Dec. 4, 2018
Anti-Normalization with Israel Is a Failed Policy that Only Hurts the Palestinians – Jason Greenblatt (Ma’an News-PA)
Over the past 22 months, we have focused on a comprehensive peace plan for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. However, irrespective of the plan, Palestinians deserve better lives than they currently have.
We know that the Palestinians are not interested in mere economic peace. Their leaders believe that if Palestinians get too comfortable economically, they would lose interest in the Palestinian cause.
Palestinians are living next door to one of the most technologically successful societies on the planet, yet the Palestinian leadership refuses to engage with Israel for the benefit of ordinary Palestinians. But the Palestinians need economic help now – with or without a peace agreement.
Months ago, in co-ordination with Palestinian, Israeli and American businesspersons, we developed a concept to bring hundreds of high-paying jobs to the West Bank. But the Palestinian leadership blocked the initiative – it’s normalization, they say.
This damaging Palestinian policy clouds all economic interaction between Palestinians and Israelis. It directly contradicts what Palestinians agreed to in Oslo. This anti-normalization policy has got Palestinians nowhere and continues to leave them further behind. Palestinians deserve better than calcified positions that have failed to bring peace and failed to bring jobs and opportunity.
Let’s be real – 136,000 Palestinians commute to work with Israelis every day because the opportunity is there. Anti-normalization is a failed policy that only hurts the Palestinians.
The writer is an assistant to the U.S. president and special representative for international negotiations.