Kushner ‘doesn’t know’ way to peace in the Middle East

Kushner ‘doesn’t know’ way to peace in the Middle East

President's son-in-law and special adviser says he's not sure Trump's administration can offer anything 'unique' to solve the peace process

Jared Kushner
Jared Kushner

Jared Kushner this week admitted he is not sure the Trump administration can offer anything “unique” to solve the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

A recording of a discussion that took place on Monday has emerged which includes Kushner’s entire answer to a question about the White House’s attempts to broker a peace accord, which US president Donald Trump has repeatedly referred to as the “ultimate deal”.

“What do we offer that’s unique? I don’t know,” Kushner said. “I’m sure everyone that’s tried this has been unique in some ways, but again we’re trying to follow very logically.

“We’re thinking about what the right end state is. And we’re trying to work with the parties very quietly to see if there’s a solution.”

“And,” he went on, “there may be no solution, but it’s one of the problem sets that the president asked us to focus on. So we’re going to focus on it and try to come to the right conclusion in the near future.”

Kushner, who was made a senior adviser to the president – his father-in-law – has been tasked with spearheading the administration’s efforts to negotiate peace.

He discussed the process by which he has been trying to make progress, which he said entailed exploring both conventional and unconventional methods. “This is one of the ones I was asked to take on, and I did with this something that I do with every problem set you get, which is you try to study the historical context to understand how something got to where it is, who was successful, and who wasn’t successful,” Kushner went on.

“And you research it and look at the conventional sources but also try to get some unconventional sources as well.”

“What I’ve determined from looking at it is that not a whole lot has been accomplished over the last 40 or 50 years we’ve been doing this,” he added.

One of the complicating factors, Kushner said, was how much emotional baggage is embedded in the conflict.

“I have tried to look at why people haven’t been successful in the negotiations, so I looked and studied all the different negotiations,” he said.

“I spoke to a lot of people who have been part of them, and I think the reason why is that this is a very emotionally charged situation.”

Reflecting on recent Temple Mount clashes, he added: “We were able to calm the situation there by having great dialogue between Jordan, the Palestinian Authority and the Israelis.”

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