By Omri Nahmias, Jerusalem Post—
US special envoy to the Middle East and architect behind the “Deal of the Century,” is leaving the administration, the White House announced on Thursday.
He will stay in his role over the next few weeks until President Donald Trump unveils his peace plan, expected sometime after the election on September 17. Greenblatt is then expected to return to his family in New Jersey.
Avi Berkowitz, deputy assistant to the president, and Brian Hook, special representative for Iran, will take on an increased role on the team after Greenblatt’s departure.
An administration official said that Greenblatt originally intended to join the administration for two years to analyze the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and to draft “a realistic and implementable vision to help solve the conflict and to help develop relationships between Israel and the region.”
It is unclear what Greenblatt will do after leaving the administration.
Greenblatt has made numerous trips to Israel, the Palestinian territories and the Middle East since taking office nearly three years ago. His Twitter feed has been a regular source of news on his visits, and he has positioned himself as a staunch defender of Israel.
Together with US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, Greenblatt was one of the more high-profile US officials working to strengthen the US-Israel alliance, and helped change the way the American government speaks about settlements, checkpoints and other contentious issues related to the conflict.
“It has been the honor of a lifetime to have worked in the White House for over two and a half years under the leadership of President Trump,” Greenblatt said in a statement. “I am incredibly grateful to have been part of a team that drafted a vision for peace. This vision has the potential to vastly improve the lives of millions of Israelis, Palestinians and others in the region.” Continue Reading….