Trump’s Mideast envoy Jason Greenblatt preparing to leave White House

The departure of a key Trump administration official tasked with developing an Israel-Palestinian peace plan was announced on Thursday.

By Associated Press

A Trump administration official on Thursday communicated that Jason Greenblatt, Trump’s special representative for international negotiations, will depart the administration in the coming weeks.

The former Trump Organization lawyer had been leading the effort to devise an Israel-Palestinian peace plan, meeting with stakeholders in the Arab world and Israeli officials.

Greenblatt also took a leading role strengthening ties between the U.S. and Israel.

On Thursday evening, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commented on Greenblatt’s impending departure, stating, “I would like to thank Jason Greenblatt for his dedicated work on behalf of security and peace, and for not hesitating for a moment to speak out and tell the truth against all those who spoke ill of the State of Israel. Thank you Jason.”

Among Greenblatt’s achievements during his time in the Trump administration are his role in the relocation 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.

The White House says the peace plan is complete but will not be released until at least after this month’s Israeli elections.

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As Netanyahu alluded to, Greenblatt served as a sobering voice in the face of Palestinian terror attacks on Israelis, taking to Twitter to demand condemnations from Palestinian leaders when Israelis were killed.

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, which the Palestinian Authority has boycotted for the past two years, 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 he has Down syndrome, and referred to him as “politically retarded.”