In an interview with Christiane Amanpour, White House senior adviser Jared Kushner offered a realistic assessment of the “Palestinian” leadership’s track record in achieving statehood over the past century, and suggested they are likely to botch this opportunity as well.
“You have 5 million Palestinians who are really trapped because of bad leadership. So what we’ve done is we’ve created an opportunity for their leadership to either seize or not. If they screw up this opportunity — which again, they have a perfect track record of missing opportunities — if they screw this up, I think they will have a very hard time looking the international community in the face, saying they are victims, saying they have rights. This is a great deal for them. If they come to the table and negotiate I think they can get something excellent …”
At the same time, in an interview with GZERO (Kushner on Israeli annexation plans: not now), Jared Kushner said that while the Trump administration clearly supports annexation, it also wants Israel to wait until after the upcoming Israeli election to move ahead with any annexation plans.
Walking back his father-in-law’s invitation for Israel to impose its sovereignty on its share of Judea and Samaria, which was followed by an outright urging by US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman (Ambassador Friedman: Go Annex Those Settlements, What Are You Waiting For?), Kushner now talks about setting up a committee to decide exactly when Israel may legalize its communities in the 1967 liberated territories.
Telegraph Middle East correspondent Raf Sanchez tweeted Wednesday:
“US ambassador David Friedman is rowing back from his comment last night that US is happy for Israel to move ahead with immediate annexation of West Bank. He now says a US-Israel committee will have to review any plans for annexation. ‘We will try to get to the answer quickly.’”
The same Raf Sanchez tweeted on Tuesday that
“David Friedman was asked earlier if Israel needed to wait before annexing the Jordan Valley and Israeli settlements in the West Bank. ‘No. Israel does not have to wait at all,’ he replied.” At which point Sanchez noted that “Netanyahu says annexation process will start this weekend.”
Walking back annexation – the only outcome of the Trump deal which makes sense to Israelis – is the price of maintaining a positive Sunni Arab support—warm and/or tacit. As long as the Saudis, the Emirates, the Egyptians and even the Jordanians don’t have to explain to their own publics why the Jews get to take more of “occupied Palestine,” the Trump administration will be able to maintain the façade of moderate Arabs’ support.
And, in this reporter’s opinion, if it takes the PA Arab leadership—whatever that means—four years to come around and embrace the plan, assuming Trumps et al remain in office another four years, then that’s how long Israel will have to wait to bring in the settlements from the cold.
And that’s the end of the most unloved peace plan ever to have come out of Washington.
Incidentally, in the Amanpour interview, Kushner was very direct on what he thought about the “Palestinian” leadership:
“The Palestinian leadership have to ask themselves a question: Do they want to have a state? Do they want to have a better life? If they do, we have created a framework for them to have it and we’re going to treat them in a very respectful manner. If they don’t, then they’re going to screw up another opportunity like they’ve screwed up every other opportunity that they’ve ever had in their existence.”
“Right now, what’s the Palestinian leadership?” Kushner asked. “You’re talking about them like they’re great diplomats – what are they calling for? They’re calling for a day of rage. Who do you know that runs a state that when they don’t get what they want they call for a day of rage?”
But Israel, a boisterous supporter of whatever Trump wanted it to support, better not start annexing stuff.
Well, we had two days of delusional joy. I even compared Ambassador Friedman to Moses Montefiore. Heady hours they were. Where’s my Alka-Seltzer?