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Jared Kushner talks peace deal with Palestinians in rare televised interview

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In a rare televised interview senior White House advisor and the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner explained yesterday how he plans to move forward with his Middle East peace plan, despite collapsed relations with the Palestinian negotiations team. Speaking to Van Jones at CNN’s CITIZEN forum in New York City, Kushner spent most of the nearly one-hour conversation on the criminal justice system, including his father’s incarceration, and Saudi Arabia. But when Jones asked how it would be possible to achieve a major peace accord when the White House is no longer in contact with Palestinian negotiators, Kushner’s comments suggested getting the current leadership on board may not be key at this point. 

Kushner said, “Look, I’ve gotten to know the Palestinians leadership, I’ve gotten to know a lot of Palestinians leaders who are not necessarily in the existing leadership, but our sense is that when we put our plan out if there is reasonable leadership and if it is a reasonable plan, then they will come to the table and try to fight for how to create the best opportunity and the best outcome for their people.”

“We’re hopeful that we will find leadership that will be willing to do that,” Kushner added, “Bold leadership.”

Speaking of his peace plan that is yet to be released, he said, “I think that people will realize that there are a lot more reasons to be for it than to be against it,” noting, “I think that there is a bigger gap between the negotiators than between the people.”

At one point Kushner also compared the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to business conflicts he has encountered, and he later called it a “file.”

“What I realized very quickly is that we’ve been fighting about the same thing for the past 25 years in the conflict, but not a lot has changed. So what we did is, we took an approach where we thought we would create a very in-depth document that goes through the issues and we thought that something much more prescriptive,” Kushner said, “I’ve always found that with conflicts when I was in business, when you’re fighting over a concept, it’s much easier to disagree than when you’re fighting about specifics and that’s actually a big part of how we got people to the finish line on the U.S. embassy.”

“One thing about this file is that there is about a thousand ways to fail,” he said.  

In recent weeks the U.S. both shut down the Palestine Liberation Organization, or PLO’s, Mission in Washington DC, and dissolved the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem tasked with services to Palestinians. Palestinians will now have to use the U.S. embassy to Israel, a reorganization that was viewed by the Palestinians as confirmation that the White House has no intention of establishing a future for them. The major impetus for the breakdown, moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem last May, is currently being challenged by the Palestinians who have asked the United Nation’s top court to get involved. This also follows yet another major cut of $165 million to the Palestinian government, this time by Congressional legislation.

Earlier in the interview when Jones asked about the alleged killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Kushner said he advised Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, “just to be transparent.”

He reiterated what most other White House officials are saying about the matter, that he is waiting for Saudi Arabia’s internal investigation to conclude before making any decision on a U.S. response.

“We’re more in the fact finding phase. and obviously getting as many facts from the different places and then we will determine what facts are credible and then after that the president and the sec of state will make a determination as to what we deem to be credible and what actions we should take,” he said.

Kushner added, “we have to be able to work with our allies, and Saudi Arabia has been, i think a very strong alley in terms of pushing back against Iran’s aggression which is funding a lot of terrorism in the region, weather it’s the Houthis in Yemen, or it’s Hezbollah or Hamas, we have a lot of terrorism in the region.”

Updated October 24, 2018 at 12:30p.m.

Allison Deger
About Allison Deger

Allison Deger is the Assistant Editor of Mondoweiss.net. Follow her on twitter at @allissoncd.

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21 Responses

  1. eljay
    eljay
    October 23, 2018, 7:31 pm

    … Kushner said, “Look, I’ve gotten to know the Palestinians leadership, I’ve to to know a lot of Palestinians leaders who are not necessarily in the exiting leadership, but our sense is that when we put our plan out if there is reasonable leadership and if it is a reasonable plan, then they will come to the table and try to fight for how to create the best opportunity and the best outcome for their people.”

    “We’re hopeful that we will find leadership that will be willing to do that,” Kushner added, “bold leadership.” …

    The kind of leadership is willing to massacre Palestinians in a murderous ‘civil war’. Kind of like what we did in Syria. I mean, gosh, it’s not like can make an omelette without breaking a few eggs, am I right?

