It came as a shock to hear that Special Representative for International Negotiations to President Trump Jason Greenblatt was resigning from his post.
It comes at a critical time. The Israeli elections are looming, Secretary of State Pompeo is about to announce a Middle East peace plan, and talk of another Gaza invasion is constant.
No one worked harder than Jason Greenblatt on trying to accomplish “mission impossible.” For this alone he deserves tremendous credit. He did it with great dignity and respect.
It is very hard to deal with Israel’s neighbors who slam the door shut in your face despite your altruism and attempts to actually help them. Abba Eban was right on the mark when he said, “The Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.”
Jason as an Orthodox Jew and descendant of Holocaust survivors was in a better position than all other negotiators who came before him, including Dennis Ross, to make a peace deal. It was not for lack of trying. He had made many deals for President Trump as his executive vice president and chief legal officer prior to 2016.
I met Jason Greenblatt several times before the election. I was always impressed with his integrity and honesty. He was always good to me. He provided me with a pass to the Trump Election Night Hilton Extravaganza. It was a night I will always remember and forever be grateful for. It was one of the greatest nights of my life. He always invited me down to D.C. for events. He made everyone feel welcome.
He was and will always be one of the closest friends of the Trump family, especially to Jared and Ivanka.
He developed a great relationship with Prime Minister Netanyahu.
He made sure to come with his family to an event I held at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem featuring Mike Huckabee in May of 2018.
He was instrumental in moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem the following week. He was also crucial to all aspects of President Trump’s achievements in regard to Israel and the Jewish people, including but not limited to the withdrawal from the dangerous Iran deal, the declaration of the Golan Heights as sovereign to Israel, the closure of the PLO Consulate in Washington, D.C., the Taylor Force Act, the halting of funds to the anti-Israel UNRWA, the retrieval of Zachary Baumel’s remains after 30 years from Syria, the pardoning of Shalom Rubashkin, and the release of Isam Akel, an American Arab jailed and tortured by the PA in Ramallah, and so much more. The historians will have to add to the long list of accomplishments. Jason had his hand in all of these historic events.
The Jewish people can never thank Jason enough for all he has done. I personally want to thank Jason for changing the narrative in the Middle East, making significant progress, and making the Orthodox community an entity to be reckoned with and appropriately honored. Like all greats, Jason is going out on top.
Joseph M. Frager is a physician and lifelong activist.