With Israel facing new elections, the success of the “Deal of the Century” is in question.
By World Israel News Staff
Jared Kushner, U.S. President Donald Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday afternoon. Kushner is in Israel to build momentum toward next month’s “economic workshop” in Bahrain.
Also attending the meeting were U.S. Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook and Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer.
Trump negotiator Jason Greenblatt is part of the delegation, which arrived in Israel on Wednesday.
“It’s always a great pleasure to welcome Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt to Israel, to Jerusalem, and to discuss our common efforts for prosperity, security and peace,” Netanyau said. “I’m tremendously encouraged by how the United States, under President Trump, is working to bring allies together in this region against common challenges, but also to seize common opportunities.”
The Bahrain conference is expected to focus on economic aspects of the “Deal of the Century.” It will run from June 25-26.
However, with Netanyahu unable to form a governing coalition, the future of the Trump plan is in question. Ironically, the Trump administration waited to present its peace plan until after Israel had a new government in place.
Israel will return to the voting booth in September.
Israel is the third and final stop for the team working to garner support for a Middle East peace plan. The envoys first stopped in Morocco, where they met with King Mohammed VI, Crown Prince Moulay Hassan and Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita. They then went to Jordan to meet with King Abdullah II.
Following his meeting with King Abdullah II, Greeblatt tweeted: “Constructive meeting with @KingAbdullahII in Jordan today including a good conversation about regional dynamics and our administration’s efforts to help Israel and the Palestinians achieve a brighter future.”
Though Moroccan officials have declined commenting on the visit, the official Petra news agency reported that the Jordanian visit involved discussing, “regional developments, especially efforts to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.”
The King also “stressed the need to step up all efforts to achieve comprehensive and lasting peace on the basis of the two-state solution, guaranteeing the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the 4 June 1967 lines, with east Jerusalem as its capital, living side by side with Israel in peace and security, in accordance with international law and relevant U.N. resolutions.”
Thus far, neither Morocco nor Jordan have confirmed attendance in Bahrain. However, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar will be joining the conference while expressing solidarity with the Palestinians.
The Bahrain conference will discuss economic incentives to bring peace between Israel and the Palestinians. However, it has been made clear that Palestinian statehood is not on the agenda. Therefore, Palestinian political leaders as well as representatives from China and Russia will boycott the event.
Kushner has signaled that the White House may be pulling back from America’s previous support for a two-state solution.
Earlier this month, he said “If you say ‘two-state,’ it means one thing to the Israelis, it means one thing to the Palestinians. We said, ‘you know, let’s just not say it. Let’s just say, let’s work on the details of what this means.’”
However, he has billed the economic workshop as “a pivotal opportunity… to share ideas, discuss strategies and galvanize support for potential economic investments and initiatives that could be made possible by a peace agreement.”
After meeting the prime minister, Kushner affirmed the U.S. president’s commitment to Israel’s security. “The security of Israel is something that’s critical to the relations between America and Israel, and also very important to the President, and we appreciate all your efforts to strengthen the relationship between our two countries.
“It’s never been stronger, and we’re very excited about all the potential that lies ahead for Israel, for the relationship, and for the future.”