Washington (QNN)- Jason Greenblatt, the Trump administration’s special envoy for the Middle East, tasked with working on the “ultimate deal” for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, is to leave the post, it has been announced.
The White House announced Thursday that Greenblatt will leave his post in the coming weeks, after working on the Middle East issue for over two years.
Greenblatt may stay in the role until the publication of the long-delayed plan, which is now due to come out some time after Israeli elections on 17 September. However, if those elections bring about the fall of Donald Trump’s close ally, Benjamin Netanyahu, the plan could be shelved indefinitely.
“Greenblatt’s leaving may have to do with the dim prospects of the so-called peace plan,” said Khaled Elgindy, a fellow at the Brookings Institution, and author of a book on US policy towards the Palestinians, Blind Spot. “What I do know is that it won’t make any difference to what is not really a plan – let’s call it a vision – because there is no chance of it going anywhere.”
Donald Trump tweeted that his former lawyer Greenblatt would be leaving “to pursue work in the private sector”.
“Jason has been a loyal and great friend and fantastic lawyer,” Trump said. “His dedication to Israel and to seeking peace between Israel and the Palestinians won’t be forgotten. He will be missed. Thank you Jason!”
Greenblatt tweeted back his thanks to Trump and said the envoy job had been “the honor of a lifetime”.
“So grateful to have worked on the potential to improve the lives of millions of Israelis, Palestinians & others,” the envoy said.
Netanyahu also praised Greebblatt for his dedication to the occupation state.
“I ask to thank Jason Greenblatt for his dedicated work for peace and security and for not hesitating to speak the truth about the State of Israel and all those who slander it. Thank you Jason,” Netanyahu said.
Greenblatt and White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, as well as the US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, have led the effort to develop a peace plan for Israel and the Palestinians and have spent the entire Trump presidency working on the project.
Described by Trump as the “deal of the century”, Palestinians have been deeply sceptical and critical of the Republican president’s plan and intentions.
So far, the White House has outlined a $50bn redevelopment plan for the Palestinians and neighbouring countries but has yet to release their proposals for resolving difficult political issues like the status of Jerusalem.
The Palestinian Authority has boycotted the US peace effort since late 2017 when Trump decided to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, reversing decades of US policy. Palestinian leadership maintains the US cannot be an honest peace broker in negotiations with Israel.