Palestinian claim to Jerusalem ‘an aspiration, not a right,’ US Envoy tells UN

“Let’s stop kidding ourselves. If a so-called international consensus had been able to resolve the Israel-Palestinian conflict, it would have done so decades ago,” Greenblatt commented to the Security Council.

By World Israel News and AP

President Donald Trump’s Mideast negotiator, Jason Greenblatt, delivered a harsh assessment of the United Nations’ approach to the Israel-Palestinian conflict during a Security Council debate on Tuesday, as the White House says it is preparing to unveil the political portion of its Mideast peace plan.

Greenblatt dismissed the prospect of reaching global consensus on sensitive issues, including the fate of Palestinians living outside of Israel and the final status of Israel’s capital, Jerusalem.

He emphasized that Palestinian claims to eastern portions of Jerusalem are “an aspiration, not a right.”

“Please do not read into that statement anything about the content of the political portion of the plan,” Greenblatt said. “Aspirations belong at the negotiating table. And only direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians can resolve the issue of Jerusalem, if it can be resolved.”

He suggested that numerous “ambiguously worded” Security Council resolutions should not serve as guiding principles for resolving the conflict.

“Let’s stop kidding ourselves. If a so-called international consensus had been able to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it would have done so decades ago. It didn’t,” Greenblatt said.

The Palestinians have pre-emptively rejected Trump’s Mideast peace plan, instituting a total boycott on the White House over perceived bias favoring Israel.

Last month, the Palestinians boycotted a conference in Bahrain where the White House announced a $50 billion plan to improve economic prospects in the Palestinian sector, accusing the U.S. of attempting to bribe them.

Greenblatt did not explicitly mention the two-state solution, but he insisted that Israel and the Palestinians must reach a peace deal through direct negotiations without relying on the idea of an “international consensus.”

His comments rankled other countries on the Security Council. Several ambassadors insisted that there is international consensus for an independent Palestine to emerge from peace negotiations.

“It is the U.S. that has left the international consensus,” said German Ambassador Christoph Heusgen.

Heusgen also criticized Greenblatt for his comments on U.N. resolutions, saying the U.S. insists the world abide by Security Council resolutions on other world conflicts, such as the North Korean nuclear standoff.

His comments were echoed by the ambassadors of the U.K., France, Belgium and Poland.

Greenblatt said Trump has not decided when to release the political portion of the peace plan but said “we hope to make that decision soon.”