Trump Taps Israel Adviser Jason Greenblatt for International Negotiations Post
JNS.org — President-elect Donald Trump has named one of his campaign advisers on Israel as his incoming administration’s special representative for international negotiations.
In the announcement, Trump praised the deal-making “talents” of Jason Dov Greenblatt, a real estate transactions lawyer who has worked for the Trump Organization since 1997 and co-chaired the Trump campaign’s Israel Advisory Committee alongside David Friedman, who was recently appointed as Trump’s ambassador to Israel.
The president-elect said that Greenblatt “has a history of negotiating substantial, complex transactions on my behalf, as well as the expertise to bring parties together and build consensus on difficult and sensitive topics.”
Greenblatt, who currently serves as the Trump Organization’s executive vice president and chief legal officer, said in a statement that he is “deeply grateful and humbled” to have been appointed to this position.
“My philosophy, in both business and in life, is that bringing people together and working to unite, rather than to divide, is the strongest path to success,” Greenblatt said. “I truly believe that this approach is one that can yield results for the United States in matters all over the world. I look forward to serving on President-elect Trump’s team, and helping to achieve great outcomes for our country.”
In a June 2015 interview published jointly by The Jewish Link of New Jersey and JNS.org, Greenblatt described his approach to negotiating difficult agreements. “You need to listen to the other side, you have to try to piece together everything to try to address as many issues as you can, with both sides satisfied that a fair and appropriate deal has been struck,” he said. “Not everyone is happy all the time.”
Greenblatt added that he and the Trump team would use these skills to negotiate Israel-Palestinian peace.
The son of Hungarian immigrants, Greenblatt grew up in the Forest Hills neighborhood of Queens borough and graduated from the Marsha Stern Talmudical Academy, Yeshiva University and New York University Law School. He spent a gap year between high school and college in Israel, studying at Yeshivat Har Etzion in Judea and Samaria. He currently lives in Teaneck, NJ with his wife, psychiatrist Dr. Naomi Greenblatt, and six children.
The Greenblatt family manages the inspireconversation.com website, which describes its mission as helping “parents in their quest to raise children who live compassionate and ethical lives and act with empathy towards others.”
Both Greenblatt and Friedman have been close friends with the president-elect for for close to two decades and are unapologetic, ardent Zionists. Greenblatt has visited Israel dozens of times and wrote a book with his children about traveling to the Jewish state as a family, while Friedman owns a home in Israel and has raised millions of dollars for settlement projects.
Elizabeth Kratz is associate publisher and editor of The Jewish Link of New Jersey and The Jewish Link of Bronx, Westchester and Connecticut.