- The Washington Times - Monday, September 10, 2018

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Here’s a headline that would never be seen in the prior Barack Obama administration days: White House to shutter Palestinian Liberation Organization office in Washington, D.C.

But new administration; new day. President Donald Trump is not so willing as the prior White House to place the Palestinian people in the same moral equivalency box as the Israelis.

Rather, he’s ratcheting pressure on the PLO to make peace with Israel.

It’s called tough love — or maybe, facing reality. Either way, it’s not as if the PLO has been bending over backwards to keep peace with Israel. This administration’s patience appears to be wearing thin.

“The Trump administration will not keep the office open when the Palestinians refuse to start direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel,” John Bolton, Trump’s national security adviser, is expected to say in a speech on Monday, the Wall Street Journal initially reported.

It’s a new get-tough policy that bluntly, boldly and politically incorrectly favors America’s greatest ally, Israel.

The Wall Street Journal, in a preview of the speech Bolton is expected to make about the closing of the PLO’s office, also reported the administration is going to send a strong message the International Criminal Court’s way that goes like this: Investigate the United States and Israel for human rights’ abuses and war crimes, and there’s going to be trouble.

The PLO and the United Nations would do well to pay attention to Bolton’s speech.

America’s already cut millions of dollars in aid to the Palestinian people at “the direction of President Trump,” to make sure U.S. tax dollars aren’t funding activities antithetical to U.S. interests, the State Department said a month ago.

And the White House has already moved its embassy to Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, prompting outcry from the Muslim community — but copycat relocations from the likes of Guatemala and Paraguay (though Paraguay is in process of moving its facility back to Tel Aviv).

The overriding message?

When it comes to the Jewish nation and Mideast peace, this administration and this president aren’t simply playing games of rhetoric, doing diplomatic dances. They’re dead serious about backing Israel, even if it means taking on the ire of the left, the PLO, the apologists of the Muslim world — and the deceivers who like to talk peace while making war.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter, @ckchumley.



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