Greenblatt urges EU to adopt Trump's 'frank' approach towards PA

'Aid programs to Palestinian Authority have failed to promote peace,' US envoy tells EU donor nations, urges 'shunning' of Hamas.

David Rosenberg,

Jason Greenblatt
Jason Greenblatt
Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

White House special envoy Jason Greenblatt donor nations to the Palestinian Authority to adopt a tougher line with the PA, and begin to condition future aid on changes in PA behavior.

Greenblatt addressed a gathering Thursday of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC), a 15-member committee of donor nations to the PA which coordinates aid to Gaza, Judea, and Samaria. Led by Norway, the AHLC is cosponsored by both the US and European Union.

The White House envoy praised international efforts to improve life inside the PA, but noted that despite “decades of work, billions of dollars, euros, shekels, and dinars donated…life continues to get worse in Gaza.”

Greenblatt blamed the Hamas terror organization, which controls the coastal enclave, for the economic collapse in Gaza.

“Gaza is becoming more and more impoverished, as Palestinians there contend with failing infrastructure and poor governance. Hamas has driven Gaza to a state of utter desperation. Each year Hamas takes the population of Palestinians living there further and further away from the potential for a better life.”

While the PA economy in Judea and Samaria was in better shape than Gaza’s, Greenblatt noted, the PA has actively worked to hamper the development of economic cooperation with Israeli businesses.

PA economic growth is “constrained by Palestinian Authority leaders who refuse opportunities to build the economy due to an anti-normalization prejudice towards doing business with Israelis. Such policies only harm the Palestinian people, leave them further and further behind, and cost donor countries more and more money. The Trump administration has closely watched the PA leadership thwart economic improvement for Palestinians in the West Bank and directly challenged them to change their destructive policies or lose American support.”

Greenblatt urged donors to the Palestinian Authority to “look at the situation realistically,” and defended President Trump’s “frank” approach towards the PA, including steep cuts in US aid to the PA over Ramallah’s refusal to return to negotiations with Israel.

“It is time to look at the situation realistically. We could continue the same pattern for years to come, but that would be folly. Clearly, none of our financial assistance is getting Israelis and Palestinians closer to a solution.

“We must all ask ourselves why we should keep struggling to raise money when everyone can plainly see the Hamas regime and the PA are squandering the opportunities our money provides for a better future for Palestinians.

“While some may be uncomfortable with our direct, frank message, the United States will continue speaking directly and frankly because we must tell the truth. We do this because we care about the Palestinian people and their future.”

“I urge you all to join us in being direct and frank with the Palestinian Authority about charting a new, sustainable path – one that improves all Palestinian lives.”