TEL AVIV- Palestinian officials on Sunday slammed President Donald Trump’s envoy and senior White House adviser Jared Kushner, accusing him of “incitement” against Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and saying the U.S. administration’s upcoming peace proposal is bound to fail.
In an interview with the Arabic-language Al-Quds newspaper, Kushner blamed Abbas for issuing a blanket rejection of the U.S. peace proposal before seeing it, but added that the U.S. is willing to work with the Palestinian leader.
Erekat in response slammed the White House for its alleged bias toward Israel.
“This whole administration is biased in favor of Israel,” chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat told Israel’s Channel 10 news. “Their peace plan will fail. They want to impose facts, but that will not work for them.”
“They see us as terrorists, and Kushner himself said that [the Trump administration] wants to replace [PA President Mahmoud Abbas] and Erekat. It is unacceptable, we are the elected leadership of the Palestinian people,” added Erekat.
In a statement, Erekat said the Trump administration offers “nothing of substance.”
“Kushner’s interview again illustrates the U.S. refusal to talk substance, to mention Palestinian rights or a Palestinian state. This is an attempt to push forward a plan that consolidates Israel’s colonial control over Palestinian land and lives while telling the Palestinian people that money will compensate for our inalienable rights,” he said.
“Plain and simple: Palestine and Palestinian rights are not for sale.”
Erekat added, “Kushner represents a policy of dictation rather than negotiations.”
“It’s also outrageous to accept such blatant disregard of international law to be replaced with business packages to resolve the struggle of a people striving for their freedom,” he said.
Meanwhile, the PA Ministry of Information accused Kushner of “incitement” against Abbas, as well as charging the U.S. official of “deception,” opposing international law and “promoting normalization” between Arabs and Israel.
“Washington is not an honest or acceptable mediator,” the ministry said in a statement, adding that as such the U.S. cannot be “authorized to talk about the specifications of peace.”
A senior Palestinian official said that Kushner’s attempt to appeal to the Palestinian people through a newspaper interview was
“outrageous and totally unacceptable.”
The appeal, the official told the Jerusalem Post, was nothing more than a “desperate attempt by a frustrated merchant to convince people to purchase his goods.”
“He and his boss Trump are mistaken if they think that such tactics will work. The Trump administration thinks it can incite the Palestinians against their leaders,” he said.
In the interview, Kushner addressed the Palestinian people, saying, “You deserve to have a bright future, now is the time for both the Israelis and Palestinians to strengthen their leaderships and re-focus them to encourage them to open up toward a solution, and not fear trying.”
“A lot has happened in the world since this conflict began decades ago,” he said. “The world has moved forward while you have been left behind. Don’t allow your grandfather’s conflict to determine your children’s future.”
The international community, he added, “is getting frustrated with Palestinian leadership and not seeing many actions that are constructive towards achieving peace. There are a lot of sharp statements and condemnations, but no ideas or efforts with prospects of success.”
“It’s time for the Palestinian Authority and Hamas to stop using the people of Gaza as pawns,” he said. “The narrative of victimhood may feel good for the moment and help you grab headlines, but it doesn’t do anything to improve lives.”