Aug 14, 2022
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American Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt joined a broadening fray between the US and the Palestinians when he slammed PA President Mahmoud Abbas in a tweet on Wednesday night for his statements ignoring the Jewish connection to Jerusalem.

The dispute was over comments made by Abbas at the Jerusalem Capital of Muslim Youth 2018 festival that was held in Ramallah on Tuesday. In his speech, Abbas repeatedly emphasized that Jerusalem was a city for Muslims and Christians, without mentioning the city’s Jewish history

“This land is an Islamic and Christian land, by all standards. Jerusalem is the eternal Palestinian capital of Muslim youths; it is also the capital of Christian youths,” Abbas said in his speech.


As the envoy of President Trump, Greenblatt emphasized the current administration’s policy vision of Jerusalem as a place where all faiths are equal.

Relations between the US and the PA have been strained since President Trump’s speech on December 6 recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. In negotiations with Israel, the PA negotiators have insisted on a pre-condition of establishing a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem, which includes the Temple Mount and the Western Wall. Consistent with his policy of leaving the boundaries up to face-to-face negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis, the president’s statement did not delineate any boundaries. This left open the possibility of a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem and an Israeli capital in West Jerusalem.

The PA Foreign Ministry issued a statement on Monday rejecting the president’s Jerusalem policy and Greenblatt in particular.

“If Greenblatt wants to open channels between Israel and some Arab countries while excluding the Palestinians, we emphasize that no one in the region would dare to accept such an American plan that drops the Palestinian dimension or gives up Jerusalem,” it said. “For this reason, we believe that the plan of Greenblatt and his Zionist group is doomed to failure.”

In the context of the statement, the use of the term ‘Zionist’ is understood to be denigrating.