WASHINGTON – Jared Kushner, the son-in-law and close adviser to President Donald Trump, said on Sunday that he believes that peace between Israel and Palestine is “achievable,” although he added that the agreement should come from the countries of the region and not be something imposed by the US.
“We do think it’s achievable,” Kushner said, referring to an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.
Looking relaxed and upbeat, the president’s son-in-law commented on this and other matters at a half-hour Q&A session with Haim Saban, one of the Democratic Party’s biggest pro-Israel donors, at the annual Saban Forum in the Willard InterContinental Washington Hotel.
Kushner has been working for months to find a solution to the historic conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, a project that led him to make an official trip to the Middle East in August.
While in the region, the husband of Trump’s daughter Ivanka met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Although Kushner said that there is a specific peace plan being developed, he provided no details about it, stating that “We’ve been deliberate about not setting timeframes.”
“The president has a very long career of accomplishing things that a lot of people say weren’t possible,” Kushner said of the thorny problem of Middle East peace, which none of Trump’s presidential predecessors has been able to resolve.
“The most recent example of that was the election,” he said.
The comments come at a particularly delicate moment, given that the Palestinian National Authority announced on Nov. 21 the suspension of relations with the US over the closure of the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s office in Washington.
In addition, in recent days, controversy has swirled around the rumors that the Trump administration next week could recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital with an eye toward moving the US Embassy there from Tel Aviv to the city sacred to both Jews and Muslims, as well as Christians.
The Palestinians view East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state and oppose any change that legitimizes Israeli control over that part of the city, which the Jewish state captured in 1967 during the Six Day War and annexed in 1980.
The seizure of East Jerusalem has not been recognized by the international community and no country has its embassy in Jerusalem.
All foreign embassies are in Tel Aviv, the country’s business capital.