Jason Greenblatt, former Trump administrator envoy to the Middle East, believes that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a “tragedy.”

“I'm not surprised at the lack of action. The Europeans can’t get their act together. There are a lot of condemnations but condemnations mean nothing,” he says in an interview with Israel National News.

The current reality for Ukraine reminds him of how the Trump administration heard over and over from Netanyahu and other high level Israeli officials about how Israel knows it needs to be able to defend itself militarily and not rely on allies because “at the end of the day you need to be able to protect your citizens.”

Greenblatt says that he can’t predict who is going to “step up to the plate to protect Ukraine.” But in the end, it’s the country’s leader’s job to protect its people.

The situation is very grave for Ukraine but also worrying in a geopolitical sense. For Israel, there is a need to to play a delicate balancing act, he explains.

“They have a strong relationship with Ukraine but they rely on Russia for certain things, including Syria. So I think they’re doing the diplomatic word dance as best as they possibly can.”

Greenblatt adds: “I don’t expect Israeli troops to go stand and fight for Ukraine. That would be very unusual in my mind. But where are the Europeans? This is their backyard. The Europeans need to be the ones to step up to the plate and protect Ukraine. And if they don’t, it shouldn’t be America’s job.”

He emphasizes that he believes Iran is watching what is going on in Ukraine with great interest.

He says that on the Iran sphere, “the Biden administration is failing miserably. They are going to have their hands full with Ukraine. Whether or not they can do something with Iran in the next couple of weeks as is being reported in the news… if what is being reported about a partial deal with Iran is accurate it’s a very dangerous time for this region. Not just for Israel. For all of its neighbors. They are all under the threat of the Iranian regime, not just from nuclear weapons. From rockets.”

According to Greenblatt, the Biden administration must “take a strong approach” in dealing with Iran.

“They are not doing that, or Iran is just not giving them what they are looking for,” he says. And that is a pressing problem.

Commenting on his time as Trump’s Middle East envoy, Greenblatt says that Trump’s “Peace to Prosperity” plan for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal was never shelved. There were always two parts to the deal. Either a full and comprehensive peace deal between Israel and the PA and Israel and Arab nations. Or the plan broken into two parts.

“Our goal was not to allow the Palestinians to have a veto card. If they were willing to come to the table and sign a peace agreement, that’s fantastic. And if they weren’t, we would still try to see if there could be normalization with the Arab countries,” he says. “I wouldn’t say the ‘Peace to Prosperity’ plan that President Trump released is shelved. It has an important historical purpose. It set forth the conflict in a historical perspective that people largely ignore and I think that’s a mistake.”

Speaking about Barak Ravid’s book “Trump’s Peace,” that gives insight into the relationship between Netanyahu and Trump Greenblatt says that overall there was a very strong relationship between President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu and that the book has soundbites of moments in time. The longterm relationship might have had ups and down but was in general very strong.

Does he think the current administration is as bad as the Obama days?

“President Biden stood by Israel when Israel was attacked in May. I think their messing could have been stronger. I think they could have done a better job. They were talking about opening the consulate. That’s wrong. They haven’t done anything there. I think the relationship is reasonable. I don’t think it’s what it was under Trump but I’m not overly concerned that it’s an administration that’s going to cause headaches for Israel,” he says.

Greenblatt has a new book, “In the Path of Abraham,” that will be available in June. It’s about “who we were, what we learned – and we learned a great deal – and why we did what we did. It’s a policy book but it’s readable for everybody. It peels away all the myths which we discovered. It explains the truth about Israel, the truth about the Palestinians, the truth about the region, the truth about the murderous Iranian regime, about Hamas.”