Mere hours after the passing of the United Nations Security Council anti-settlement resolution shocked the political establishment in the U.S. and Israel Friday, President-elect Donald Trump named Jason D. Greenblatt, the chief legal officer at the Trump Organization, as special representative for international negotiations.
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Greenblatt will likely direct Israel-Palestinian peace talks, negotiate trade agreements, and work on the diplomatic ties between the U.S. and Cuba, a source told CNN.
Greenblatt is one of two Jewish lawyers at the Trump Organization who have been advising the president-elect on U.S.-Israel policy, the other being David Friedman, who has been appointed U.S. ambassador to Israel last week. Greenblatt, 49, helped craft Trump’s speech at the AIPAC conference in Washington in March, and the President-elect’s official policy on Israeli-U.S. relations during the presidential campaign.
Greenblatt has been employed by Trump as a real-estate lawyer over the past 19 years. He was born in Queens, New York to Jewish immigrants from Hungary. He received his undergraduate degree in English at Yeshiva University and his law degree at New York University. In the 80’s he studied at the Har Etzion Yeshiva in the Israeli West Bank settlement Alon Shvut. Greenblatt and his wife, psychiatrist Dr. Naomi Greenblatt, have 6 children and live in Teaneck, New Jersey.
In May, when Trump was criticized for his hesitation to disavow David Duke’s support, Gleenblatt wrote on op-ed for Haaretz, defending Trump.
"The media paid scant attention when Mr. Trump called The New York Times to unequivocally disavow statements made by David Duke, a conversation for which I was present and in which Mr. Trump said: "Anti-Semitism has no place in our society, which needs to be unified, not divided,” he wrote.
In a similar op-ed in the Washington post, Greenblatt wrote "He understands that my faith is a blessing, an important part of who I am, and he values me more for it. Mr. Trump respects my Judaism. He appreciates my unique, religiously demanding lifestyle, and he makes sure I feel it and am proud of it. I base this not on Twitter shapes or tongue-in-cheek comments, but on real-life experiences that have impacted me, my wife and our six children."