US President Donald Trump's envoys at the weekend tried to bypass the Palestinian Authority by appealing directly to the Palestinian Arab street not to reject a peace proposal that their leaders hadn't even yet examined.
Trump's son-in-law and senior White House adviser Jared Kushner and US Middle East peace envoy Jason Greenblatt are in Israel as part of a regional push for the American leader's new peace plan. But they have very conspicuously avoided meeting with the Palestinian Authority, preferring instead to bring Israel and neighboring Arab countries on board.
Kushner addressed the Palestinian public via a local newspaper, Al Quds, urging them not to continue being led down a path of violence and conflict they their "scared" leadership.
The transcript of Kushner's interview was made public by the White House. In it, Kusher said:
"There have been countless mistakes and missed opportunities over the years, and you, the Palestinian people, have paid the price. Don’t let your leadership reject a plan they haven’t even seen. A lot has happened in the world since this conflict began decades ago. The world has moved forward while you have been left behind. Don’t allow your grandfather’s conflict to determine your children’s future."
Many in Israel fear Trump's peace plan might contain heavy concessions by the Jewish state in return for the president's firm stand on Iran's nuclear program and the transfer of the US Embassy to Jerusalem.
However, so long as the Palestinian leadership is effectively boycotting the Trump Administration, there is little hope of the peace process moving forward, for better or for worse.