A Jewish congressman cancelled a meeting with the PLO
representative in Washington after the PLO envoy derided AIPAC.
Afif Safieh, who heads the Palestine Liberation Organization
office, sent a letter out Friday to a mailing list that includes congressional
offices in which he suggested that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee
and its policy forum this weekend were not representative of American Jews.
“A variety of representative voices within the Jewish
American Community are disputing the maximalist and belligerent lobbying
techniques of AIPAC on Iraq and now Iran and AIPAC’s constant attempts to
NEUTRALIZE American diplomacy on Israel/Palestine,” the letter said.
Safieh touted a handful of meetings he had had or had
planned with Congress members, including Rep. Robert Wexler (D-Fla.) Wexler
cancelled the meeting.
“The PLO representative’s letter is
reprehensible and does nothing to advance the cause of peace in the Middle East
or the troubled reputation that the Palestinian Authority has on Capitol
Hill,” said Wexler on Friday. “Mr. Safieh’s assertions about AIPAC
are false, wrong, and set back the Palestinian cause,” he said.
“Instead of attacking AIPAC, Mr. Saifeh should explain how a Palestinian
Unity government led by the terrorist organization Hamas, whose stated goal is
to destroy Israel, is in the best interest of the Palestinian people or peace
in the region.”