Donald Trump’s Jewish son-in-law tried and failed to get the UK to veto a UN resolution criticising Israel last year, one month before Trump took office.
Jared Kushner, who has since emerged as his father-in-law’s main Middle East advisor, desperately urged Theresa May’s government to use its veto as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, but to no avail.
UN Resolution 2334 – which criticised Jewish settlements in the West Bank as “a flagrant violation of international law” – passed on 23 December, after the UK joined 14 other states in voting for it. The United States abstained.
News of Kushner’s involvement was reported this week by Foreign Policy as “a rare effort by an incoming administration to press America’s closest ally to break ranks with a sitting American president”.
British representatives reportedly told the Obama administration that they needed to at least liaise with Kushner, with one unnamed U.S. official familiar with the situation saying: “It was quite unusual during an American transition to have close allies blatantly tell you they need to consult with the new administration.”
Kushner was joined in his back-channel lobbying by Gen. Mike Flynn, who was Trump’s initial choice of national security advisor. Flynn resigned less than a month into his new role for not revealing his discussions with Russian envoys.
FP reported that a White House official said Kushner contacted Kim Darroch, Britain’s ambassador to the United States, asking that the UK delay the resolution until Trump’s team took office, when they would use their own veto to kill it.
Kushner reportedly argued that the UN resolution would be a disincentive to the Palestinians to negotiate with Israel.