PA: Trump policies poisoned Palestinian-American ties

U.S. presidential adviser Jared Kushner argued that the Palestinians deserved to lose US aid after vilifying the Trump administration.

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September 16, 2018 03:13
2 minute read.
US President Donald Trump delivers remarks about the protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017

US President Donald Trump delivers remarks about the protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017. (photo credit: JONATHAN ERNST / REUTERS)

 
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The Palestinian Authority on Saturday accused US presidential adviser Jared Kushner of “ignorance,” following statements in which he said that recent US punitive measures against the Palestinians won’t hurt chances for a peace deal in the Middle East.

“The statements made by Kushner stem from ignorance of the reality of the conflict,” said PA presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh. “The statements are also an attempt at deception and falsification of the special history of Jerusalem and its Islamic and Christian holy sites. The US administration’s positions have poisoned Palestinian-American relations.”

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On Friday, Kushner told The New York Times that US President Donald Trump had actually improved the chances for peace by stripping away “false realities” that surround Middle East peacemaking.

“There were too many false realities that were created – that people worship – that I think needed to be changed,” Kushner said. “All we’re doing is dealing with things as we see them and not being scared out of doing the right thing. I think, as a result, you have a much higher chance of actually achieving a real peace.”

The Palestinians, he added, deserved to lose US aid after vilifying the Trump administration.

Kushner also defended Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and relocate the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to the city. The Jerusalem decision, he argued, burnished Trump’s credibility by delivering on a campaign promise.

In response, Abu Rudeineh said that there can be no peace without a two-state solution and east Jerusalem becoming the capital of a Palestinian state, on the basis of UN and Arab summit resolutions pertaining to the Israeli-Arab conflict.

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“Denying the historic and religious truths of the Palestinian people will place the region in a windward,” the PA spokesperson cautioned. “The American perception of matters reflects an irresponsible policy that will lead to a destructive void and pose a real danger to the international legal system.”

The Palestinians, he added, will “not succumb to pressure or sanctions or any policy of blackmail.” Abu Rudaineh accused the US administration of “blind bias towards false perceptions,” and reiterated Palestinian determination to thwart “all conspiracies.”

The PA Foreign Ministry also lashed out at Kushner and US Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt, and urged them to stop issuing threats against the Palestinians and their leaders. The ministry accused the two US administration officials of “wasting their time in writing short ‘idiotic statements’ on social media that illustrate their total ignorance” of Palestinians and the conflict.

In a statement published in Ramallah, the ministry took to task the US administration for its recent punitive measures against the Palestinians, including halting $25 million in aid to Arab hospitals in east Jerusalem. It said that instead of crying over the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip and slashing aid to hospitals, the US administration needs to intervene with Israel to stop the demolition of the Bedouin shantytown of Khan al-Ahmar, east of Ma’aleh Adumim.

“We believe that neither Kushner nor Greenblatt would have the guts to take such a step because that would contravene with their hostile positions towards the rights of our people,” the ministry said.

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