Palestinians ‘manipulating’ US economic vision for Mideast, says Trump envoy

“They believe that we’re trying to buy the Palestinians off with this economic vision; that’s not true,” said Greenblatt to Kan public broadcasting.

By World Israel News Staff

With the conclusion of the two-day Bahrain economic workshop for the Middle East, organized by the United States, a senior adviser to President Donald Trump is accusing the Palestinian Authority of misrepresenting the American efforts and, as a result, missing an opportunity to help its own people.

‘The Palestinian leadership is manipulating what we’re saying,” said Jason Greenblatt in an interview with Israeli public broadcaster Kan at the Manama conference.

“They believe that we’re trying to buy the Palestinians off with this economic vision; that’s not true,” Greenblatt added.

“We need the economic [support], the money and the assistance, but before everything, there is a political solution,” said Palestinian Authority (PA) leader Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday, criticizing the American approach of presenting its economic plan for the region before announcing its political vision for Israelis and Palestinians.

The U.S. economic plan, announced to coincide with the Bahrain conference, speaks of $50 billion in regional investment projects over the coming decade, more than half in the Palestinian territories in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza, and the rest in Jordan, Egypt, and Lebanon.

Read  Bahrain calls for Mideast peace conference and a Palestinian State at Arab League Summit

“We understand that you cannot have an economic plan without a political plan, but similarly you cannot have a political plan without an economic vision,” Greenblatt told Kan in response to the Palestinian argument.

He ridiculed the PA accusation that it was left out of the planning or from attending the economic conference.

“They decided to boycott the event before they were even invited to the event,” the Trump adviser retorted.

The PA announced that it was cutting off diplomatic contacts with the Trump administration when the U.S. president recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017.

However, Greenblatt told the Israeli public broadcaster that he wants the Palestinians to be involved in the process.

“I hope that we’re going to get input from the Palestinian leadership. We need their input. We want their input,” he said.

Following the publication of the U.S. economic plan, an announcement of the political vision appears to be on hold pending the September Knesset election and the formation of a new Israeli government.