Ivanka Trump with husband Jared Kushner.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
US President Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner will be an effective Mideast negotiator because of his closeness to the President, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday.
Giuliani pushed back against those saying Kushner cannot be an effective broker because he lacks diplomatic experience and is an Orthodox Jew whose family has contributed to Israel and the settlements.
His role, Giuliani said, should not really be one of being a broker, but rather as one whose job is to get the Palestinians to be more realistic, and not think that they can get the world to impose a solution on Israel.
That Trump appointed Kushner to this position “is important because they are so alike, it is almost like giving [this portfolio] to himself,” Giuliani said.
Kushner, according to Giuliani, is “in many ways an extension of the president,” who will surely brief Trump on everything happening in the process. “They have an extremely close relationship,” he said. “Jared has complete access to the president, so a lot of what he will be doing will be executing what the president thinks.”
Trump names son-in-law Jared Kushner as senior adviser
Stressing that on this issue he was speaking for himself, and not for the new administration, Giuliani said that “someone has to get the Palestinians in the world of reality, as opposed to the unreal world that they have created with the European and left wing publicity.
“What I mean by that is that I have never seen it in the interest of my country to create a terrorist state,” he said.
“If you are going to create a state, you want to create a healthy one , not a dangerous one. A lot of the burden of this is on them,” he said, adding that the Palestinians needed to take major steps to stop terrorism, reduce corruption, and make strides toward establishing responsible government by the rule of law.
“ By using the UN, and using publicity in an artful way, they have come to make it seem like there really is no burden on them, and they should just be given the land they want, and that's it,” Giuliani said. “From the point of view of the United States, that makes no sense, it makes no sense for us to create another terrorist state.”
Giuliani, who was recently named Trump’s cybersecurity adviser, is in the country for a few days on business as the global chair of Greenberg Traurig's Cybersecurity, Privacy and Crisis Management practice. Greenberg Traurig is an international law firm with an office in Israel. He is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on his visit, as he does whenever he visits the country. Last year he was here three times.
Giuliani said that Israel is currently in a position in Washington where “it has a president who is favorable, and I can't think of anyone around him that isn't in roughly the same position regarding Israel.”
He said that the new secretaries of defense and state, James Mattis and Rex Tillerson, both of whom are largely unknown in Israel, “are keenly aware of the importance of the alliance between the United States and Israel.”
Based on conversations he has had with the two men, he also said that both “realize that a lot of damage was done to the relationship during the Obama years that has to be repaired.”
Acknowledging that most American Jews did not vote for Trump, Giuliani said that this demonstrates a dramatic shift regarding the reason for America's strong support of Israel.
“It used to be that some of America's policies with regard to Israel were based on the domestic power of the Jewish vote, but since September 11, and increasingly over the last 16 years, that has changed to a more solid basis – a geopolitical understanding of why we have allied interests, why Israel is important to us,” he said.
Giuliani said that while this understanding was “almost universal among Republicans,” it is also a view shared by more than half of the Democrats. “The only place you get disagreement is with the Progressive Democrats,” he noted.