PLO executive committee member Hanan Ashrawi.
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
A top Palestinian official within the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, penned an open letter Tuesday condemning the treatment of Palestinian leaders by the United States administration, saying that they employ "petty and vindictive policies" against them.
Ashrawi's visa application was apparently rejected according to the letter. She expresses that this occurrence, as well as delaying or rejecting other visas for Palestinian leaders, shows a clear indication of the United States' inability to "seek partnerships" with their administration - instead choosing to ally with those the "Israeli right-wing," she says.
"The Trump administration treats the Palestinian people with disdain and hostility and insists on exacting punishment from the Palestinian people, who refuse to trade their inalienable rights to freedom and independence for money and the promise of 'better living conditions' under the cruel regime of occupation," Ashrawi's letter reads.
Ashrawi claims that the alliance with Israel creates an incorrigible ideology making the Trump administration "complicit in the ongoing injustice against [the Palestinian people]" within the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories.
In her note, she insists that the United States' current policies make them incapable of playing a "constructive role" in the Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking efforts of the region, claiming that the current administration is attempting to politically and financially ruin the Palestinian state, in order to force them to surrender and sign the administration's 'deal of the century' peace plan.
Ashrawi has served as a negotiator through multiple rounds of peace talks.
"The Palestinian people will not allow the Trump administration’s hostile policies and illegal actions to obscure or tarnish their longstanding and principled partnerships with human and civil rights advocates in the US, who challenge this administration's objectionable policies and insist on defending the dignity of all people as a universal value. The Palestinian people are not alone," Ashrawi said. "We have principled and vocal friends across the United States and the world, who continue to persist in our joint struggle for justice, freedom, and universal human rights."
The Palestinian politician took to social media on Monday to share the fact that her request for a US visa had been rejected.
“No reason given,” Ashrawi wrote before suggesting that one of three listed options was the reason for the denial, “I’m over 70 and a grandmother; I’ve been an activist for Palestine since the late 1960’s; I’ve always been an ardent supporter of nonviolent resistance," she wrote.
In the seven-part post, Ashrawi said that she studied for her PhD in the US and had visited it many times, but that her grandchildren, who live in the US, would not be able to meet her there.
“I’ve met…every Secretary of State since [George] Shultz and every President since George H.W. Bush,” she wrote, adding that the current Trump administration is excluded from the list.
“I have no tolerance for the Israeli occupation in all its manifestations,” she continued. “I have no respect for the enablers of this inhuman condition.”
Ashrawi said she is indeed “guilty of all the above” and as such does “not deserve to set foot in the US.”
The US Embassy told The Jerusalem Post
that "visa records are confidential under US law; therefore, we cannot discuss the details of individual visa cases."
"US law does not authorize the refusal of visas based solely on political statements or views if those statements or views would be lawful in the United States," the Embassy said. "Visas may be denied only on grounds set out in US law."
As the eyes of the world are turned to the yet-undisclosed Trump proposal to solve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Palestinian leaders already announced their dismissal of the plan.
US Special Envoy Jason Greenblatt expressed his wish that Palestinian public servants would consider the American proposal before rejecting it.
The Trump administration has de-funded virtually all assistance to the Palestinians and shut down a PLO mission in Washington, D.C.
Earlier this month the U.S. government denied entry to Palestinian activist Omar Barghouti, co-founder of the Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment movement, also not giving him a reason.
Jerusalem Post Staff and Ron Kampeas contributed to this report.
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