* Missy Ryan, Anne Gearan, and Karen DeYoung report that the Trump administration is really showing it wants to be a neutral arbiter in the Middle East:
The Trump administration has ordered the closure of the Palestine Liberation Organization office in Washington because the PLO “has not taken steps to advance the start of direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel,” the State Department said Monday.
The decision follows an extended period of estrangement between the Palestinian Authority government on the West Bank and the administration, which has already canceled most U.S. aid to Palestinians and recognized Jerusalem as the Israeli capital. Those moves earlier this year provoked Palestinian withdrawal from talks over a still-to-be-released U.S. plan for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
“PLO leadership has condemned a U.S. peace plan they have not yet seen and refused to engage with the U.S. government with respect to peace efforts and otherwise,” the statement said. The office has been instructed to close no later than Oct. 10.
Palestinian officials vowed to fight what they called bullying tactics and “collective punishment” of the Palestinian people.
You might think the Trump administration doesn’t care at all about solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but then you remember that Jared Kushner was assigned to take care of it, so…
* A new Quinnipiac poll shows Trump’s approval at 38 percent. But in good news for him, a full 48 percent of Americans say he’s mentally stable!