Why is a P.L.O. Flag Hoisted in D.C.?
By Joseph Puder
Almost immediately following his reelection as president, and just weeks before his inauguration, Barrack Hussein Obama sent a clear message as to his intentions regarding the Middle East and the Jewish state. He nominated a national security team consisting of U.S. Senator John Kerry (D-MA) as Secretary of State, former U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) as Secretary of Defense, and John Brennan to head the CIA. These figures are known for their various degrees of hostility to the Jewish state, and their partiality towards and appeasement of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Hamas, and Hezbollah. But if that was not enough, the Obama administration granted in 2011 permission to the Palestinian Liberation Organization to fly their flag in America’s capital – Washington, DC.
Mahmoud Abbas, chairman of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (P.L.O.), and President of the Palestinian Authority, in defiance of the U.S. and President Obama, has broken off direct negotiations with Israel, and instead sought to unilaterally obtain Palestinian statehood recognition from the United Nations.
The irony is that on one hand, the Obama administration through its Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, chided the Palestinians on the eve of the UN vote on November 28, 2012, that the “path to a two-state solution that fulfills the aspirations of the Palestinian people is through Jerusalem and Ramallah, not New York.” Yet, on the other hand, it allowed the Palestinians to assert their nationhood through their flag hoisted in the U.S. capital.
P.L.O. officials have been fast at work in Washington for years now, to permit their flag to fly in the U.S. capital, and in August 2011, the State Department gave its approval, reclassifying the P.L.O. mission as a general delegation.
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), chairperson of the House Committee of Foreign Affairs, objected to the P.L.O flag being flown, opining that “Raising this flag in DC is part of the Palestinian leadership’s scheme to manipulate international acceptance and diplomatic recognition of a yet-to-be-created Palestinian state, while refusing to directly negotiate with Israel, or accept the existence of Israel as a democratic, Jewish state.”
The P.L.O. never altered its 1968 charter despite promises made to former President Bill Clinton as part of the Oslo Accords deal. The charter calls for the elimination of the Jewish State through armed struggle. This makes the issue of the Palestinian flag flying in Washington more than symbolism. It conveys the clear message that the Obama administration is not only accepting the legitimacy of the P.L.O., it honors it.
The unaltered P.L.O. charter specified in Article 7 that “It is a national duty to bring up individual Palestinians in an Arab revolutionary manner. All means of information and education must be adopted in order to acquaint the Palestinian with his country in the most profound manner, both spiritual and material, that is possible. He must be prepared for the armed struggle and ready to sacrifice his wealth and his life in order to win backs his homeland and bring about its liberation.”
Article 9 considers “Armed struggle is the only way to liberate Palestine. [Thus it is the overall strategy, not merely a tactical phase]. The Palestinian Arab people assert their absolute determination and resolution to continue their armed struggle and to work for an armed popular revolution for the liberation of their county and their return to it. They also assert their right to normal life in Palestine and to exercise their right to self-determination and sovereignty over it.”
Article 10, asserts that “Commando action constitutes the nucleus of the Palestinian popular liberation war. This requires its escalation, comprehensiveness, and the mobilization of all the Palestinian popular and educational efforts and their organization and involvement in the armed Palestinian revolution. It also requires the achieving of unity for the national (watani) struggle among the different groupings of the Palestinian people, and between the Palestinian people and the Arab masses, so as to secure the continuation of the revolution, its escalation, and victory.”
Article 17: “The partitioning of Palestine, which took place in 1947, and the establishment of Israel are illegal and null and void, regardless of the loss of time, because they were contrary to the will of the Palestinian people and its natural right to its homeland, and were in violation of the basic principles embodied in the Charter of the United Nations, foremost among which is the right to self-determination.”
Article 19: “Zionism is a colonialist movement in its inception, aggressive and expansionist in its goal, racist in its configurations, and fascist in its means and aims. Israel, in its capacity as the spearhead of this destructive movement and as the pillar of colonialism, is a permanent source of tension and turmoil in the Middle East, in particular, and to the international community in general. Because of this, the people of Palestine are worthy of the support and sustenance of the community of nations.”
Article 20: “The causes of peace and security and the requirements of right and justice demand from all nations, in order to safeguard true relationships among peoples and to maintain the loyalty of citizens to their homeland, that they consider Zionism an illegal movement and outlaw its presence and activities.”
The U.S. Congress Chapter 61- Anti-Terrorism-P.L.O. declared that:
1. The Palestine Liberation Organization (hereafter in this chapter referred to as the PLO) was directly responsible for the murder of an American citizen on the Achille Lauro cruise liner in 1985, and members of the PLO’s Executive Committee is under indictment in the U.S. for the murder of that American citizen.
2. The head of the PLO has been implicated in the murder of the U.S. ambassador overseas.
3. The PLO and its constituent groups have taken credit for, and been implicated in, the murder of dozens of American citizens abroad.
4. The PLO covenant specifically states that “Armed Struggle is the only way to liberate Palestine, thus it is an overall strategy, not merely a tactical phase.”
5. The PLO rededicated itself to the “continuing struggle in all armed forms” at the Palestine National Council meeting in April 1987.
6. The Attorney General has stated that “various elements of the PLO and its allies and affiliates are in the thick of terror.”
Therefore, the U.S. Congress determines that the PLO and its affiliates are a terrorist organization and a threat to the interests of the U.S., its allies, and to international law, and should not benefit from operating in the U.S.
The U.S. Congress reaction to the Palestinian UN move on November 29, 2012, was to send President Obama a letter on December 21, 2012, signed by 231 members along with the chairman and ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee declaring “We believe that the U.S. must react strongly to the Palestinian leadership failure to uphold its obligations.” Members of Congress suggested that the U.S., at a minimum, should close the P.L.O. offices in Washington.
President Obama’s national security nominees notwithstanding, his approval of the PLO flag flying in the nation’s capital is an affront to peace and justice.