Ivanka Trump Says Jared Kushner's Middle East Peace Plan in 'Great Place'

Cheryl Sanders
September 6, 2019

The Trump administration official tasked with developing a plan to bring peace between Israel and the Palestinians is preparing to leave the White House.

Kushner, in a statement, said Greenblatt "has done a tremendous job leading the efforts to develop an economic and political vision for a long sought after peace in the Middle East".

For all the warm words, Greenblatt's departure only adds to the sense that Trump's promise to transform the USA approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is floundering.

A senior administration official said Greenblatt was going to spend more time with his family but left on good terms and "holds the confidence of the president".

Just a week ago, Greenblatt signaled the latest pushback to the plan's unveiling, saying it would not be released until after Israel's September 17 election, which will decide whether Trump ally Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stays in power.

Even in his send-off tweets for Greenblatt, the president thanked him for "His dedication to Israel" separately from "seeking peace between Israel and the Palestinians", apparently seeing nothing untoward in declaring his favor for one side of a highly contentious dispute the U.S. is supposedly trying to arbitrate.

There was no immediate response to his departure from the Palestinian Authority, with whom Greenblatt has feuded publicly on social media.

Greenblatt, formerly a top legal adviser to the Trump Organization, is among 4 officials who know the full details of the plan, the others being the U.S. ambassador to Israel David Friedman, the president's son-in-law and White House adviser Jared Kushner, as well as Avi Berkowitz, a Kushner aide.

It does not appear that Trump plans to bring in another lawyer or special envoy to replace Greenblatt. "Greenblatt's resignation is proof of his failure, because he did not follow the rules of the peace process and damaged the United States' credibility as a result", a Palestinian official in Ramallah told Reuters. "I am incredibly grateful to have been part of a team that drafted a vision for peace", Greenblatt said in remarks released by the White House.

A senior USA official said Greenblatt was leaving to spend more time with his family but left on good terms and "holds the confidence of the president".

"Jason has also been instrumental in helping to reframe the discussions about the conflict, using the approach that a real peace can only be built on truth". But Greenblatt, who was a top lawyer for the Trump Organization, made a positive impression on Israeli and Palestinian leaders at the start of his service as an envoy. He has slashed aid to the Palestinians, while making big concessions to the Israelis, including formalizing USA recognition of the divided city of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.

Initially, Greenblatt was seen by all sides as an honest broker, trying in earnest to engage with both Israelis and Palestinians.

Greenblatt has been a player in all of Trump's moves aimed at bolstering support for Israel, such as the USA recognition of both Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

Greenblatt will hand over much of his Middle East responsibilities to Kushner aide Avi Berkowitz. Kushner lauded him as someone "trusted and respected by all of the leaders throughout the region".

Hook has accompanied Greenblatt and Kushner on trips to the region.

Other reports by iNewsToday