Diplomacy

U.S. Envoy Blasts Palestinian Authority for “Doing Nothing” to Advance Peace

The United States Special Representative for International Negotiations, Jason Greenblatt, blasted the Palestinian Authority (PA) on Wednesday for “doing nothing” to advance peace, JNS reported.

For months, the Palestinian leadership has boycotted a U.S.-led peace initiative and has refused to engage with the White House’s Middle East team. The PA and Abbas have previously defied other efforts of the administration to facilitate peace with Israel.

In a series of tweets, Greenblatt responded to an assertion by a spokesman for PA President Mahmoud Abbas, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, that “American support for settlements through silence is doomed to failure because there is no peace and stability without an agreement with the Palestinian people.”

Greenblatt replied, “Well, Mr. Nabil, we agree on something- there is no peace without an agreement. We are working hard on that. You’re doing nothing. You can’t claim to want peace and also try to sabotage the potential for an agreement. It can’t go both ways.”

“And the Palestinians deserve stability too,” he went on to say. “You’re holding that back as well. Don’t waste more time — do something meaningful for your people.”

In recent weeks, Greenblatt has taken PA officials to task several times over their continued resistance to engage in credible negations. In January, the envoy slammed the Palestinian leadership’s ongoing boycott of U.S.-led peace efforts as a “huge disservice” to the Palestinian people, after a senior Palestinian official accused the Trump administration of bias towards Israel.

Greenblatt, along with President Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, have been tasked with formulating the highly anticipated regional peace proposal, which is expected to be released after the Israeli elections on April 9.

Kushner will reportedly travel throughout the Middle East later this month to promote the initiative. During his trip, Kushner will hold talks with officials in Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, and possibly Morocco. Greenblatt, U.S. special representative Brian Hook, and deputy assistant to the president Avi Berkowitz will travel with Kushner.

“On his trip to the Middle East, Kushner is expected to discuss with Arab officials the economic parts of the peace plan, which will entail huge investment in the Palestinian economy—mainly in Gaza,” reported Axios. “U.S. officials say Kushner will ask the Gulf states to contribute to the economic plan, but that he is not planning to discuss details from the political components of the plan during his tour of the region.”

Before traveling to the Middle East, Kushner, Greenblatt, and other administration officials will take part in the Warsaw conference on the Mideast on February 13 and 14. Also scheduled to be in attendance are Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Bahrain.

[Photo: U.S. Embassy Jerusalem / YouTube ]