement read.

“We reiterate that the rights of the Palestinian people are not for sale, that we will not succumb to U.S. threats and bullying and that we will continue our legitimate struggle for freedom, justice, and independence, including by all political and legal means possible. Accordingly, we continue to call upon the International Criminal Court to open its immediate investigation into Israeli crimes.”

Right, well, good luck with all of that.

For all of their obstinacy and bluster, the Palestinians gain approximately nothing. Just this weekend, in fact, they lost $25 million in funding for hospitals from the Trump administration for their actions, according to The Associated Press.

This is only going to make things worse.

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And if they think this sort of talk about “Israeli crimes” or gripes about “collective” punishment for an entity that supports terrorism as openly and as odiously as the Palestinian Authority is going to get them anywhere, well, this is the Donald Trump administration. The man in the Oval Office stands with Israel a bit more steadily than the last president did.

The Palestinian Authority needs to sit down at the table and come to a solution.

Pretending that the Trump administration strengthening ties with Israel — including recognition of Jerualem as the capital of Israel — somehow makes it impossible for Palestinians to engage in real negotiations won’t get any member of the Palestinian leadership very far.

Now, it won’t even get them a headquarters in Washington, D.C. — and Israel’s going to love Trump for it.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture