The withdrawal of a mediator questioned in the Middle East | International


It is known that the United States is Israel's strongest ally, but not even the oldest observers in the Middle East remember a mediator who would show an attitude as partial as Jason Greenblatt. Weeks before he announced his resignation on Thursday as a White House envoy, he had argued on US public radio that Israel was a "victim" in the regional conflict. He also proclaimed that he rejected the concept of "occupation" of the West Bank and East Jerusalem for "disputed territories" and labeled the term "settlements" in the Jewish colonies as "pejorative."

Generally speaking in public statements, it is talkative in social networks. New York real estate lawyer, with no diplomatic experience at age 51, did not hesitate to lash through Twitter against Palestinian Prime Minister Mohamed Stayyeh. After having worked for two decades as a legal advisor for Donald Trump's business, he joined the White House troika that was to forge the "definitive treaty" of peace for the Middle East. Before reaching the agreement of the century, it was necessary to resurrect the peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, stalled since 2014.

Headed by Jared Kushner, son-in-law and chief adviser to the president, the team was completed with the US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, another lawyer serving the Manhattan tycoon. All three are experts in real estate and close to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Greenblatt, as “special representative in international negotiations”, was responsible for writing the script of the agreement of the century.

When he arrived two and a half years ago in the Holy Land he made a good impression, with a negotiating style open to all sectors. At his departure, no one has missed him. Trump's peace plan remains unknown in its substantial political content. Only the economic side was revealed in June in Bahrain in the absence of Israelis and Palestinians: $ 50 billion in donations and investments collected in the international community for a decade, to be distributed between the Palestinian territories, Jordan and Egypt.

"His resignation only casts new doubts on a peace plan that is increasingly seen as a joke," argues the analyst of Haaretz Chemi Shalev Without advancing towards the recognition of a State of Palestine, neither in the status of Jerusalem or the question of the return of Palestinian refugees – which Greenblatt has not addressed – the flood of money will hardly cause peace in the region to emerge alone.

The elections held in Israel in April paralyzed the presentation of the plan. The repetition of the elections within 10 days – after the failure of Netanyahu in the formation of Government – has led the White House to postpone it again so as not to harm the electoral expectations of the prime minister among the settlers.

Washington says the plan will be made public “at the appropriate time” after the legislative ones. For the Palestinian leaders, the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the transfer of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city are sufficient evidence that the Administration of the Republican president has ceased to exercise reliable mediation.

"Greenblatt has aggravated a situation that was already critical and unsustainable," says veteran Palestinian leader Hanan Ashraui, who often faced Trump's envoy to blame him for a non-neutral bias.



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