Jason Greenblatt: Sovereignty suspended - not cancelled

Former White House envoy says sovereignty plan was suspended temporarily, urges its supporters not to 'kick and scream' over delays.

David Rosenberg ,

Jason Greenblatt
Jason Greenblatt
Marc Israel Sellem/POOL

Israel’s suspension of its plan to apply sovereignty over parts of Judea and Samaria is a temporary move, former White House envoy to the Middle East Jason Greenblatt said in an interview released Tuesday, saying that the administration needs time to broker deals between Israel and moderate Arab states.

Speaking with Galei Tzahal’s Efi Triger in an interview released Tuesday morning, Greenblatt emphasized that Israel’s sovereignty plan was “suspend”, rather than cancelled, noting the choice of words used in the joint declaration signed by Israel, the US, and the United Arab Emirates.

“I think it’s important to look at the word that was chosen by the three parties in the official statement, which was the word ‘suspend’. As you know, I myself am a big proponent of recognizing Israeli application of sovereignty or Israeli law.”

Greenblatt hinted that the sovereignty plan has not been removed from the agenda, but will take time to be implemented, citing likely future deals between Israel and other moderate Arab states.

“We have to fight this fight slowly. Over the course of three years at the White House has completely changed the conversation. We don’t use the term ‘settlements’, we use the terms ‘cities and neighborhoods’… we call it Judea and Samaria. The peace plan put out by the administration in January recognizes the accurate history of the region. It doesn’t go with the terminology that’s been recognized for decades.”

“This issue isn’t missing, I think this issue is simply going to be part and parcel of a much broader and better context if things go the right way.”

Will Netanyahu eventually apply sovereignty in Judea and Samaria, after achieving peace with moderate Arab states?

“I certainly hope so. I am against giving the Palestinian leadership a veto card over progress relating to Israel, over progress relating to Judea and Samaria. But it is something which we have to watch closely.”

“I think the prime minister is correct to suspend it for the moment to see where the progress leads. It is important not to lose focus on it, but I wouldn’t kick and scream every minute of every day about it, because you need to give the government time to do these deals.”