Photo Credit: David Azagury/US Embassy Israel
Jason Greenblatt visits the Gaza Strip border, August 30, 2017.

President Donald Trump’s special representative for international negotiations Jason Greenblatt on Tuesday posted three consecutive tweets with one, strong, common theme:

He began with: “Terrorists in Gaza are again attacking Israel with tools of war. These rocket & mortar attacks on Israeli towns must be condemned by all. Israel is forced once again into military action to defend its citizens. We stand with Israel as it defends itself against these attacks.”


Then added: “Hamas’ activities continue to prove they don’t really care about the Palestinians of Gaza & their only interest is to use them for political purposes. Even Palestinian lives seem not to matter to Hamas.”

Concluding: “The world has grown tired of Hamas’ violence and the violence of other bad actors in Gaza. This violence prevents any real help for the people of Gaza.”

Having said all of the above, with which any rightwing Jewish person agrees completely, it remains to be seen how Greenblatt plans to incorporate his clear understanding of the borderline-suicidal policies of the Gaza terror gang into his much touted plan for a “deal of the century” between the warring sides in Gaza, Judea and Samaria and Israel.

In his memorable June op-ed, “The Palestinians Deserve So Much More Than Saeb Erekat,” Greenblatt, who shared his growing frustrations over his negotiations with the Ramallah gang, devoted a large portion of his list of grievances to the Hamas leadership as well.

“We recently saw a significant escalation of rockets fired by Hamas and other militant groups into Israel, and this was a clear representation of the danger that Hamas and these groups present. It would seem judicious for Dr. Erekat to acknowledge this,” the exasperated peace envoy wrote, noting that “these actions by Hamas have only succeeded in exacerbating the already dire humanitarian situation in Gaza. Hamas’ orchestrated attacks have damaged the crossing at Kerem Shalom, Gaza’s main commercial crossing point, as well as the transportation and fuel lines that run through it. Then perhaps most poignantly, one of the rockets misfired and hit one of the few functioning power plants in Gaza, plunging Palestinians already suffering under severe electricity shortages into darkness.”

Back in June, having described the severe shortcomings of the Arab players in the conflict with Israel, Greenblatt concluded his piece with a quote he still appears to be pushing as his declaration of hope, if not outright messianic optimism: “The reality is that there is an opportunity for peace at hand, and that President Trump and his administration are working to help facilitate a peace that will open up the future of the Palestinian people, if they and their leadership have the courage to seize it.”

Indeed, on Monday this week, in London, Trump’s senior envoy promised to share the details of the US “deal of the century” very shortly—as early as December 1—stressing the need for “compromises” for both sides in the conflict. Which begs the question: what does Jason Greenblatt know that the rest of us who merely read the newspapers every morning do not?

He banks on the strength of the deal itself to turn things around, having reportedly stated: “Before you form an opinion on Trump’s peace plan, read it from start to finish. Don’t listen to rumors concerning the plan,” which is a fair request.

Here’s the potentially ominous portion of his message: “No side will love everything in the peace plan and there will be a need to compromise. […] But we are sure that if both sides agree to enter negotiations, they will understand why we came to the conclusions that will be presented in the plan.”

Would they, now?

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas last Saturday, in a speech commemorating the 14th yahrzeit of his predecessor, declared that “the Deal of the Century will not pass.” Abbas suggested President Trump’s much hailed peace proposal was nothing more than the continuation of the Balfour Declaration “conspiracy.”

And so, as he appears to be on the outs with both Arab players, we wish Jason Greenblatt much success with his deal of the century. According to our calendar, he plans to issue the details of said deal on the Eve of Chanukah 5779, so maybe he should release the deal in eight sections, one for each night, like reverse Chanukah gelt… Regardless, we advise the indefatigable peace envoy what we’d advise any of our indefatigable friends on the festival of Jewish liberation: don’t stand too close to the lights.


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