Analysis: PLO office open, path to peace closed 

By appeasing the PLO, the State Department is undermining the prospects for a genuine Arab-Israeli peace by rewarding Arab aggression against Israel.

By: Daniel Krygier, Political Analyst, World Israel News

The US reversal of its decision to close the Washington office of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) is disappointing but hardly surprising.

According to US law, Washington must close the PLO office within 90 days unless the Abbas regime shows it is engaged in “direct and meaningful negotiations.” By inciting Jew-hatred, sponsoring terrorism and brainwashing its youth that Israel must be destroyed, it is hard to argue that Ramallah is in compliance.

However, the US Department of State has never allowed harsh Middle Eastern realities to interfere with its policies. For decades, the State Department has been clinging to the fallacy that the Arab-Israeli conflict is the root of all Middle Eastern problems. This view is widely shared by its European counterparts as well.

Neither the destructive so-called Arab Spring nor Iranian aggressive imperialism has changed the way the US State Department views the troubled region. It requires a wild suspension of disbelief to claim that the Arab world’s violent pathologies or the clashes between Iranian-led Shia Islam and the Sunni Arab world are somehow related to the relatively minor conflict between Arabs and Jews over a tiny sliver of land.

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According to this worldview, peace and stability in the Middle East depends on solving the Arab-Israeli conflict, which requires Israel to give in to the PLO’s demands. Nothing short of Israel’s destruction would satisfy the PLO, and the Jewish State has no intention to commit national suicide. The Arab-Israeli conflict will end only when the Arab leadership gives up its goal of destroying Israel.

By appeasing the PLO, the State Department is undermining the prospects for a genuine Arab-Israeli peace by rewarding Arab aggression against Israel. The State Department has also humiliated the Trump Administration by further eroding whatever remains of US influence in the Middle East.

While officials in Washington talk about the Middle East, Moscow has put boots on the ground in Syria and is enhancing its influence in the region at the expense of the Americans.

Washington’s decision is signaling to the PLO, the Middle East and the wider world that it should not be taken seriously. Unless the Trump Administration makes a strategic decision to reverse decades of failed State Department policies regarding the Middle East, on the ground, it will be as if former Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama had never left office.