Jason Greenblatt, the former White House special envoy to the Middle East, spoke with Arutz Sheva - Israel National News following his visit to the southern Israel town of Kfar Aza alongside Palestinian activist Samer Sinijlawi.

“Samer is a good friend of mine,” Jason began. “Too many people around the world say that Israel is lying or exaggerating. I wanted to hear directly from a Palestinian what he thought about the attack, and I want the world to know that there are Palestinians, however few, willing to speak against what happened.”

He addressed the issue of the polls showing widespread support for the massacre in Palestinian society: “I'd like to think that Samer is not the only righteous man in Sodom,” he said, referencing Genesis 18. ‘’I'm not a big believer in the polls, and I think what's more important is to have that conversation. Without that conversation, nothing can move forward. I hope that maybe, hearing from Samer and others like Samer, they’ll understand the truth about October 7th.”

He discussed the effects of the war on the countries included in the Abraham Accords: “I think this region wants to stay on the path to peace. There have definitely been a few steps backward, and the countries here are not about to give up on the Palestinians, including whatever a Palestinian state means to them. They all realized that everything would be safer and better off if we could find some kind of solution for Israel and the Palestinians.”

He criticized some of the recent steps taken by the USA due to the conflict: “I was shocked to hear that the State Department was investigating the possibility of declaring an independent Palestinian state. I think that is terribly harmful and dangerous. A Palestinian state is a dangerous concept to begin with because no one knows what it means, and adding ‘independent’ only means that the Palestinians can create what Gaza became in Judea and Samaria.”

“Similarly, while I disagree with the extreme acts some Israelis have perpetrated, I think that to impose sanctions on them is wrong and deceptive, and being done for political gain when President Biden has lost a lot of support for his stance regarding the war against Hamas.”

He shared some advice for ‘the day after’: “It will be extraordinarily challenging to rebuild Gaza. While Israel should know that the Gulf States are not in any position to make demands, they should be approached as partners in rebuilding Gaza so that it does not fall to either Israel or the Gulf States alone. Now is the time to talk about the day after if Israel seriously intends to make things better for the Palestinians while still maintaining its security and guaranteeing that there will never be anything like Hamas again.”

Regarding the claims that Prime Minister Netanyahu has refrained from such considerations for political reasons, Jason suggested: “I don't think that conversation should be had in public. It should be behind closed doors and with great care taken against leaks, but now is the time to begin the conversation, considering that the war will go on for some time.”

He believes the move will be beneficial to the Biden administration as well: "I can only imagine how much pressure there is on the Biden administration for this. While I don't agree with everything he's done, he has stood very strongly by Israel, and we should be giving him the tools he needs to push back on criticism and help him help Israel.”

He praised Qatar’s efforts as one of the main mediators for prisoner exchange negotiations. “Qatar is doing the best they can in a very challenging situation. it is unfair to suggest they have so much power over Hamas. To demand that they expel Hamas from their country would be to end any hope of negotiations, and no one is ready to take that step yet.”

He likewise commended Israel’s public diplomacy efforts: “Israel has done an excellent job in the PR war, despite people saying that it had lost the public relations front. In terms of the hostage negotiations, Israel needs to explain the kinds of people Hamas is demanding to release and what they did.”

As a former member of the Trump White House, Jason concluded with a comment on the US 2024 elections: “It's too early to say if I'll be going back to the White House. I know President Trump wants to go back, and if the opportunity comes up again to really help affect policy in the Middle East it'll be hard for me to say no.”

Watch Jason and Samer's full visit to Kfar Aza: