US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt, Senior Advisor Jared Kushner, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Israeli ambassador to the US Ron Dermer during a meeting in Jerusalem June 22 2018. .
(photo credit: GPO)
US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace team is laying the groundwork for the release of its plan by offering meetings and briefings to interested Americans outside of government, including Jewish organizations and donors to both political parties.
The team – led by Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law, and Jason Greenblatt, his special envoy to the conflict – have been giving off-the-record forums, briefing sessions and conference calls in order to earn the trust of those who might, upon release of the plan, otherwise prove to be its greatest critics.
Kushner and Greenblatt have held several such meetings in New York this week, bringing along Nikki Haley, Trump’s envoy to the UN, who on Tuesday characterized the plan as “thorough,” detailed and even-keeled.
In one event held at the Pierre Hotel, hosted by Democratic donor Haim Saban, Republican donor Paul Singer and attended by several former Mideast diplomats, including Martin Indyk and Elliot Abrams, Haley allegedly told the crowd that the Trump administration might suspend aid to countries who vote in a biased manner against Israel at the UN.
The three officials declined to detail specifics in the plan, but broadly discussed their goals and vision, according to one attendee.
“It was an honor to attend a bi-partisan dinner last night with @nikkihaley & @jaredkushner co-hosted by Haim Saban & Paul Singer,” Greenblatt tweeted on Wednesday, after news of the event leaked to the press. “We discussed the Middle East, the US-Israel relationship & our peace efforts. We thank Haim & Paul & their guests for the important dialogue.”
Haley said earlier in the day that release of the plan was “getting close,” but would not be dropped during the UN General Assembly scheduled for later this month.
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