Diplomacy

TIP Spokesman: By Closing PLO Office, U.S. Told Palestinians “The Double Game is Over”

In an interview with Chris Ingram of News Talk Florida, Kenneth Bricker, The Israel Project’s Senior Press Associate, characterized the Trump administration’s recent decision to close the PLO offices as a message to the Palestinian Authority, which has refused to negotiate with Israel in recent years, that “the double game is over.”

Bricker explained that the PA’s leadership has, during the past four years, “abandoned” any pretense of negotiating peace with Israel, as required by the Oslo Accords. Instead, Bricker said, “they’ve attempted to attack Israel through third parties, through international organizations, like the UN, and like the European Union.”

By closing the PLO offices in Washington, the Trump administration was “pushing back,” and telling the PA that “the double game is over.” Bricker elaborated that the U.S. was telling the PA, “You cannot pretend to be involved in a peace process when you have not sat down at a table and negotiated for the last four years, all the while using international forums to bash Israel and to sponsor and support terrorism against Israelis.”

The terror support from the PA, Bricker charged, “happens every day.” He described the PA’s “pay to slay” program, where the families of jailed terrorists are given lifetime stipends. The amount of the stipend corresponds to the length of the sentence, and thus to the severity of the crime. This payment scheme incentivizes terror, as it pays greater rewards to terrorists who are convicted  of murder.

An organization that pays rewards to terrorists, Bricker observed, “is not an organization that is committed to peace,” rather it “is an organization that sponsors terror.”

PA President Mahmoud Abbas has consistently rebuffed demands from President Donald Trump to stop funding terror, and insisted that he will continue paying those who kill Israelis.

“For years the Palestinians have had it both ways,” Bricker said. “They’ve been treated with international diplomatic status on the one hand, by the West, for participating in this peace process, while actually engaging in terror and not sincerely negotiating.”

The PA, Bricker said, has rejected the Trump administration’s peace plan, sight unseen, showing that “they are not serious about negotiating for peace.” The administration, in turn, has made it clear to the PA that if it supports terror and refuses negotiations, “there will be consequences.”

A complete recording of the interview is embedded below.

[Photo: i24News / YouTube ]