By Bassam Tawil, Gatestone Institute—
Palestinian officials are again threatening to revoke their recognition of Israel’s right to exist — this time if the Israeli government extends Israeli sovereignty to any part of the West Bank. These officials, in short, are saying that the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), an organization founded in 1964 with the purpose of the “liberation of Palestine” through armed struggle, will no longer honor the letter former PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat sent to Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin on September 9, 1993. In that letter, Arafat wrote:
“The PLO recognizes the right of the State of Israel to exist in peace and security… accepts United Nations Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338… commits itself… to a peaceful resolution of the conflict between the two sides… the PLO renounces the use of terrorism and other acts of violence… the PLO affirms that those articles of the Palestinian Covenant which deny Israel’s right to exist… are now inoperative and no longer valid.”
Has the PLO ever abided by Arafat’s letter in the first place?
The actions and rhetoric of PLO leaders demonstrate without a shred of doubt that they have not fulfilled any of the promises Arafat made. PLO leaders still do not recognize Israel’s right to exist, and they continue to engage in terrorism, glorify terrorists and pay regular financial tributes to their families.
Moreover, the PLO’s claim that it had cancelled articles of the Palestinian Covenant that call for Israel’s destruction was also proven to be a sham.
The continued existence of the PLO to this day is an indication that the Palestinian leadership has not given up its desire to eliminate Israel.
The Oslo Accords led to the establishment of the Palestinian Authority (PA), an interim self-government body designated to have exclusive control over security-related and civilian affairs of the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The PA has a president, Mahmoud Abbas, and a government that continues to manage the affairs of the Palestinians.
While the PA cabinet has authority over the civilian and security affairs of the Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, the PLO is responsible for Palestinians worldwide and has an “executive committee,” which serves as a second Palestinian cabinet. This committee’s functions include: representing the Palestinian people, supervising the various PLO institutions, executing the policies and decisions of the PLO leadership, and handling the PLO’s financial issues.
In addition, the PA and PLO each has its own parliament. Continue Reading….