TEL AVIV – Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat on Sunday accused the Trump administration of “crushing Palestinian national and human rights.”
The Trump administration, Erekat opined, “has promoted anarchy, undercut international treaties, and destabilized international organizations tasked with cleaning up Israel’s mess.”
Erekat, who serves as secretary-general of the PLO, made his remarks in an ongoing op-ed spat in the Haaretz daily in which he traded barbs with President Donald Trump’s special Mideast negotiator, Jason Greenblatt.
Erekat kicked off the war of words with an oped last month entitled, “Partners in Occupation: Trump Provides the anti-Palestinian Incitement, Israel the Bullets” which slammed the U.S. administration for moving its embassy to Jerusalem.
In his own oped published Sunday, Greenblatt wrote that Erekat’s claims “were in many respects simply inaccurate.”
He also said it was time for Erekat to step aside. For the last 40 years, Greenblatt wrote, Erekat has voiced the same talking points and failed to deliver “anything close” to what the Palestinians want.
“Dr. Erekat – we have heard your voice for decades and it has not achieved anything close to Palestinian aspirations or anything close to a comprehensive peace agreement,” he wrote. Other Palestinian perspectives might help us finally achieve a comprehensive peace agreement where Palestinian and Israeli lives can be better.”
“The Palestinian people want real action, and they need honest, realistic and decisive solutions.”
Erekat fired back that Greenblatt was using discourse more suited to the “leaders of the right-wing Israeli settler movement.
“It is not the rhetoric of a U.S. official tasked with supporting the interests of peace in the region,” he wrote.
“In dozens of meetings we had with Mr. Greenblatt, he refused to discuss substance: no borders, no settlements, and no two-state solution. Today, his role is nothing less than peddling Israeli policies to a skeptical international community, and then becomes upset when he’s reminded of this,” Erekat wrote.
Greenblatt on Sunday said, “For far too long, the United States has turned a deaf ear to such words, but ignoring hateful and false words has not brought peace and it will never bring peace.”
“The notion that Israel is going away — or that Jerusalem is not its capital — is a mirage. The notion that the United States is not the critical interlocutor for the peace process is a mirage,” Greenblatt wrote.