The Kushner Affair: Jerusalem's Credibility On Stake
By DAVID MERHAVPublished: FEBRUARY 28, 2018 10:57 Updated: FEBRUARY 28, 2018 16:12AdvertisementYesterday, the American press reported that Jared Kushner, U.S. President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, has lost his access to top secret information because of foreign government efforts to influence him. According to The Jerusalem Post, “the president’s national security adviser, H. R. McMaster, was briefed on efforts by Israeli and Mexican officials to leverage Kushner’s perceived vulnerabilities, including his business entanglements, his debt and his lack of foreign policy experience.” The Washington Post reported that “among those nations discussing ways to influence Kushner to their advantage were the United Arab Emirates, China, Israel and Mexico, the current and former officials said. It is unclear if any of those countries acted on the discussions, but Kushner’s contacts with certain foreign government officials have raised concerns inside the White House and are a reason he has been unable to obtain a permanent security clearance.”The Kushner affair reveals once again how the Israelis can be so ungrateful when it comes to its most important ally, the United States. Thus, the Obama administration, despite all its objective problems, supported Israel militarily and diplomatically, albeit the permanent tensions between the President and Mr. Netanyahu. Now, the Trump administration – despite being the friendlier administration to Israel for decades – was betrayed by the Israelis who desired to manipulate his son-in-law’s efforts to reach a pro-Israeli agreement with the Palestinians. If we consider Mr. Netanyahu’s moral corruption in so many affairs, now we can add another ethic corruption: an attempt toclandestinely utilize the good relations with the President in order to influence his closest advisor. It is not just a matter of ungratefulness; it’s a matter of sheer corruption in any political aspect.It seems that Israel doesn’t know the way to run off the negotiations’ table and is willing to exert any trick, any manipulation, to avoid some true negotiations with the Palestinians. Though Mr. Netanyahu knows how important it is for the President to break years of political stagnation in the Israeli-Palestinian relations, he doesn’t refrain from taking despicable actions to thwart future peace agreement. If the Palestinians display openly their discontent regarding the President’s moves, Mr. Netanyahu does it out of Mr. Trump’s sight and betrays the very President who decided to recognize Israel’s “eternal Capital.” The way the Israelis misuse their good relations with the White House should raise concerns amongst the President’s inner circles; in many ways, Israel is strategically important to the U.S. but proves again and again that it must not be trusted.The Jared Kushner affair must teach us a lesson. The Israeli manipulations in Mr. Netanyahu’s era reflect the way Jerusalem lost any restraints. In many senses, Jerusalem believes that it can manipulate its public, its neighbors and its closest allies. This is a genuine disgrace. Mr. Netanyahu is quite sure that he can maneuver the entire world, Israelis and foreigners alike, for his own benefit. The Trump administration must put an end to the way Israel has been conducting since the President’s rise to power. It is for Israel’s sake to be taught a lesson. Mr. Trump, the best ally of the Jewish State, should start questioning Jerusalem’s loyalty and credibility and be fairer in his relations with the Palestinians.
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