US Special Envoy Jason Greenblatt addresses Israel Hayom conference at Davidson Center in Jerusalem’s Old City, June 27, 2019. (Aharon Krohn/Flash90) Aharon Krohn/Flash90
Jason Greenblatt

Over the past three years, Greenblatt has taken a leading role strengthening U.S.-Israel ties and building bridges between the Jewish state and its Arab neighbors.

By United with Israel Staff

At the end of the week, Jason Greenblatt will be stepping down from his position as U.S. Special Envoy to the Middle East.

“It’s been the honor of a lifetime to work at the @WhiteHouse under the leadership of @POTUS. Incredibly grateful to have been part of a team that drafted a vision for peace which, at the right time, has potential to improve the lives of millions of people,” Greenblatt tweeted last week.

In an interview with the Times of Israel, Greenblatt reflected on his time in office.

“Before this Administration, engagement between Israel and its neighbors was often behind the scenes. People were reluctant to speak about it out loud. Now, in just three years, we see a huge shift with countries being increasingly open about its relationship and engagement with Israel,” he said, referring to warming ties with nations like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates.

There is now speculation that these nations will join Arab states like Egypt and Jordan, which have open diplomatic ties with Israel.

During Greenblatt’s tenure, Israeli officials have traveled to Bahrain and the UAE for meetings and Saudi Arabia’s ties to Israel are increasingly coming out into the open. Similarly, Israeli athletes have competed at events in Arab countries, with the Israeli national anthem played as champions from the Jewish state mount the podium.

Peace Plan

When asked about the details of the yet to be revealed Middle East peace plan, Greenblatt said that it “may not be embraced immediately.”

“When the plan is released, each side will have to decide how it wants to proceed. When the vision is released, I hope that both parties will read it carefully and not make any hasty decisions. Rejecting the plan outright helps no one,” he added.

Greenblatt announced his resignation on September 5.

In the first year of his presidency, U.S. President Donald Trump tasked Greenblatt with joining Senior Adviser Jared Kushner and U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, a team that drafted an as-yet unrleased Middle East peace plan, often referred to as the “Deal of the Century.”

Over the past three years, Greenblatt has taken a leading role in strengthening ties between the U.S. and Israel.

Among Greenblatt’s achievements during his time in the Trump administration are his role in the relocation of the U.S. Embassy in Israel to the Jewish state’s capital, Jerusalem, and the U.S. recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

In July, Greenblatt blasted ongoing incitement by Palestinian leaders following the release of a video by senior Hamas official Fathi Hamad, who urged Arabs to “attack every Jew on earth.”

Greenblatt wrote, “When speaking about peace, we often hear slogans. But we need to deal in realities- here’s one reality. Watch this video. Please. Until this HATEFUL ideology is ERADICATED, this is one of the major challenges to achieving peace.”

During his time in the Trump administration, Greenblatt also found himself on the receiving end of personal attacks from Palestinian public figures, including a columnist for the P.A.’s daily paper and former government official Omar Hilmi Al-Ghoul, who called Greenblatt a “mongoloid,” suggested that he has Down syndrome, and referring to him as “politically retarded.”

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