Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Greenblatt Urges Israeli Officials Not to Thwart ‘Deal of the Century’

Greenblatt Urges Israeli Officials Not to Thwart ‘Deal of the Century’

Wednesday, 25 September, 2019 - 07:00
Outgoing US special envoy for the peace process Jason Greenblatt. (AFP)

Outgoing US special envoy for the peace process Jason Greenblatt revealed concerns over the success of the so-called “Deal of the Century” peace proposal, said political sources in Tel Aviv.

He seemed concerned that the deal would be not only rejected by the Palestinians, but Israelis as well.

The sources added that Greenblatt, who met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, President Reuven Rivlin on Sunday and Benny Gantz, of the Blue and White party, on Monday, asked them to accept the deal.

He relayed to them the concerns of President Donald Trump that US allies would abort the peace proposal.

During his meetings, Greenblatt stated he was taking into account Israeli policy and was keen to ensure that the announcement of the deal would not hamper negotiations to form a new Israeli government.

The deal will be announced at the right time, he added.

The sources said that the timing of his visit was not “haphazard”, but Greenblatt deliberately chose to visit Israel at a time its parties are involved in negotiating the formation of a new government. He is seeking to influence the process, pave the ground for the announcement of the deal and rein in any opposition to it.

The envoy had criticized members of the radical right, which is allied to the Likud party, for saying that the peace proposal was a failure.

He instead told Israeli officials that the plan is a historic opportunity that Israel should not pass up while Trump is in office.

The Maariv daily reported Tuesday that Greenblatt’s visit to Israel even before a new government is formed and a new premier is appointed reflects the “desperation” of the American administration to ensure the success of the peace plan given that the odds are stacked against it.

In addition, it said Greenblatt noted how the US proposal was not among Netanyahu and Gantz’s priorities. It added that Netanyahu’s formation of a right-wing cabinet will completely destroy all hopes for the success of the peace plan, before it is even announced.

Editor Picks