  2. JWalters
    JWalters
    October 23, 2018, 10:59 pm

    “that’s actually how we got people to the finish line on the U.S. embassy” – Kushner

    By completely trampling on the Palestinians. That’s his model of “negotiation”. Could a human being be any more self-centered, any more oblivious to others?

  3. RoHa
    RoHa
    October 24, 2018, 2:02 am

    If anyone cares, I suspect that the idea of moving the Australian Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem might be quietly forgotten.

    Here’s the background.

    The Liberals told Malcolm Turnbull they didn’t want him to be PM any more, and replaced him with Scott Morrison. (Note: The Liberals are the conservatives. Remember, we are upside down here.)

    This pissed off a lot of people.

    Turnbull resigned from Parliament. This left his seat – Wentworth – vacant. A by-election was necessary.

    David Sharma (ex Aust. ambassador to Israel) was chosen as the Liberal candidate. Wentworth has a lot of Jewish voters. Morrison put forward the idea of moving the embassy, and said he was influenced by Sharma’s expertise.

    19% swing against the Liberals.

    Currently it looks as though an independent will get the seat.(Votes are still being counted and shuffled around under the amazing Australian STV system.
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/elections/wentworth-by-election-2018/results/ )

    So the embassy move ploy failed to do the trick. Probably most of the swing was a result of the general pissed-offness, but there might have been a tiny bit of disgust at the ploy as well. One can hope that Morrison will decide that, since it no longer serves any electoral purpose,he won’t bother with it any more.

  4. WebSkipper
    WebSkipper
    October 24, 2018, 8:54 am

    That was probably the most ridiculous softball interview I’ve ever seen in my entire life. It out-softbballs Leslie Stahl’s interview of Pres. Trump.

  5. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    October 24, 2018, 9:26 am

    This non event slimeball refers to his “peace plan” as offering “opportunities” to the Palestinians. He is so far up his own posterior that he fails to realise the level of condescension in his words( viz the favourite Ziomantra of Palestinians never missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity ) He says that the status quo is no longer acceptable without any acknowledgement that he and his dimwit father in law have every intention of allowing Zioland to continue with its ethnic cleansing and land grabs = the “Status Quo” which is the only item which has ever been on the Zionist agenda.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      Maximus Decimus Meridius
      October 24, 2018, 9:55 am

      Didn’t his rich daddy have to give a ‘gift’ to Harvard in order to get his son accepted?

      Clearly, the aim is to liquidate the Palestinian question, once and for all. It will fail.

  6. Misterioso
    Misterioso
    October 24, 2018, 10:04 am

    Kushner is a sick joke. He’s a classic Zionist whose objective is to crush the indigenous Palestinians and along with his thuggish, self serving, dim witted father-in-law, a Sheldon Adelson puppet. Needless to say, he is morally and intellectually unqualified.

  7. CigarGod
    CigarGod
    October 24, 2018, 10:26 am

    His wiki is a pretty shallow file.

  8. Eva Smagacz
    Eva Smagacz
    October 24, 2018, 11:38 am

    The bottom line is that anybody who showed any potential to lead Palestinians is in prison or in exile. See Marwan Barghouti for starters.

    What you need is a strongman Jared Kushners of this world like is a strongman (obviously for as long as he does what they tell him).

    Mohammad Dahlan is a name that keeps coming back into circulation. He is as ruthless as he is corrupted, and he still has strong tribal ties to both Gaza and West Bank.

    https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/dahlan-sees-himself-future-palestinian-leader-1486048644

    Palestinian politician and exiled leader Mohammed Dahlan says he is ready to be the next Palestinian president.

    In an interview this week from his current home in Abu Dhabi, Dahlan told Newsweek he has a “nice life” in the Gulf “but believe me, my heart is there.”

    “If there was an election tomorrow, I’ll go back.”

    Dahlan was expelled from the Fatah political party by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in 2011 following accusations of corruption, but instead of falling from grace, Dahlan has revelled in his outcast role by cementing strong relationships with the Emirati and Egyptian governments.

