Saudi Crown Prince To U.S. Jewish Leaders: Palestinians Need To Make Peace Or ‘Shut Up’
Israel’s Channel 10 reported that during a meeting last month in New York with American Jewish leaders, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman chastised the Palestinians for rejecting multiple opportunities to forge peace with Israel. “For the past 40 years, the Palestinian leadership has missed opportunities again and again,” the future Saudi king was quoted as saying. “It’s about time that the Palestinians accept the offers and agree to come to the negotiating table or they should shut up and stop complaining.” Bin Salman also is alleged to have told his “staggered” audience that the Palestinian issue no longer tops Riyadh’s agenda, as “there are much more urgent and more important issues to deal with such as Iran.” Nevertheless, the crown prince purportedly qualified his statements by stressing that progress towards an Israeli-Palestinian agreement is a prerequisite for the establishment of open diplomatic relations between Arab nations and the Jewish state. The revelation comes as the Trump administration is seeking to jump-start the peace process despite a boycott imposed on American officials by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in the wake of the U.S.’ recognition in December of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Meanwhile, the Palestine Liberation Organization—recognized internationally as the voice of the Palestinian people—is set to convene in Ramallah the first meeting of its top legislative body since 2009. The 700-member parliament, formally known as the Palestinian National Council, is expected to replace some members of the PLO Executive Committee, which is responsible for implementing government policies. Among the various issues slated to be discussed is whether or not the Palestinian Authority, which is dominated by the PLO, will engage in any U.S.-led negotiating process with Israel.