Senior White House adviser and peace plan architect Jared Kushner said in an interview that aired Tuesday on Al Jazeera that it’s time try to something new in aiming for peace in the Middle East.
Any peace deal reached between Israel and the Palestinian Authority won’t be along the lines of the Arab peace initiative, he said. It will be “somewhere between the Arab peace initiative and the Israeli position.”
Saudi Arabia continues to lead the Arab states in calling for an independent Palestinian state whose borders are drawn along the 1949 Armistice lines, “with East Jerusalem as its capital.” The lines are today known as the “1967 lines” because they predated the 1967 Six Day War, won by Israel – again attacked by surrounding Arab nations in another attempt to annihilate the Jewish state.
Israel has repeatedly said those lines are indefensible, and this time – finally – the government has said enough is enough: those borders are not possible and not negotiable.
“All of the people I speak to, they talk about the Arab Peace Initiative, and again it was a great effort, but if that was where a deal was going to be made a deal would have been made a long time ago,” Kushner told the interviewer.
Saudi Arabia and a host of other Arab nations gathered in Bahrain on Tuesday for the first day of the historic U.S.-led two-day “Peace to Prosperity” economic workshop focusing on the fiscal piece of the Trump administration’s Middle East peace plan.
The Palestinian Authority refused to attend the gathering, even though the workshop is focused on “jump-starting the Palestinian economy” while its own leaders have been engaged in pleading with Arab leaders for financial aid to meet its latest economic crisis. Moreover, PA leaders urged other Arab nations to boycott the workshop, and led protests in front of the Embassy of Bahrain in the capital cities of every Arab nation that attended the gathering.
The $50 billion development plan was published ahead of the Bahrain workshop this past weekend in order to allow time for the participants and others to review it thoroughly.