On Abraham’s Path: Selective Memory of Trump’s Israeli Policy | Books

Jason Greenblatt was formerly legal counsel for the Trump Organization. After the 2016 elections, he became Donald Trump’s special representative for international negotiations. Along with Jared Kushner, he aimed to secure peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

Like its predecessors, the Trump administration has failed in this task.

This cold reality might make some think of the subtitle of Greenblatt’s new memoir – How Donald Trump Made Peace in the Middle East and How to Stop Joe Biden from Undoing Itis at least a little exaggerated.

On the other hand, Trump delivered the Abraham Accords, which normalized relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco. The Trump administration also moved the US embassy to Jerusalem and shredded the Iran nuclear deal. The 45th President left his mark in so many places, in so many ways.

Predictably, Greenblatt’s book is silent on some of Trumpism’s darkest hours, his engagement with the anti-Semitic far-right: Charlottesville, the Nazis and the tiki torch marches, the January 6 insurrection. . Also predictably, he’s happy to blast Barack Obama, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib.

Greenblatt left the White House at the end of 2019. He says Kushner was “the best boss I’ve ever had or will ever have — with the possible exception of his stepfather.” These days, Greenblatt is engaged as an investor, like Kushner with an eye on the Middle East.

Greenblatt’s book is a softer, more graceful version of Sledgehammer, a memoir written by David Friedman, Trump’s ambassador to Israel. Like Friedman, Greenblatt attacks Biden and blows kisses to Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s former and possibly future prime minister.

As was the case with Friedman, Greenblatt remains silent about Trump saying of Netanyahu, “Fuck him,” as reported by Barak Ravid in Trump’s Peace. Ravid captured Trump in all his profane and vindictive reality. He reported Trump’s criticism of Netanyahu and his praise for Mahmoud Abbas, the aging Palestinian leader.

Trump told Ravid he thought Netanyahu “didn’t want to make peace. Never did.” As for Abbas, Trump said, “We spent a lot of time together, talking about a lot of things. And he was almost like a father. couldn’t be nicer.

Greenblatt ignores both questions, choosing to emphasize Abbas’s hostility to Israel and his reluctance to negotiate.

Greenblatt also says he stayed away from politics until Trump launched his candidacy and first registered as a Republican in 2016. No one would confuse him with Michael Cohen, l lawyer for Trump who pleaded guilty and turned against his former boss.

Greenblatt doesn’t crave the spotlight, but he can be subtly subversive. In the Path of Abraham throws bouquets at three Trump enemies: Mike Pence, HR McMaster and John Bolton, McMaster’s successor as national security adviser. Trump dumped McMaster in a tweet after clashing over the Iran deal, then sent Bolton packing for his warmongering.

“Pence was, refreshingly, the genuine article,” writes Greenblatt, “…a man who was unflappable and always helpful, no matter what the problem, big or small.”

Greenblatt makes no comment on Pence’s fate on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6, when the crowd chanted for him to be hanged, or on Trump’s reported comment that his vice president deserved it.

During his 2017 trip to Israel, Trump barred McMaster from a meeting with Kushner, Netanyahu and Israel’s national security adviser. According to Israeli reports, Rex Tillerson, then Secretary of State, was invited to join the group. But “McMaster sat outside the King David Room the entire meeting.”

McMaster suffered in silence. Bolton did not. ” I do not think so [Trump’s] suitable for the office. I don’t think he has the skills to do the job,” he told ABC, promoting his own book.

Mike Pompeo, then secretary of state, called Bolton a traitor. Peter Navarro, the White House business hawk now working under contempt charges, called Bolton’s book “deep swamp revenge porn.”

Benjamin Netanyahu, Donald Trump, Bahrain Foreign Minister Abdullatif al-Zayani and United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan greet from the Truman Balcony of the White House. Photograph: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

In the Path of Abraham is not that. But as Greenblatt conveys his impressions of the Arab world, he chooses to call Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman a “truly visionary leader.”

He writes: “I can’t understand what Biden, then a candidate, was trying to accomplish when he said he planned to make the ‘Saudi people pay the price and make them, in effect, the pariah that they are. they are’.”

It had something to do with US intelligence believing the prince had ordered the murder, dismemberment and disposal of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi dissident and US resident who wrote for the Washington Post.

Then again, with gasoline topping $5 a gallon, many Americans want Biden to get along with the Saudis and stick to the script.

Greenblatt also praises a leader of the United Arab Emirates, writing: “Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, colloquially known by his initials as MBZ, is a unique leader. One of the most influential people in the Middle East, he is also one of the most humble and thoughtful. Wise and extraordinarily open-minded, he knows that the best way to plan for the future is to create it.

In the same spirit of a trans-global high-five, Greenblatt drew praise from Trump, Kushner, Pence, McMaster, Pompeo and a pass of ambassadors from the Gulf states. The book could serve as a prospectus.

As the book lands, Greenblatt unexpectedly finds himself in the news. Last week, The New York Times reported that he introduced Alex Holder to Kushner. Holder is the British documentary maker subpoenaed by the House committee investigating the Capitol riot.

Appropriately, In the Path of Abraham contains a Yiddish proverb:Mann Tracht, a Gott Lacht”. Translated: “Man plans and God laughs.” Greenblatt would be hard-pressed to find anyone close to Trump smiling right now — whatever their plans.

  • In the Path of Abraham: How Donald Trump Made Peace in the Middle East – And How to Stop Joe Biden from Unmaking It, is published in the United States by Post Hill Press

About Joey J. Hott

Check Also

Woman reaches children with educational songs and books

Placeholder while loading article actions FOREST, Va. – Local children’s author and songwriter Sara Ernst …