Trump threatened Israel with UN sanctions, Kushner reveals

Jared Kushner’s new book reveals that the former president held the powerful stick of no U.S. veto on UN sanctions if Netanyahu yielded to his right wing’s demands.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

The Trump administration threatened to withhold its veto on UN sanctions if then-prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu unilaterally annexed Judea and Samaria, Jared Kushner wrote in his about-to-be-released book, “Breaking History: A White House Memoir.”

The Americans had been sympathetic to the idea, with a team working with Israeli officials on a detailed map of where sovereignty could be extended, according to Trump’s son-in-law and then-senior adviser. However, the administration also wanted Israel to make concessions to the Palestinians.

“Our message resonated,” Kushner wrote. “Bibi [Netanyahu] wasn’t getting annexation for free. Israel needed to give something in return.”

The suggestion was made to give them “tangible life improvements,” such as greater civil control over some areas in which they lived. Netanyahu rejected the idea.

At that point, Kushner wrote, U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman not only told the prime minister that he was “hanging on a thread by Trump,” but that “there was no guarantee that our administration would block the international sanctions against Israel that might follow” if Netanyahu followed through on the demands being made by the sovereignty supporters in his coalition.

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It would be a near-lock that the UN would reject the validity of any Israeli annexation of territory, considering the body’s decades-long stance on the issue. All that has stood in the way of anti-Israel decrees proposed yearly in the UN Security Council is the American veto.

Ironically,in December 2016, the incoming Trump administration reportedly tried very hard to convince outgoing president Barack Obama to veto UNSC Resolution 2334, which called all Israeli building in Judea and Samaria “illegal,” and denied any Israel claim to its biblical heartland. Obama had let the resolution stand, and it passed 14-0.

Kushner wrote that Trump “fumed” over a speech Netanyahu made immediately after the administration unveiled its long-awaited peace plan in January 2020. The former prime minister had announced plans to annex Israeli settlements and large swathes of Judea and Samaria. Trump was so angry that he almost endorsed Blue and White leader Benny Gantz in the Israeli elections that were held that March.

Other publicized revelations made in the book, set to be released August 23, include the claim that Netanyahu had responded unenthusiastically when Trump revealed his decision to relocate the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem and recognize the city as the capital of Israel. Netanyahu has since denied the claim.