Jason Greenblatt speaking at the Christians United for Israel conference in Washington. .
(photo credit: CHRISTIANS UNITED FOR ISRAEL)
WASHINGTON - Jason Greenblatt, US President Donald Trump's envoy to the Middle East, pushed back on Monday against criticism regarding his participation at the inaugural ceremony of the "Pilgrimage Road" at the City of David tunnels.
"[US Ambassador] David [Friedman] and I got criticized so heavily for attending this event," he said in a speech at the Christians United For Israel (CUFI) conference in Washington.
Greenblatt said that among the top critics was Saab Erekat, the Palestinian Authority’s chief negotiator, “pretending as they often do, that this tunnel was mythical; that it was fake.
"We were accused of Judaizing the city," he continued. "We will not tolerate that kind of language. I know that's been tolerated before, but under President Trump, we will push back every single [time]. You cannot possibly build peace without a foundation of truth. And for somebody to suggest that this tunnel is not the truth, they need to be corrected.”
He called on the crowd of Evangelical Christians to “stand up to this garbage, this nonsense,” and said that the attacks are not grounded.
“Let's push back – and no longer should we tolerate their myths and their falsification of history,” Greenblatt said.
Speaking about the prospects of the “Deal of the Century,” Greenblatt admitted that, “We might reach a glass ceiling for a while if we don't succeed at this peace effort. Because I think there will be a point in time where the countries in the region want to take a breather, and then we'll see what happens. And then maybe in another year or five, we'll see some more progress."
He added that, “the region is not interested in leaving the Palestinians behind, but I think the region is also tired of the Palestinian leadership preventing progress in the region."
National Security Adviser John Bolton spoke at the conference on the US policy toward the International Criminal Court.
"At the behest of the so-called State of Palestine, the ICC has threatened to investigate Israeli housing projects in addition to targeting Israeli counter-terrorism efforts in the West Bank – and we'll not allow the ICC bureaucrats in the Hague to dictate our foreign policy," Bolton said.
He added that America will always stand by its most trusted allies.
"In addition to withdrawing all support for the ICC last month, we also announced the policy to restrict US visas for anyone responsible for an ICC investigation of American personnel,” Bolton reminded the crowd at CUFI. “As the president noted… any attempt to target American-Israeli or allied personnel will be met with a swift and vigorous response."
He vowed that the US would not allow the PLO office in Washington to reopen, "until the Palestinians start direct and substantive negotiations with the Israelis."
"And we will not restore funding to the Palestinian Authority until it stops its practice of paying terrorists and their families for murdering innocent American and Israeli men, women and children," he added. "We will not allow political correctness to stand in the way of doing what is right and just."
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