Greenblatt: Sovereignty will come, but ‘we have to fight this fight slowly’

Former Trump administration special envoy to the Middle East Jason Greenblatt spoke about the Israel-UAE peace deal on Army Radio on Tuesday morning.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

Former Trump administration special envoy to the Middle East Jason Greenblatt spoke about the Israel-United Arab Emirates peace deal on Israel’s Army Radio on Tuesday.

Greenblatt served as a White House adviser on Israel from January 2017 to October 2019 and was a chief architect of the Trump Peace Plan aimed at resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

During the interview, Greenblatt shared his thoughts on the suspension of sovereignty in favor of normalizing relations with the UAE.

“I do support the application of Israeli sovereignty,” Greenblatt said, “but I think the PM is correct at the moment in suspending it to see where the progress leads.”

“I think it’s important to look at the word that was chosen by the three parties in the official statement – and that was the word ‘suspend.’”

“We should not lose focus of the fact that they came together, they did this, we will deal with the issue of Judea and Samaria over time. This is a huge diplomatic achievement.”

Although Greenblatt left the Trump administration in October 2019, he said the peace deal was built off the progress he and his colleagues had made in the last few years.

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“Over the course of the last three years at the White House, we completely changed the conversation. We don’t use the word settlement, we use the words ‘cities’ and ‘neighborhoods.’”

“The peace vision the White House put out back in January completely recognizes the history of the region and doesn’t go with the terminology that’s been used for decades.”

Referencing settler leaders who have criticized Netanyahu for allegedly trading sovereignty for the peace deal, Greenblatt said, “It’s important not to lose sight of it [sovereignty], but I wouldn’t kick and scream every minute of every day about it.”

“We need to be patient and let the prime minister and the government of Israel do what they do best, which is try to win these big diplomatic wins. I would not say this issue is missing – I think this issue will be part and parcel in a much broader and better context if things go the right way.”

He emphasized that people who are disappointed about sovereignty not moving forward should think about the process as a long-term process.

“I think we have to fight this fight slowly. You have to deal with this step by step, you have to educate the public regarding the misinformation given out over the years, about the reality of the conflict, the reality of Judea and Samaria, the reality of Jewish history in Judea and Samaria.”

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Addressing rumors that Israel had agreed to sell sensitive military technology to the UAE to make the deal happen, Greenblatt said, “I have full confidence in the Trump administration and the Israeli government that they would never agree to a deal that would put Israel in danger.”

“The White House has never wavered for a moment in recognizing Israel’s precarious security needs.”