Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump shake hands at the United Nations General Assembly. Photo: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images
White House Middle East peace envoy Jason Greenblatt said in a speech at a closed event in London earlier this week that the U.S. "will soon be ready to publish" President Trump's long awaited plan for peace between Israel and the Palestinians, people who attended the event told me.
Timing: On September 26th, Trump met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in New York and said he will release his peace plan within two to four months. This means the plan could be release as soon as the beginning of December. White House officials declined to say what Greenblatt meant when he said "soon." However, the main challenge for Trump's "peace team" is the fact the Palestinians have cut ties with the White House over the moving of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.
The details: At the London event Greenblatt made clear the Israelis and the Palestinians will have to compromise. He said: "Neither side will like everything in the plan, but we are confident both sides will understand why we came to the conclusions that we did — if they are willing to engage."
- Greenblatt said the Trump administration is not looking for an interim agreement between Israel and the Palestinians and wants to try and change the status quo. "The standard talking points to the conflict will not bring us closer to peace. The United States will no longer invest in temporary solutions. We understand that temporary solutions do little to improve Palestinian lives, and prolong the cycle of suffering and violence," he said.
The big picture: In the last several months, Palestinian leadership has said multiple times it will not engage on the Trump administration's peace plan and that the plan will be biased in favor of Israel. Greenblatt tried to push back on this claim explaining. "[b]efore you pass judgment, read the plan from beginning to end. Don’t listen to rumors and reports from sources other than the Trump Administration. Judge it for what it is intended to be – a comprehensive proposed solution to the conflict."
A White House official declined to comment on the matter directly saying, "we are not going to comment on the veracity of alleged comments from an off the record event/closed press event."