US Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt on Monday addressed the Bahrain Economic Conference and the US peace plan, saying that any move would ensure Israel's security.
"I do not want to say that our program is better than others," Greenblatt said at the Herzliya conference. "We are realistic but also optimistic. Good and dedicated people have already tried, but now there is a unique president in a unique era and open contacts between Israel and the countries of the region, all of whom have a common interest in defending against Iran."
He explained: "We are in 2019 and instead of the dim points of the past we understood that we cannot rely solely on another Arab initiative, so we have prepared a detailed political plan of more than 60 pages. This is not a peace agreement. Our goal is for every Israeli and Palestinian citizen to be able to sit with his children and grandchildren and go through this plan and ask whether compromises there are worth it."
Greenblatt added, "We did not want to touch on political issues at the Bahrain conference, but we have repeatedly warned that Israel's security is paramount to us in any kind of union between the West Bank and Gaza. The two areas - the West Bank and Gaza - if we succeed in bringing Netanyahu and Abbas together, but there is no way to integrate Gaza with this, then we will not move anywhere."
"Abbas said several times that he would accept the option of a demilitarized Palestinian state, but a demilitarized state would not protect Israel from tunnels, terror, knives or flares. There is no way to present a program where everyone will be satisfied. We ask only that both sides take the new plan seriously. We have no problem with constructive and serious criticism, but we do not want petty criticisms of opponents of peace.
"We understand that there is no such thing as economic peace, the Palestinians will not agree to an economic peace, we understood it a long time ago, but there is no political plan without a solid economic plan," he said.
"It is not our job to force any side to reach the negotiating table. I hope that the Palestinians will not give up the opportunity we present, it will be a disgrace. Bahrain was a positive step, but it is clear that we have not yet announced a solution," Greenblatt added.