PA slams U.S. envoy over ‘economic peace’ talk

The PA denounced Greenblatt as an “arrogant colonist” and an “ally of settlements.”

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December 1, 2018 18:12
1 minute read.
U.S. Envoy for Middle East negotiations Jason Greenblatt on a visit in Israel

U.S. Envoy for Middle East negotiations Jason Greenblatt on a visit in Israel. (photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)

 
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The Palestinian Authority on Saturday accused US presidential envoy Jason Greenblatt of promoting the ideas and positions of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The PA denounced Greenblatt as an “arrogant colonist” and an “ally of settlements.”

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The PA’s renewed attack on Greenblatt came in response to an article he published in the Palestinian daily Al-Quds.

The PA leadership has been boycotting Greenblatt and other US administration officials since December 2017, when President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

“Palestinians deserve more from their leadership than political statements and bargaining positions,” Greenblatt, who serves as Trump’s Special Representative for International Negotiations, wrote. “While waiting for a possible political solution, it is high time to build the Palestinian economy and provide Palestinians with the opportunities they deserve.”

Greenblatt accused Palestinian leaders of preventing their people from “getting too comfortable.” These leaders, he said, “believe that if Palestinians get too comfortable economically, they would lost interest in the Palestinian cause. And so, year after year, Palestinians suffer and are unable to live comfortable lives.”


Greenblatt revealed that he was continuing to meet with ordinary Palestinians in spite of the PA’ decision to boycott the Trump administration. “What is striking is that, although they complain about the Trump administration’s policies, they remain focused on their economy,” he said.

In a statement published in Ramallah, the PA Foreign Ministry lashed out at Greenblatt for his “indignant, fragmented and guided weeping over the Palestinian economy.”

The statement said that the “only economic option that Greenblatt is promoting is one that asks the Palestinians to surrender, thus making the Palestinian economy, expertise, competencies, and capital more subordinate to the Israeli economy.”

According to the PA ministry, it was Netanyahu who “invented” the idea of economic peace “as a form of Palestinian and Arab normalization with the occupation and as a means to avoid a political solution to the conflict.”

In his “ominous article, Greenblatt was unable to get out from the cloak of the occupation and settlements despite his attempt to cover up his absolute bias to the ruling right-wing on Israel and the settlers through his configurable and frivolous talk about an ostensible and comprehensive plan for solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” the PA ministry added.

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