    Through a consultancy business he told Newsweek that he runs from his home, Dahlan is widely reported as acting as a security advisor to Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, where he played an influential mediating role in securing arms deals between the UAE and Serbia. Last year, the Serbian government granted him and his family Serbian citizenship.

    Dahlan once commanded the PA Preventative Security Forces in the 1990s, which clamped down on Hamas activists harshly. He denies that there was any torture involved, but Hamas has not dismissed his notoriety and view him as a bitter enemy.

    Dahlan was in charge of the security forces that failed to implement a coup against the Hamas government in 2007, and were overcome by Hamas in the Gaza strip. Recently, a rapprochement between Dahlan and Hamas led to the suggestion that relations between the two were driven by their shared rivalry of Abbas.

    More here.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/ap/article-2569967/Dahlan-exiled-Palestinian-leader-builds-comeback.html

    157/170

  9. JLewisDickerson
    JLewisDickerson
    October 24, 2018, 2:31 pm

    RE: “I’ve always found that with conflicts when I was in business, when you’re fighting over a concept, it’s much easier to disagree than when you’re fighting about specifics and that’s actually a big part of how we got people to the finish line on the U.S. embassy.” ~ Kushner

    IN OTHER WORDS: MBS and Saudia Arabia agreed with the U.S. embassy being moved to Jerusalem!

  10. amigo
    amigo
    October 24, 2018, 4:02 pm

    Apologies Allison but I have a weak stomach and watching Kushner is a step too far.Additionally , extracting my MW coffee mug from the TV creates a mess and often means purchasing a new TV .

    On the positive side , the mug has out lived 3 tv,s at this stage.

  11. Maghlawatan
    Maghlawatan
    October 24, 2018, 4:11 pm

    Kushner is a douchebag. And no Yank peace plan has worked in the last 20 years cos Israel is lost in psychosis.

  12. Kay24
    Kay24
    October 24, 2018, 4:37 pm

    After giving the prize (Jerusalem) away to his favorite nation, he must be delusional thinking the long suffering Palestinians will joyfully accept this sham of a peace plan. Kushner is a novice trying to do a job experienced and qualified officials have attempted to do, and failed. A biased man, who is buddy-buddy with Netanyahu, and whose family send funds towards illegal settlements should be called a dishonest broker.

  13. ZShaw
    ZShaw
    October 24, 2018, 4:58 pm

    boy jared and his business savvy. How quaint.

    https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/10/jared-kushner-worlds-worst-real-estate-developer

    How much has he donated to the illegal colonial settlements that are currently being built on privately owned Palestinian land?

  14. James Canning
    James Canning
    October 24, 2018, 5:38 pm

    Jared Kushner apparently is not aware Hezbollah has tried for years to avoid being an “enemy” of the US. His knee-jerk attitude on this point, while predictable, is unhelpful.

  15. Citizen
    Citizen
    October 25, 2018, 5:36 am

    Who is Kushner speaking to in the Palestinian community?

  16. Citizen
    Citizen
    October 25, 2018, 6:03 am

    The Trump-Kushner Delusion on Palestine https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/07/10/the-trump-kushner-delusion-on-palestine/ by @NatCounterPunch

  17. Marnie
    Marnie
    October 26, 2018, 4:55 am

    Calling a people ‘a file’?

    I guess that could be seen as an improvement over the ‘nonexistent’ palestinian people that is usually used in zionist circles.

    Heads up Jared – orange is not your color, girl. It will have to be stripes.

  18. Pdxmuscle@comcast.net
    [email protected]
    October 26, 2018, 2:39 pm

    I appreciate Jared’s candor. He does recognize that the “leaders” he is talking to are not leaders yet but need to take advantages of in his words “opportunities”. In other words he is looking for Palestinian Kapos who would become real leaders put into power by him. It’s pretty out there and open in the interview. I can imagine historically all the “opportunities” given to a certain class of leaders when Britain and France ruled the world if they would just be the right kind of leaders. Ahh, the good old days. Jared is clearly lending his aid to making America Great Again.

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