Plenty of people knew about Donald Trump before the 2016 election. Lots of people also knew about Trump’s daughter Ivanka. However, it was only after Trump won the election that people started learning about a man named Jared Kushner. A tall and soft-spoken man, Jared Kushner is Ivanka Trump’s husband. This information might have ended up being a simple piece of trivia for the bar had things gone differently. However, President Trump has unexpectedly decided to lean heavily upon his son-in-law for both assistance and advice.
Trump utilizing his son-in-law has made the name of Jared Kushner important in surprising ways. For example, Jared Kushner is now being linked to peace negotiations between Israel and Palestine. Rumors recently surfaced that Kushner caused a rift between Trump’s administration and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Naturally, the Trump administration denies this, but one can’t help but wonder. For example, one newspaper already reported that the meeting between Kushner and Abbas had been “tense.” The paper, London-based Arabic daily Al-Hayat, continued to reported that this was due to Kushner relaying a set of demands straight from the mouth of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The Jerusalem Post provided a translation of this Arabic reporting.
A second newspaper, this time the Israeli daily Haaretz, reported on the matter by saying that Palestinian officials were “greatly disappointed” following their meeting with Kushner and Trump’s Middle East envoy Jonathan Greenblatt. Chillingly, one senior Palestinian official stated that Kushner and Greenblatt sounded much more like advisers for Netanyahu instead of the fair arbiters they were supposed to be. The adviser stated, “They started presenting Netanyahu’s issues and then we asked to hear from them clear stances regarding the core issues of the conflict.” In other words, it seems like Kushner and Greenblatt were acting like simple lackeys for the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The reports indicated that Kushner and Greenblatt used the opportunity to criticize Abbas for not condemning a terrorist attack in Jerusalem last week. The attack left one person dead, and tore the hearts out of many Israelis. Kushner and Greenblatt also criticized Abbas for refusing to meet with David Friedman. Friedman is Trump’s appointee as U.S. ambassador to Israel and supports the settlement program.
A Palestinian official reported that Kushner will now report on the meeting to Trump. President Trump will then make the decision regarding the continuation of peace negotiations between Israel and Palestine. This is in line with a recent statement from the White House that said, “Kushner and Greenblatt plan to return to Washington, D.C. to brief the President, Secretary of State Tillerson, and National Security Advisor McMaster and to continue the conversation about next steps.”
Perhaps in response the rumors that the talks went unfavorably, a senior official in the Trump administration stated to the Jerusalem Post that reports of President Trump possibly withdrawing from the peace negotiations were utter “nonsense.” This would match up with President Trump’s previous declarations regarding his determination to broker a peace deal between Israel and Palestine. After having a meeting with Abbas at the White House months earlier, Trump even told the media, “We will get it done.”
It goes without saying that most people in the world want to see these peace talks get done as well. However, this may be difficult if Jared Kushner can’t navigate the talks with the required grace and tact. Working through the hostility between Israel and Palestine is no simple task. If Kushner can’t seem to get the job done, it will leave many Americans baffled at why Trump decided to chose his son-in-law for the job.