Palestinian leader blames US for ‘killing peace process’

Erekat charged that the Trump administration, “peddling Israeli extremism,” was “killing the peace process,” and not he, as Greenblatt had charged. 

By: World Israel News Staff

Jason Greenblatt, Special Representative for International Negotiations to US President Donald Trump, and chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat continued to exchange diplomatic barbs on Sunday in the Ha’aretz daily, as Erekat swiftly responded to an op-ed by Greenblatt published earlier in the day.

Erekat rebuked Trump’s special envoy over his negotiation efforts, charging that Greenblatt’s discourse was similar to that of “Israeli extremism.”

“It is not the rhetoric of a US official tasked with supporting the interests of peace in the region,” he wrote.

“In dozens of meetings we had with Mr. Greenblatt he refused to discuss substance: no borders, no settlements, and no two-state solution. Today, his role is nothing less than peddling Israeli policies to a skeptical international community, and then becomes upset when he’s reminded of this,” Erekat wrote.

“It has become quite evident that the current US administration has become the main campaigner for Israel in crushing Palestinian national and human rights,” he charged.

Earlier in the day, Greenblatt wrote in the opinion piece that Palestinians “deserve so much more than Saeb Erekat.”

Erekat’s “rhetoric and his claims were in many respects simply inaccurate,” he wrote, calling for all to “join together to reject such unhelpful rhetoric and false claims if we hope to achieve peace.”

Addressing Erekat directly, Greenblatt said, “We have heard your voice for decades and it has not achieved anything close to Palestinian aspirations or anything close to a comprehensive peace agreement. Other Palestinian perspectives might help us finally achieve a comprehensive peace agreement where Palestinian and Israeli lives can be better.”

He was responding to an op-ed written by Erekat in May in the same publication, titled “Partners in Occupation: Trump Provides the anti-Palestinian Incitement, Israel the Bullets,” in which the Palestinian official criticized the move of the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and alleged that the US has become a partner in Israel’s “occupation.”

The Palestinians have been boycotting Washington since December when Trump announced that the US officially recognized Jerusalem as Israel capital, and they have since escalated their rhetoric and actions against the US.