Shmuel Rosner, an expert on US affairs, on Sunday discussed the resignation of US Special Envoy Jason Greenblatt from the team working on the peace plan for Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
"Greenblatt's departure is significant because the peace team is very limited and there were only a few partners in creating the peace plan. Because Greenblatt is one of those three, that's a significant thing,” Rosner told Arutz Sheva in an interview.
"Another significant aspect is perhaps a signal of the peace plan's chances of success. If Greenblatt would have thought that in a few months he would be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize because of the plan, he would have held on a bit longer,” he added.
"The fact that Greenblatt decided to leave now indicates that he understands that the role of the peace team was centered on writing the plan and that the chance to advance it over time and make it meaningful is probably not so great," opined Rosner.
Israel, he said, has nothing to fear from the publication of the plan. "The plan will probably be published, largely according to Prime Minister Netanyahu's needs and political considerations, and may also be in line with a move Americans are making against Iran and part of a total package they are trying to produce."
"Since we know that this plan will probably not lead to peace because the Palestinians have rejected it before it was even presented, its significance should probably be taken with a grain of salt. It is mainly political and may help Prime Minister Netanyahu add Benny Gantz to his government. I would not regard this event as something dramatic, neither in the Israeli arena nor in the international arena. I think Jason Greenblatt understood it better than everyone and so he decided to return to his family and business," continued Rosner.
On Greenblatt’s replacement, Avi Berkowitz, Rosner said, "He slips into a role that is somehow suitable for him because he knows the material and the people - he trusts them and they trust him. On the other hand, this is a young man who does not have an international status. They did not bring a new Kissinger to make peace in the Middle East. This, too, testifies to the significance of the plan, its power and its ability to change reality. In the end, it's a pretty small-scale move that's talked about a lot. There will not be international conferences attended by many people here, or heads of states competing to be part of the peace group. It's a group of people who have invested time and interest and delved into the issue."
In Rosner’s opinion, Berkowitz is aware of the limits of his power. "We know little about him. People who hang out in these circles in Washington are a little familiar with him - but mostly as [Jared] Kushner's young assistant. He has not yet earned himself the status of a policymaker or anyone who should be treated as one whose positions will decide a negotiation one way or another. This is a man who was pulled out to fill a slot and not to revolutionize the peace process."