Former Mideast envoy Jason Greenblatt: Abbas should have ‘realistic expectations’ about peace with Israel

U.S. Embassy Jerusalem

US Middle East special envoy Jason Greenblatt attends the inauguration of Pilgrimage Road in the City of David, Jerusalem June 30, 2019

Former Mideast peace envoy Jason Greenblatt accused Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas  of recycling “old talking points” in his speech to the United Nation Security Council on Tuesday.

In his remarks, Abbas blamed President Donald Trump’s advisors for putting together “an Israeli-American preemptive plan in order to put an end to the question of Palestine.” The Palestinian leader held up a map of what a Palestinian state would look like under the U.S. plan and said, “It’s like Swiss cheese, really.” 

In an email to Jewish Insider, Greenblatt responded in length to Abbas’s claims and his rejection of the Trump peace plan: 

“The speech given today by President Abbas at the U.N. Security Council contained nothing new. It recites the same formula of blaming Israel and demanding unrealistic and undeliverable solutions to an extraordinarily complicated conflict. It is time for the Palestinian leadership to be introspective and ask themselves what kind of future they want for their people. It is time for courage, compromise and taking responsibility.”

“The keys to peace are not in the hands of the UN, the Arab Peace Initiative, the European Union, the Quartet, or any individual country, group of countries or international initiatives, no matter how well-meaning they may be. International conferences will not lead to a peace agreement. Only direct negotiations between the Palestinians and Israel may yield peace, if at all. The time has come for the Palestinian Authority to admit there are approximately 2 million Palestinians in Gaza who are subjugated by Hamas and that the Palestinian leadership is bitterly divided, a significant roadblock to achieving peace (few focus on how the Palestinian leadership needs to get its own house in order).The time has come for the Palestinian leadership to stop using Palestinians who are kept in refugee camps as political pawns, and to work with the international community to chart a better life for them instead of keeping them in continuous limbo. They deserve better lives.”

“The time has come for the Palestinian leadership to recognize that ‘aspirations’ are not ‘rights.’ It has become even more clear since the release of President Trump’s vision for peace that there is no international consensus on this conflict. To paraphrase the words of President Abbas, I would say to him, “do not take away hope from the Palestinians.” President Abbas should work with realistic expectations, without the constant recitation of old talking points, without the political talk, without the misleading marketing points, without the victimhood and without the blame game.”

“Last but not least, for President Abbas to say he is against terror and violence, while the Palestinian leadership continues its ‘pay to slay’ policy, where they financially reward Palestinians who attack and murder Israelis, is outrageous. Perhaps the U.N. Security Council did not connect the dots on the shameful inconsistency within the remarks of President Abbas, but it is high time that the countries on the Security Council, and all other countries, focus on how these countries’ funds are being used to fund terror. When the United States enacted the Taylor Force Act, it took the lead in exposing that this so-called ‘welfare program’ is nothing more than a ‘terror funding program’ or perhaps I should call it an ‘Attack and Murder Israelis Reward Program.’ Other countries are finally wising up and more countries should stop using their own money to fund the attacks on and murder of Israelis.”

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