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Greenblatt: History Will Judge PA Harshly if it Rejects US Peace Plan

Greenblatt: History Will Judge PA Harshly if it Rejects US Peace Plan

Friday, 10 May, 2019 - 05:15
President Donald Trump's Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt
London - Mostafa El-Dessouki
President Donald Trump's Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt has responded to those criticizing the so-called ‘Deal of the Century’ by saying “everyone should support the peace effort itself, unless they are against peace or against improving Palestinian lives.”

In an exclusive interview with Majalla, Greenblatt warned that “history will judge the Palestinian Authority harshly for passing up an opportunity that could give the Palestinians something so very different, and something so very positive, compared to what they have today.”

“We’ve asked everyone to continue being patient and to not prejudge the plan,” he said.

Greenblatt’s interview with Majalla is his first with any Arabic-language publication.

He responded to criticism of the plan and shared some of its underlying principles. He addressed its relationship with prior peace efforts, including the “Arab Peace Initiative,” and situated the plan and its prospects in the broader context of the struggle to achieve security and prosperity across the region.

“It’s difficult to understand why the Palestinian Authority would refuse a plan they haven’t seen. Palestinians deserve dignity, opportunity, and a better way of life,” he said in response to a question on Washington’s next steps if the PA rejects to consider the plan.

“When the time comes, our hope is that the Palestinian Authority will act professionally, give the plan a serious look, judge it on its merits, and engage constructively on it.”

In past media statements Greenblatt has said that the Palestinian leadership is holding on to old traditions and previous, failed initiatives. So Majallah asked him: “Is this the right time to launch a peace plan with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who himself is the contemporary and heir of those same traditions?”

“There will never be a perfect time to try to make peace ... We hope that the leadership will be able to put down their calcified talking points long enough to read through and consider our plan,” he told the magazine.

He denied for the plan to be an “economic peace.”

“The plan suggests what we think is the best and most realistic way to resolve all of the core issues. But we also believe the economic portion of the plan is of vital importance,” he said.

“The economic vision we present cannot exist without the political component, nor can the political component succeed without the economic component. The two support and complement each other,” he added.

On whether his plan takes into account the “Arab Peace Initiative,” the envoy said: “Many smart and talented people have worked on this file over many years.”

He described the initiative as a “good effort for its time.” But said that the upcoming US peace plan is “grounded in the logic and realities of 2019.”

“We have decided to develop the ideas and solutions more deeply so that everyone can truly understand the many benefits they can achieve if they proceed with our plan, as well as the compromises needed to reach peace.”

He told his interviewer that over the course of the last two years, Greenblatt and his team had many discussions with leaders in the region for insight and perspective and have heard their viewpoints.

He said he looked forward to a constructive dialogue with the region’s leaders on the specifics of the plan once it is released. “There are many talented leaders in the region and their input has been important.” 

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