Palestinians raise flag at Washington diplomatic mission

PA envoy: Move "indicates the willingness of the American administration to deal with the realities on the ground.” Rep. Ros-Lehtinen says action is part of PA "scheme to manipulate int'l acceptance."

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
January 18, 2011 22:09
2 minute read.
Palestinian flag in front of dirt

Palestinian flag 311 AP. (photo credit: Associated Press)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

WASHINGTON – The Palestine Liberation Organization for the first time hoisted its flag above its Washington mission Tuesday, saying the symbolic step shows progress in the US-Palestinian relationship.

“It’s about time that this flag that symbolizes the struggle of the Palestinian people for self-determination and statehood be raised in the United States,” said PLO chief of mission Maen Areikat. “I think it indicates the willingness of the American administration to deal with the realities on the ground.”

RELATED:
Medvedev: Russia won't change stance on Palestinian state
'European countries may recognize Palestinian state'

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


Areikat unfurled the red, black, green and white flag above the brick Washington building housing the mission to applause from a small group of officials.

He said that US permission to officially raise the flag at this time “means that the administration is serious, that they want to see the struggle of the Palestinian people concluded and the establishment of a Palestinian state.”

Areikat said the Palestinians are urging the US government to now take concrete actions to make that state a reality.

Some in Washington opposed the move, however, including House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Florida).

“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,” she charged in a statement.



She said the flag-hoisting continues the effort on the part of Palestinians to be recognized by foreign governments, and that it’s “part of the same strategy aimed at extracting concessions without being required to meet international commitments.”

Ros-Lehtinen also criticized the Obama administration, saying, “The US has reinforced Ramallah’s rejectionism through economic and political support, including support for the PLO office in Washington, instead of requiring that they meet all conditions in US law.”

But Ghaith al-Omari, advocacy director for the American Task Force on Palestine, defended the move and said it showed that the Palestinian Authority was making progress in the West Bank that was worth recognition.

“The PLO mission would never have been made upgraded if it had not been for the progress the Palestinians have made … on improving security and governance,” he argued.

“It shows the Palestinians that once they start building their institutions and [using] diplomacy, that there are political dividends for that behavior,” he said, continuing that such positive reinforcement “is very useful.”

He added that Palestinians understood that such steps would not replace direct negotiations.

“Everyone knows ultimately a Palestinian state will not come into being without an agreement,” he said.
 

Related Content

German neo- Nazi during demonstration in Dortmund
August 16, 2018
Neo-Nazi yelled at by his dad during interview

By AMY SPIRO