Skip To Content

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

Jason Greenblatt Wins Plaudits For No Drama Mideast Foray

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.


Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.