Kamala Harris: Restore Aid to Palestinians, Reopen U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem, PLO Office in D.C.
Democrat vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) made an unannounced stop in Metro Detroit, Michigan, last weekend and followed up with an interview with Dearborn-based Arab American News published Wednesday, where she shared her support for reinstating aid to Palestinians in Israel, and for reoopening the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) mission office in Washington, DC, and the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem.
Harris said of herself and Democrat presidential candidate former vice president Joe Biden:
joe and I also believe in the worth and value of every Palestinian and every Israeli and we will work to ensure that Palestinians and Israelis enjoy equal measures of freedom, security, prosperity and democracy. We are committed to a two-state solution, and we will oppose any unilateral steps that undermine that goal. We will also oppose annexation and settlement expansion.
“And we will take immediate steps to restore economic and humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people, address the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza, reopen the U.S. consulate in East Jerusalem, and work to reopen the PLO mission in Washington,” Harris said.
As Breitbart News reported, both Harris and Biden are wrong about the U.S. consulate being in Eastern Jerusalem:
The U.S. consulate in “East Jerusalem” was not even in “East Jerusalem,” but in the Western part of the city, near downtown, on the Israeli side of the 1949 armistice line (also known as the 1967 border). Its old functions still exist, and are handled by the U.S. embassy — of which the old consulate building is now an annex.
And neither Harris nor Biden have asked for anything in return for restoring aid to the Palestinians, as also noted in the same Breitbart News report:
Joe Biden would give Palestinians hundreds of millions of American taxpayer dollars per year without any commitment to stop rewarding terrorism or to renew negotiations. He would restore the U.S. Consulate in West Jerusalem without any concessions from the Palestinians, and reopen the PLO office in Washington in defiance of U.S. law. His stance on restoring funding also implies the repeal of the Taylor Force Act, which is not only meant to protect Israelis but to deter and punish Palestinian terrorists for attacks on Americans.
Moreover, as Breitbart News reported, there was good reason for Trump to stop funding the Palestinians:
The Trump administration closed the Washington, DC, office of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in 2018 because, as the Jerusalem Post noted at the time, “it was congressionally obligated to close the diplomatic facility should Palestinian officials target Israel at the International Criminal Court” (ICC). The Trump administration was obligated by law to close the office once Palestinians announced plans to take Israeli officials to the ICC. The fact that the Palestinians rejected peace talks was an additional reason for the closure.
Harris also said a Biden administration would increase the number of legal migrants and decriminalize illegal immigration:
We will also raise the annual refugee admissions target to 125,000; protect Dreamers and their families and reverse the public charge rule so we can make sure that permanent resident status isn’t contingent on household income. And we will protect civil rights and root out systemic racism across our society, confronting discriminatory policies that target Arab Americans and cast entire communities under suspicion.
The Arab American News reported that the interview was not conducted in person but via email, “Democratic vice presidential nominee and California Senator Kamala Harris visited Metro Detroit last Sunday, making a notable, unannounced stop in Dearborn to grab dinner at the Khalaf Grill. The visit by Joe Biden’s running mate was just one of several visits by both prominent Democratic and Republican candidates in the last few weeks ahead of the critical upcoming general election. Michigan is often considered a battleground state in presidential elections and Harris’ visit to garner support from mostly Arab American voters in Dearborn is a testament to their importance in this election.”