• Mon. Oct 3rd, 2022
Jason Greenblatt

Accusing the settlements of being the cause of a lack of Israeli-Palestinian agreement is a “farce,” US Middle East negotiator Jason Greenblatt told the Jerusalem Post.

Greenblatt’s comments come two weeks after US Ambassador David Friedman in an interview with the New York Times said that Israel has a “right to keep” some of the West Bank. On Sunday, during the Jerusalem Post conference, Greenblatt said he supported Friedman’s remarks.

“The lack of peace has nothing to do with settlements, no matter what people claim,” Greenblatt said Monday in a discussion in Manhattan with New York Times writers Bret Stephens and Shmuley Boteach at Boteach’s World Values ​​Network. / p>

During the interview, Greenblatt gave an insight into how the Trump administration views the upcoming economic workshop, which will be held next Tuesday and Wednesday in Manama, Bahrain. On Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the meeting “important”, and something Israel welcomes.

The White House announced on Monday that Israeli officials would not be invited, although Israeli businessmen would be present.

The meeting, Netanyahu said, “is part of the United States’ efforts to create a better future and solve the region’s problems.”

Among the Israelis expected to attend are Yoav Mordechai, former head of the Territorial Government Coordinator (COGAT), and Yitzhak Kreiss, director general of Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer.

Greenblatt explained the decision not to invite Israeli officials by saying that the administration did not want to “politicize” the event.

“If the Palestinian Authority was willing to come, we would of course invite Israel,” he said. “Having them both in the room can only be positive.

The Palestinian Authority has chosen to boycott the event, which is to the great detriment of their people. We do not want to politicize anything where there are still many good reasons to go ahead with it. “

Greenblatt said the administration was deliberately calling the event a “workshop” and not a “summit” or a “conference”.

“We’re going to air ideas and want feedback from the audience,” he said. “It would have been good if the Palestinian leadership had turned up and given its feedback. But instead, they decided not only to boycott, but also to undermine it by telling everyone else that they should not participate or that they should “It’s terrible for the Palestinian people? It’s terrible for the Palestinian people.”

Greenblatt also explained the administration’s decision to divide their peace talks into two parts: the economic part, which will be discussed in Bahrain, and the political part, where no date has yet been set.

“It’s a very detailed view of peace,” he said. “You cannot have a successful peace agreement without a successful economic plan, which means we are worried about the days after, the weeks after, the months after and the years after. We do not want to implement a failed political plan that will put the region in a worse situation than it is now. “

Greenblatt said that if the plan were to be rolled out at once, “it would be a huge amount of information for people to digest. Therefore, we felt it would be best to start with the economic plan and let the Palestinians… let the region understands all the good things that can happen to the Palestinian people with the economic plan if we can also reach a political agreement. “

The US envoy said that “in a perfect world” the political part of the plan would have been revealed shortly after the economic part, but that the new election in Israel caused a setback.

“We have to make a decision after the Bahrain workshop when we publish the plan,” he said. If a decision is made not to publish it during the election campaign or coalition-building process following the Israeli elections on September 17, the delay could last until November 6, which is the deadline for a new government to be formed. It is certainly a possible date for the release of the plan, Greenblatt said, adding that he did not want to commit to a specific date.

While Greenblatt said Trump would not bury the plan in the US election campaign – which, for all intents and purposes, kicks off around Labor Day on September 2 – he said the president has the ability to “handle complex tasks at the same time” and also is a “Deal-maker” that is “realistic”.

“If he does not believe an agreement can be reached, he will not continue to pursue it,” Greenblatt said. “Will he still do it? Absolutely. But will he continue to do it in a way that does not make sense to us, or to Israel or the Palestinians, because it cannot get enough support or maintain enough support? No, I do not think he will continue to hit his head against a wall in an attempt to push for a deal that can not come to fruition. We just do not know the answer yet. “

John Kerry on Settlements …
MIFF has written several articles on the settlements. In 2016, for example, we brought the following quote from John Kerry – the then US Secretary of State. The quote is taken from Kerry’s speech, the quote was not reproduced by NRK – what is equivalent to DR in Denmark (you can read the entire MIFF article here):

“The occupations are not whole and not the main cause of the conflict – of course they are not. Nor can you say that if they were moved you would have had peace without a more comprehensive agreement – you would not. And we understands that in a final status agreement, some settlements will become part of Israel to take into account the changes that have taken place over the last 49 years, including new demographic realities on the ground. “

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