(JNS.org) President Donald Trump’s international negotiations adviser, Jason Greenblatt, arrived in Israel this week for meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem and Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah.
Prior to his White House role, Greenblatt, an Orthodox Jew from Teaneck, N.J., worked as a real estate lawyer with Trump over the course of the past two decades. He also advised Trump on Israel during last year’s election campaign.
The stated purpose of Greenblatt’s trip is to jumpstart negotiations between Israel and the PA, and to explore new strategies for advancing Middle East peace.
Greenblatt and Netanyahu met for more than five hours Monday night and “reaffirmed the joint commitment of both Israel and the United States to advance a genuine and lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians that strengthens the security of Israel and enhances stability in the region,” according to the Prime Minister’s Office.
The Israeli leader told Greenblatt “that he believes that under President Trump’s leadership, it is possible to advance peace between Israel and all its neighbors,” Netanyahu’s office added, while Greenblatt similarly “reaffirmed President Trump’s commitment to Israel’s security and to the effort to help Israelis and Palestinians achieve a lasting peace through direct negotiations.” They also discussed Israeli settlement construction “in the hope of working out an approach that is consistent with the goal of advancing peace and security.”
During his visit, Greenblatt was also scheduled to meet with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, opposition leader Isaac Herzog, acting National Security Council head Yaakov Nagel and Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) head Maj.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai.
Greenblatt’s meetings come just days after Trump spoke with Abbas and invited the Palestinian leader to visit the White House “in the near future.” During the conversation with Abbas, Trump also “emphasized his personal belief that peace is possible and that the time has come to make a deal,” according to the White House.