The U.S.’ special envoy to the Mideast rebuked the Palestinians during a session at which U.N. member states condemned Israel after it came under rocket attack from Palestinian terrorists.
By Associated Press
A key architect of the long-awaited U.S. plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace blasted the U.N.’s “anti-Israel bias” Thursday while urging support for the Trump administration’s “vision.”
The speeches by U.S. envoy for international negotiations Jason Greenblatt and top Palestinian diplomat Riad Malki at an informal Security Council meeting ended up focusing on much broader issues than the chosen topic — Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria.
Greenblatt said it was “surprising and unfair” that Indonesia, Kuwait and South Africa organized the council meeting and condemned Israel’s behavior when the U.S. “was not even invited to speak at this session.”
He added that it was “inspiring” to see Israel celebrate the 71st anniversary of its independence on Thursday, calling it “a small brave country” that grew to a “thriving, diverse economically vibrant democracy,” the only one in the Mideast.
Greenblatt called out the council’s “obsessive” focus on Israel a “farce,” explaining that Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria aren’t keeping Israel and the Palestinians from negotiating peace.
He also recommended that the council should instead condemn Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad for firing hundreds of rockets into Israel from Gaza, killing four innocent civilians.
The council should also focus on the Palestinian practice of paying the families of “terrorists” rather than the United States’ support for the Palestinian Authority’s budget, Greenblatt said, referring to the hundreds of millions of dollars the P.A. lavishes on terrorists who murder and maim Israeli civilians.
The Trump administration has drastically cut its support for the Palestinians in response to the official policy of furnishing terror stipends to criminals and the families of those who die committing such crimes..
The Palestinians pre-emptively rejected any peace proposal floated by the Trump administration.
Malki told the council that after President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, it is not possible to have faith” in the peace plan, which was crafted over two years by a team led by Greenblatt and the president’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner.
“We cannot afford not to engage with any peace efforts but the U.S. efforts cannot be characterized nor can qualify as peace efforts, unfortunately,” Malki said.
Greenblatt and Kushner have been tight-lipped about the peace plan’s contents.
Last week, Kushner said the blueprint attempts to ensure security for Israel and provide economic opportunity to improve the lives of Palestinians. The plan won’t be released before the Muslim holy month of Ramadan ends during the first week of June, and perhaps not even then.
Greenblatt told the Security Council “the vision for peace that we will soon put forward will be realistic and implementable” and “lay out the core issues of the conflict in enough detail that everyone will be able to imagine what peace could look like.”
“This is the right package of compromises for both sides to take in order to leave the past behind and start a new chapter, where there could be tremendous hope and opportunity in the region,” he added.
Greenblatt called on council members “to support the parties to get together to get behind this opportunity.”
In the meantime, he said, “we will continue to speak the truth even when it is not welcome,” starting with the U.N.’s failure to condemn the “vicious, cynical, unprovoked attack” from Gaza a few days ago “that was intended to terrify, kill and maim Israelis.”