“Anti-normalization is a failed policy that only hurts the Palestinians,” Greenblatt wrote in an op-ed directed at the Palestinian people.
Jason Greenblatt, US President Donald Trump’s special representative for international negotiations, addressed the Palestinians directly, urging them to abandon their leadership’s destructive policies and embrace the path of economic peace with Israel.
In an op-ed published by the Palestinian Ma’an News Agency on Saturday, Greenblatt wrote that the “Palestinians deserve more from their leadership than political statements and bargaining positions. While waiting for a possible political solution, it is high time to build the Palestinian economy and provide Palestinians with the opportunities they deserve.”
While the US has been working on a peace plan for the past months, which Greenblatt hopes both sides will embrace, “irrespective of the plan, Palestinians deserve better lives than they currently have.”
Palestinians Suffer from Failed Leadership
He noted that the “unrealized potential of the Palestinian economy and the unfortunate economic circumstances of the Palestinian people” is the result of the “Palestinian leadership’s policy… These leaders believe that if Palestinians get too comfortable economically, they would lose interest in the Palestinian cause. And so, year after year, Palestinians suffer and are unable to live comfortable lives.”
He further pointed out that “Palestinians are living next door to one of the most technologically successful societies on the planet,” i.e. Israel, “yet the Palestinian leadership refuses to engage with Israel for the benefit of ordinary Palestinians.”
If the Palestinian economy improves while a peace plan is developed, “Palestinians have everything to gain,” he said.
Months ago, in coordination with Palestinian, Israeli and American businesspersons, the US developed a plan to create hundreds of high-paying jobs for the Palestinians. The Palestinian leadership blocked the initiative because of its opposition to “normalization” with Israel, which is a crime in their book.
The result, Greenblatt stated, was an “opportunity for regular Palestinians lost, more highly trained Palestinian youth unable to gain fulfilling jobs… How does that help Palestinians?”
“Palestinians should be allowed to improve their economy without worrying about whether they will give up on their national cause. This damaging Palestinian policy clouds all economic interaction between Palestinians and Israelis. It directly contradicts what Palestinians agreed to in Oslo – a policy that dismisses opportunity for Palestinians for errant, failed political tactics,” he underscored.
Countries Reevaluating Funding to Palestinians
Greenblatt warned that with the US refusing to contribute funds to a “failed political philosophy,” other countries are “beginning to question their actions. They are evaluating whether to continue to donate hundreds of millions of dollars to fill the gap year after year.”
“The Palestinian leadership should be prepared for others to recognize that the method they have chosen over the decades is not in the best interest of the donor countries’ taxpayers and certainly not in the best interest of ordinary Palestinians,” he underscored. “Palestinians deserve better than calcified positions that have failed to bring peace and failed to bring jobs and opportunity to Palestinians.”
He further charged that “the Palestinian leadership has barricaded their people from those opportunities. The Palestinian economy needs initiatives now without deterring from Palestinians’ political aspirations. Anti-normalization is a failed policy that only hurts the Palestinians. Let’s allow Palestinians to thrive in the way they are educated, capable of and deserve.”
Greenblatt vowed to continue “trying to resolve the political conflict, but we must focus on helping the Palestinian economy where we can, before it is too late.”