What Yossi Klein Halevi told Jason Greenblatt

Jason Greenblatt, President Trump’s Middle East envoy, met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday ahead of Jared Kushner’s anticipated visit to the region on Wednesday.

Also on Tuesday, Greenblatt met with noted Israeli author and columnist Yossi Klein Halevi, among others, in what is perceived as an attempt to facilitate the administration’s push for direct talks between the Israelis and Palestinians. “Met with Yossi Klein Halevi today and heard his perspective on peace. Appreciate Yossi’s insight and time,” Greenblatt wrote on Twitter.

In an email to Jewish Insider, Klein Halevi said he shared with Greenblatt his belief that the administration would be wise to focus on mediating an interim agreement rather than a comprehensive deal, “which I don’t believe is possible anytime soon,” he wrote.

“I also said that there’s not much that the Palestinian leadership can really offer Israel — or is willing to offer Israel — and that the most likely tradeoff Israel will get for concessions in the territories will come from our Arab neighbors in the form of normalization.”

Klein Halevi praised Greenblatt’s approach to the region. “Jason Greenblatt is a superb listener. At least at this stage, he’s come to listen more than to speak. After years of hearing lectures from the Obama administration, this is a refreshing change,” the Israeli author and Senior Fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute concluded.

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