PLO doesn’t like Senator Cruz’s hearing on Palestinian terrorism
The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) on Thursday took issue with Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz, after he held a Senate hearing on Palestinian and Iranian terrorism, AP reports.
In an unusual and harsh statement, the PLO said the Judiciary subcommittee hearing overseen by Cruz provided no Palestinian viewpoint and was overseen by “Israel apologists”.
The PLO expressed alarm at what it said was a growing trend in the United States to dehumanize Palestinians.
Cruz oversaw the hearing entitled, “Justice Forsaken: How the Federal Government Fails the American Victims of Iranian and Palestinian Terrorism,” in which several public witnesses described acts of violence and complained about the Obama administration, arguing that its Justice Department has failed to prosecute terrorists who have killed and injured Americans, according to AP.
Cruz opened the hearing with a vivid description of a Palestinian suicide bomber attack on a Jerusalem street several years ago that killed and injured men, women and children.
Cruz spoke of “Americans who have suffered greatly because of the horrific actions of Iranian and Palestinian terrorists” and the recent surge of Palestinian terrorist attacks in Israel.
“As bad as Palestinian terrorism has been, the Iranian government has more American blood on its hands,” Cruz said at the hearing, according to AP, and reiterated his opposition to the recent international deal to curb Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.
The PLO rejected the hearing and claimed it failed to mention “recent acts of Israeli incitement,” including killings and collective punishment of the Palestinian people.
“If there is a party to be condemned for their actions, it is Israel, which continues to defy international law with impunity because of the blind support it receives from people like Senator Cruz and other senators,” the organization said, according to AP.
“It is time for Israel apologists on the Hill to put U.S. national interests ahead of those of the current extreme right-wing government in Israel,” it charged.
Cruz responded to the organization’s criticism and said, “It is not surprising a terrorist organization like the PLO is upset with the truths that were told at our hearing yesterday.”
Last February, both the PLO and the Palestinian Authority (PA) were found liable by an American court of encouraging and inciting terror attacks during the Second Intifada.
They were ordered to pay $218.5 million to victims of terror, a figure that was set to be tripled to $655.5 million according to the anti-terrorism laws under which the case was brought.
The PA later admitted it cannot pay such a hefty fine, saying it is struggling under billions of debt despite an ongoing stream of aid from Israel and other countries, and called the case “political extortion.”
After the Obama administration took the unusual step of urging judges to “carefully consider” the PA’s financial condition, saying too high a bond could compromise its ability to function, a judge in New York ordered the PA and PLO to post $10 million in cash or bond while they appeal the verdict.