Jared Kushner: ‘Deal of the century’ will not be released before June

Kushner spoke in front of 100 foreign diplomats and ambassadors at the Blair House and asked them to keep an open mind regarding the plan.

By OMRI NAHMIAS,
April 18, 2019 10:14
White House adviser Jared Kushner at the "2019 Prison Reform Summit"

White House adviser Jared Kushner at the "2019 Prison Reform Summit" in the East Room of the White House in Washington. (photo credit: REUTERS/YURI GRIPAS)

 
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Jared Kushner, US President Donald Trump’s senior adviser, told foreign diplomats on Wednesday that the “deal of the century” will not be released before the end of Ramadan, in June, a source familiar with the remarks told The Jerusalem Post.

Kushner spoke in front of 100 foreign diplomats and ambassadors at Blair House and asked them to keep an open mind regarding the plan, adding it would require both sides to compromise.

He said the plan will not jeopardize Israel’s security, according to the report. He also said the plan has a “very detailed” political component, and will also have an economic component.

Jason Greenblatt, Trump’s special representative for international negotiations, tweeted on Tuesday that the peace team will not release any details ahead of time.

“Continued speculation doesn’t help anyone & harms the effort. We kindly suggest a stop to the guessing games,” he wrote.

Kushner spoke after Palestinians warned that the plan will be dead on arrival because it has removed some of the core issues from the table, such as Jerusalem, settlements and refugees. The Palestinians have warned that the plan places all West Bank settlements under Israeli sovereignty, a claim bolstered by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s campaign pledge to so.

Newly appointed Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh told The Associated Press on Tuesday: “There are no partners in Palestine for Trump. There are no Arab partners for Trump and there are no European partners for Trump.”

Greenblatt attacked the PA prime minister, tweeting:

“PM Shtayyeh, starting a new job by condemning a plan you haven’t seen is unfair to Palestinians. You have an obligation to first look at an opportunity before you dismiss it. The PA can continue to push us away, but that will do nothing to improve the lives of the Palestinians.

“Why does the new PA Prime Minister hope for our plan to be “born dead” & for peace to fail? By working with us, perhaps something wonderful can happen for Palestinians. We’ve repeatedly said this won’t just be an economic plan,” Greenblatt said.
Greenblatt also said that while only the parties themselves can resolve the conflict, he believes that the plan can help them achieve that goal.

“We’ve been working hard drafting what we believe is a fair, realistic & implementable plan. Fair agreements require compromises.”

The Evangelical community and settler leader Yossi Dagan are concerned that the Trump administration’s talk of concessions would include territorial withdrawal. Both he and Evangelical leader Tony Perkins published an opinion piece in The Washington Times urging Trump to include Judea and Samaria within Israel’s sovereign borders by refraining from any land for peace equation.

Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer addressed the plan as well, and said that the Trump administration and his Middle East envoys should give Jews confidence. He used his platform at a recent pre-Passover reception to assure the crowd that the much anticipated peace plan will consider Israel’s interests.

Speaking at an event Tuesday at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, Dermer mentioned Kushner, Greenblatt, Kushner assistant Avi Berkowitz and US Ambassador David Friedman as those who should take the country’s interests seriously.

“You have the best chance to take advantage of this historic moment of opportunity that exists, because everybody that speaks to them knows that they speak for the president of the United States,” he told the audience.

Jewish Insider first reported his remarks.

“I know a lot of people are concerned that the peace plan is going to be coming out soon. But I have to say, as Israel’s ambassador, I am confident that this administration, given its support for Israel, will take Israel’s vital concerns into account in any plan they will put forward,” Dermer added.

The Israeli ambassador also made an apparent reference to the latest remarks by the Palestinian leadership that the plan would be “dead on arrival,” and said he would never blame any American president or envoy for the failure to achieve peace.


“Anyone who does that doesn’t understand why we don’t have peace,” Dermer continued. “The Palestinians have to cross the Rubicon. It’s going to be up to them. But what you can be is better or worse facilitators to get them to that point. And I could not think of better facilitators, with better relations both with Israel and the Arab world, to take advantage of this historic opportunity.”
The Passover reception was attended by dozens of Jewish community leaders, most of them from the Orthodox community. Several prominent administration officials, such as Greenblatt, Berkowitz and Special Envoy for Monitoring and Combating Antisemitism Elan Carr, attended the event as well.

“It is a rare thing, a very rare thing, a president like President Trump and an administration like the Trump administration, that doesn’t happen every generation,” Dermer noted. “It may happen once in many, many, many generations. And Israel, the Jewish state and, I believe, the Jewish people are blessed to have a real friendly administration.”

Meanwhile, the European Union has rejected the idea of Israeli sovereignty in the West Bank, which would create chaos and violence in the Middle East, its foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini told the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Tuesday.

Such a move would destroy the possibility of a two-state resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Mogherini said, adding that settlement construction was already making the idea of two-states impossible.

“If it is not going to be a two-state solution then it is not going to be a solution,” Mogherini said.

Israel captured the West Bank territory from Jordan in the Six Day War, but never annexed it. Area C of the West Bank, where all the Israeli settlements are located, is under Israeli military and civilian rule. Areas A and B are under the autonomy of the PA.
Mogherini’s words come after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised earlier this month that if elected, in his next government he would annex portions of Area C of the West Bank.

“The two-state solution is not only fading away,” she said. “It is being dismantled piece by piece.”

“Abandoning the two-state solution would bring greater chaos, not only to the Holy Land but also to the entire Middle East,” Mogherini continued. “The next escalation of violence in Israel and Palestine could easily spiral out of control, and it would have tragic consequences in a region as unstable as today’s Middle East.”

She said it is “our first duty” to keep the two-state perspective alive, and to preserve the possibility of negotiations.

“But any such plan must be based on the pre-1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps and the status of Jerusalem as the future capital of the two-states,” she said.

Her pledge of support for a two-state resolution to the conflict comes in advance of the anticipated Trump administration’s publication of its peace deal, which it has warned would deviate from the parameters of past efforts toward a two-state solution based on the pre-1967 lines.

“The EU will recognize changes to the pre-1967 borders only if and when agreed by the parties, including with regard to Jerusalem,” she said. “The EU does not recognize Israeli sovereignty over any of the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967, in line with international law and with UN Security Council resolutions 242 and 497.”

She said this same policy applies to the Golan Heights. Mogherini spoke in the aftermath of US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Israeli sovereignty in the Golan Heights.

Israel captured the territory from Syria in the defensive Six Day War and annexed it in 1981.

Five of the EU countries that sit on the UN Security Council – UK, France, Germany, Belgium and Poland – have clearly denounced the US move, Mogherini said.

“Our position on the Golan Heights has been so clear, because we believe that international rules, international law and international standards must be upheld,” she said.

Mogherini is among those that belief that even though Israel acquired the Golan Heights in a defensive war, it cannot retain it.
“Borders cannot be changed by military force,” she continued. “And this is a principle behind which the EU will continue to firmly stand and in a united manner.”

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