Greenblatt says UN 'rehashing tired talking points' on Israel

Trump's Middle East envoy says UN is biased against Israel, urges Security Council to back US peace plan.

Elad Benari,

Jason Greenblatt
Jason Greenblatt

US President Donald Trump's Middle East envoy, Jason Greenblatt, berated the UN Security Council on Thursday for "rehashing tired talking points" criticizing Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria, AFP reported.

Greenblatt added that the upcoming US peace plan would provide a fresh approach on the conflict.

Speaking at a council meeting, Greenblatt said that the United Nations was biased against Israel, choosing "the comfort of 700 paper resolutions" condemning Israel instead of confronting the "700 rockets" fired by Palestinian terrorists.

"It is time for a new approach," said Greenblatt, who is working with Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner on an Israeli-Palestinian peace plan that is expected to be unveiled soon.

The council met for an informal meeting organized by Indonesia about the expansion of “Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land”.

Addressing the council, Palestinian Authority (PA) “Foreign Minister” Riyad al-Maliki again voiced opposition to the US plan, which is expected to include economic development as a key component.

"This is not a peace plan but rather conditions for surrender and there is no amount of money that can make it acceptable," claimed Maliki.

Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi described Israeli construction in Judea and Samaria as "unacceptable" and urged the council to take a firmer stance against Israel.

"Inaction is not an option", she said, according to AFP.

Greenblatt, however, dismissed the view that the expansion of Jewish communities was an impediment to Israeli-PA peace and illegal under international law.

"Let's stop pretending that settlements are what is keeping the sides from a negotiated peaceful solution," Greenblatt was quoted as having said. "This farce and obsessive focus on one aspect of this complicated conflict helps no one."

He criticized the council for taking aim at Israel while failing to condemn the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorist organizations for firing rockets into Israel.

"Instead of seeking accountability for Hamas and Islamic Jihad... we are rehashing tired talking points, some 20 years old," he argued.

The soon-to-be-released peace plan "will be realistic and implementable", continued Greenblatt, describing it as "the right package of compromises for both sides".

He urged council members to "support the parties to get together and to get behind this opportunity."

The Trump administration’s peace plan is scheduled to be unveiled in June, after the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan and after the new Israeli government is formed.

A source familiar with the Trump peace plan recently told The Washington Post that it will include practical improvements in the lives of Palestinian Arabs but is likely to stop short of ensuring a separate, fully sovereign Palestinian state.

Kushner said last week that the Middle East peace proposal would be a “good starting point” to address the Israel-PA conflict.

He also noted that the peace plan “will provide answers to the final status issues” between Israelis and Palestinian Arabs but would not commit to a two-state solution.

“If you say two-state, it means one thing to the Israelis, it means one things to the Palestinians. So we said, you know, let's just not say it. Let's just work on the details of what this means,” said Kushner.