President Donald Trump’s Middle East envoy has spent the week shuttling between Jerusalem, Ramallah and the Jordanian capital Amman on his first official visit to the region, pursuing quiet diplomacy and avoiding controversy.
A real estate lawyer who has worked for Trump for 20 years, Jason Greenblatt has met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanayhu, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Jordan’s King Abdullah and other senior officials during a busy round of talks that U.S. diplomats have described as a “listening tour.”
Rather than some of the bold pronouncements Trump himself has made on the region - last month he said he didn’t mind if there was a one-state or two-state solution to the conflict — Greenblatt, 49, has been circumspect, issuing a few tweets but not speaking to the media.
Social media commentators were quick to point out that Greenblatt, an Orthodox Jew, had shown a notable degree of religious flexibility during his visit that may reflect a desire to be open and diplomatic: he has not worn his kippa, a skull cap worn by religious Jewish men, all week.
In official pictures, Greenblatt, a father of six who studied at a Talmudic high school and Yeshiva University, is usually seen wearing a black kippa, the type favor by devout men. Before landing in Israel, he posted a picture of his prayer shawl and other religious accouterments.