Riyadh. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in stunning remarks has told American Jews that the Palestinian leaders should either accept the US peace proposals and come to the negotiating table or shut up and stop complaining, Israeli sources revealed late on Sunday.
Barak Ravid of Israel’s Channel 10 news reported that in a closed-door meeting with heads of Jewish organizations in New York on March 27th, MBS gave harsh criticism of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), according to an Israeli foreign ministry cable sent by a diplomat from the Israeli consulate in New York, as well three sources — Israeli and American — who were briefed about the meeting.
“The Palestinian leadership needs to finally take the proposals it gets from the US or stop complaining,” he said at the meeting.
According to Ravid sources, the Saudi Crown Prince told the Jewish leaders that “in the last several decades the Palestinian leadership has missed one opportunity after the other and rejected all the peace proposals it was given. It is about time the Palestinians take the proposals and agree to come to the negotiations table or shut up and stop complaining”.
The MBS also made two other points on the Palestinian issue during the meeting, making clear the Palestinian issue was not a top priority for the Saudi government or Saudi public opinion.
The MBS said Saudi Arabia “has much more urgent and important issues to deal with” like confronting Iran’s influence in the region, Ravid’s sources claimed.
Regardless of all his criticism of the Palestinian leadership, the MBS also made clear that in order for Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf states to normalize relations with Israel there will have to be significant progress on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
A source who was briefed on the meeting told Ravid that the attendees were stunned when they heard the Saudi Crown Prince comments on the Palestinian issue. “People literally fell off their chairs,” the source said.
According to Ravid, the reason for importance of the MBS remarks is that the Trump administration has been last year drafting a plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace. The White House peace team, led by Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner and special envoy Jason Greenblatt, has basically finished drafting the plan and is discussing how and when to launch it.
Launching the plan will be difficult because the Palestinians have been boycotting the White House since Trump’s December 6th Jerusalem announcement.
In the last year, Kushner managed to get MBS on board in trying to move the peace process forward, and get the Arab world to urge the Palestinians to enter peace talks with Israel on the basis of the US peace plan, according to Ravid.