Special Envoy Greenblatt keeps challenging Palestinian leadership

The confrontation comes amid intense speculation regarding the nature of President Trump's upcoming peace plan.

April 19, 2019 09:14
2 minute read.
Jason Greenblatt, US President Donald Trump's Middle East envoy.

Jason Greenblatt, US President Donald Trump's Middle East envoy.. (photo credit: JAAFAR ASHTIYEH / AFP)


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Jason Greenblatt, the US Special Envoy for Middle East negotiations, has been engaged in a Twitter debate for the last two days with Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh, over the direction of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

President Trump's peace plan is due to be rolled out in June, and has been the subject of intense speculation by politicians and journalists.

After Shtayyeh declared Wednesday that Trump's upcoming peace plan will be "born dead," Greenblatt fired back, asking "Why does the new PA Prime Minister hope for our plan to be “born dead” & for peace to fail? By working with us, perhaps something wonderful can happen for Palestinians. We've repeatedly said this won't just be an economic plan."

He ended his tweet thread, "PM Shtayyeh, starting a new job by condemning a plan you haven’t seen is unfair to Palestinians. You have an obligation to first look at an opportunity before you dismiss it. The PA can continue to push us away, but that will do nothing to improve the lives of the Palestinians."

Then, when Shtayyeh accused the US of declaring "financial war" on the Palestinians, in reference to the fact that the Trump administration slashed hundreds of millions of dollars in aid, Greenblatt responded, "This is U.S. taxpayer money – it goes to our allies & those that will work with us for positive change. Palestinian leaders chose to end that relationship – we hope they will work with us in the coming months for a better future for all."

Shtayyeh tweeted back in kind, asserting that "Any Political initiative that does not call for ending Israeli occupation and establishing an independent and sovereign Palestinian State with Jerusalem as its capital on the borders of 1967 with settling the refugees cause is not acceptable to the Palestinians."

As of this writing, Greenblatt has the last word: "Basically, you’re saying: give us the deal we demand, or no deal. That’s consistent with Palestinian prior attempts. How has that worked out for Palestinians? Do you want to lead your people to opportunity & prosperity or just keep saying the same tired lines over & over again?"

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