Fatah official: Americans aren't 'honest broker'

Fatah Central Committee member says United States is Israel's "strategic ally" and therefore cannot broker peace talks.

Elad Benari,

Nabil Shaath
Nabil Shaath
Miriam Alster/Flash 90

The United States has “never been an honest broker” and so the Palestinian Authority (PA) would prefer anyone else to oversee peace talks with Israel, Fatah Central Committee member Nabil Shaath said recently.

Shaath’s comments were made in an interview with the Palestinian Awdha TV channel which aired on February 1 and was translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

He also hinted that Palestinian Arabs may have to resort to terrorist attacks to get the world’s attention, claiming the Europeans could not care less if the entire Syrian people died, but had been stirred to action by the wave of refugees and terror attacks in Europe.

“Do we have to hijack your planes and destroy your airports again to make you care about our cause?” he asked.

“Anything is better than American control of the negotiations. Anything,” Shaath said in the interview when asked about France’s newest proposal for an international peace conference. France has threatened to unilaterally recognize “Palestine” if this conference fails.

“The U.S. has never been a reliable honest broker,” Shaath charged, accusing Washington of being “the strategic ally of Israel. Period.”

“Therefore, any discussion of a different formula is a positive thing,” he continued, though he then went on to say that “an international conference is not what is needed.”

The PA, said Shaath, wants “something similar to the 5+1 framework”, a reference to the six world powers that negotiated the nuclear deal with Iran.

“Like it or not, the U.S. will be part of it,” he acknowledged, “but we want France, Germany, Britain, the EU, Russia, China, Brazil, India. From the Arab countries, we want Egypt at least. We want a small international framework.”

PA officials have in the past made similar accusations with regards to America’s role in trying to broker peace talks with Israel.

In December, senior Fatah official Mohammed Shtayyeh accused the United States of being a "victim of the Jewish lobby" and thus being unable to server an honest broker in peace talks.

"Washington is a victim of the Jewish lobby and therefore Washington cannot be an honest broker. We know for sure that Washington is in a strategic alliance with Israel, so how can they be an honest broker?" he charged.

Shaath’s comments came after PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas welcomed France’s initiative to jumpstart the peace process between via an international peace conference, calling on African nations to support the idea.

Israeli officials were not as enthusiastic about France’s proposal as Abbas, saying that they wonder "whether France will propose an international conference with ISIS, after it armed and spread terror in France?"




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