Palestinian Journalists Reject White House Invite
“Going along with such dubious invitations is acting against the freedom and independence of our people and an attempt to split the Palestinian people.”
Several Palestinian journalist institutions turned down a U.S. invitation this week to visit the White House and discuss U.S. plans for peace in the Middle East region, mainly between Palestinians and Israelis. The invitation for dialogue was made by the U.S.’ special envoy to the peace process, Jason Greenblatt.
Speaking to the official Palestinian Arabic newspaper, Al-Ayyam, Greenblatt was quoted as saying that the American administration desired to talk to “ordinary Palestinians.”
“One idea would be potentially inviting Palestinian journalists to the White House, or maybe somewhere more neutral, and have our team make presentations directly to the Palestinian media what the plan is all about,” Greenblatt told the Palestinian newspaper.
In response to the U.S. official’s remarks, the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (P.J.S.) said in a statement that Greenblatt’s invitation reflects a “desperate attempt” by the American administration following the failure of its recent economic conference in Bahrain. The conference was boycotted by the Palestinian leadership and its people because it refused to address political solutions to the Palestine-Isreal conflict and opted to instead focus on economic solutions.
“The U.S. administration said it will talk to the Palestinian people through the media and from behind the leadership,” said the PJS in a statement. “Therefore it declares its rejection and denounces this dubious invitation and calls on all journalists to reject the invitation and stick to the position of the syndicate and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).”
“Going along with such dubious invitations is acting against the freedom and independence of our people and an attempt to split the Palestinian people,” the statement added.
Other Palestinian media organizations across Gaza and the West Bank rejected Greenblatt’s invitation, largely calling it “a suspicious attempt” aimed at telling lies.
Formal Palestinian-American ties have been severed since December of 2017, when President Donald Trump declared the internationally-recognized occupied East Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Several months later, Trump ordered the relocation of the U.S. embassy from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem and cut off funding for the Palestinian Authority, as well as funds which the U.S. annually allocated to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, known as the U.N.R.W.A.
The U.S. administration also shut down the representative office of the Palestine Liberation Organization in Washington DC.
Last month, Washington sponsored an international economic gathering in the Gulf state of Bahrain to discuss the Trump administration’s “Deal of the Century.” Palestinians boycotted the gathering calling it a “workshop of shame.”
The deal involves economic solutions only for the occupied Palestinian territories, something that Palestinians vehemently reject unless a fair political solution on the basis of international legitimacy resolutions is reached.