Envoy: U.S. Can’t Trust Palestinian Leadership to ‘Keep its Part of the Bargain’ in Trump’s Peace Deal
U.S. Ambassador David Friedman: Palestinian leadership’s “respect for all types of norms that we hold dear — not just democracy but human rights, freedom of religion, freedom of the press — is nonexistent.”
When it comes to implementing U.S. President Donald Trump’s peace plan, Washington trusts Israel, but does not feel the same way about the current Palestinian leadership, U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said on Sunday.
“Israel is a democracy. You can hold it to its word,” Ambassador Friedman told reporters in Jerusalem, “It has an enormous relationship with the United States on multiple levels and that relationship is very solid. It is in a position today to keep its part of the bargain.”
However, President Mahmoud Abbas-led Palestinian Authority’s “respect for all types of norms that we hold dear — not just democracy but human rights, freedom of religion, freedom of the press — is nonexistent,” he explained.
Ambassador Friedman’s comments highlight the challenge faced by the Trump administration in negotiating peace with the Palestinian leadership. Abbas rejected the peace initiative unveiled by President Trump in late January.
“[W]e say a thousand no’s to the Deal of The Century,” Abbas responded to the U.S. proposal that doubles the size of the territory under Palestinian control, and offers a multi-billion investment plan to create millions of jobs for his people.
The Times of Israel news website reported U.S. Ambassador’s remarks:
[T]he US envoy spoke of the need to bridge the “asymmetry” between the State of Israel, which is a dependable ally, and what he described as the failed wannabe state that is the Palestinian Authority. He also argued that Jerusalem would have never have made the concessions it did upon accepting the plan’s outline — including agreeing not to build any new settlements in the areas designated for a future Palestinian state — if it had not been granted the right to quickly annex the parts envisioned to be part of Israel.
“This is a completely asymmetric relationship,” Friedman said of Israel and the Palestinian Authority. “Israel is a democracy. You can hold it to its word. It has an enormous relationship with the United States on multiple levels and that relationship is very solid. It is in a position today to keep its part of the bargain.”
By contrast, the Palestinians are currently “not in a position to keep any bargain,” Friedman said. “The Palestinians are not united. Their government is not democratic. Their institutions are weak. Their respect for all types of norms that we hold dear — not just democracy but human rights, freedom of religion, freedom of the press — is nonexistent.”
The White House felt the need to “bridge that asymmetry,” he went on. “If Israel is ready today, why shouldn’t they get what they’re agreeing to today? If the Palestinians are going to be ready in four years, well, then they can get what they can get in four years.”
Palestinians haven’t held an election since 2005. Abbas, who controls the Palestinian Authority, is serving the 15th year of his four-year presidential term. Abbas also heads the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), a terrorist organization dedicated to the destruction of Israel. In Gaza, Islamist terrorist group Hamas calls the shots — literally, using the 365-square-kilometer strip to launch terrorist attacks inside Israel.
Despite the power struggle between the PLO and Hamas, both have united in their dream of destroying Israel. They want to replace it with an Arab-Islamic state. Feted by the mainstream media as the moderate face of “Palestinian Cause,” Abbas regularly calls for the destruction of the Jewish State.
Arabs “will enter Jerusalem – millions of fighters, he declared in July 2019. “[T]hey shall all be destroyed, Allah willing. They will all go to the garbage bin of history,” he said, referring to the Jews.
In the wake of the latest U.S. peace initiative, the PLO-Hamas duo is inciting fresh violence against Israel. Palestinians responded to the extended hand of peace with more violence, with angry Arab “worshipers” taking to streets after Friday’s Islamic prayers, decrying President Trump’s peace proposal.
“Palestinians are in poverty and violence, exploited by those seeking to use them as pawns to advance terrorism and extremism,” President Trump said while unveiling his peace plan. “They deserve a far better life.”
Since the creation of the State of Israel in 1948, Palestinian leaders have led their people from one disaster to another. Their desire to see the destruction of Israel has only brought pain, defeat, and suffering to their people. Perhaps, it’s time for the Palestinians to find a leadership whose desire to care for the well-being of its people is more significant than its hatred of the Jewish State.
President Trump Outlines Mideast Peace Deal: ‘Today, Israel Is Taking A Giant Step Toward Peace’
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