US Middle East Envoy Jason Greenblatt Resigns

By Hana Levi Julian- 5 Elul 5779 – September 5, 2019

Outlet: Jewish Press

US Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt has resigned his post with the Trump Administration, according to an announcement Thursday morning during a conference call with reporters from the White House. No reason for the decision was given.

Avi Berkowitz, Deputy Assistant to the President, and Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook, will take over Greenblatt’s duties after his departure.

Greenblatt is the architect behind the so-called “Deal of the Century” – intended to be “a realistic and implementable vision to help solve the conflict and to help develop relationships between Israel and [her neighbors] in the region” — together with White House senior adviser and presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner.

The timing of the release of the Trump Middle East peace plan — and its followup — is now in question, although President Donald Trump is still expected at this point to unveil his peace plan sometime after Israel’s national election on September 17.

The White House said he would remain at his post for the next few weeks until President Trump unveils the peace plan. At that point, Greenblatt is expected to return to his family in New Jersey, although it is not yet clear what his plans are, going forward.

“It has been the honor of a lifetime to have worked in the White House for over two and a half years under the leadership of President Trump,” Greenblatt said in a statement Thursday. “I am incredibly grateful to have been part of a team that drafted a vision for peace.

“This vision has the potential to vastly improve the lives of millions of Israelis, Palestinians and others in the region. I would like to thank my incredible wife Naomi and my amazing six children for their strength and encouragement. I will thoroughly miss working with my friends and colleagues Jared Kushner, David Friedman and Avi Berkowitz, as well as the many other dedicated individuals within the US government who were instrumental in our efforts.”

Jared Kushner said Greenblatt has performed a “tremendous job leading the efforts to develop an economic and political vision for a long-sought-after peace in the Middle East… His work has helped develop the relationships between Israel and its neighbors as he is trusted and respected by all of the leaders throughout the region. He is a close friend and partner and will continue to make a positive impact on the world.”

“It’s been a tremendous privilege to work with Jason these past few years on the critical tasks of repairing and strengthening the US-Israel relationship and seeking peace and stability within the Middle East,” said US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman.

“Jason has been a trusted friend and a valued colleague who has touched so many with his wisdom, sincerity and goodwill. He has made an enormous and indelible contribution which we will seek to build upon as we move forward.”

“The kindness and unique talents of Jason Greenblatt, a dear friend and colleague, will be missed in the White House,” Ivanka Trump said in a statement. “We know he will continue to impact the world for the better.”