Kushner relayed Trump's hope and optimism for "a better future" for Palestinians and Israelis
In this July 25, 2017 file photo, White House Senior Adviser and envoy, Jared Kushner, listens at right as President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington. Kushner began a round of talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders as he resumed efforts to restart peace talks. Kushner, who is President Donald Trump's son-in-law, met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017, before heading to the West Bank city of Ramallah to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the evening. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File), photo: AP/Pablo Martínez Monsiváis, File
24 of August 2017 18:50:52
RAMALLAH – Presidential adviser Jared Kushner met with Israeli and Palestinian leaders on Thursday to try to jumpstart moribund peace talks, but after months without progress the Mideast envoy faces growing skepticism on the Palestinian side.With no clear vision for peace outlined by the administration and domestic issues distracting President Donald Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, expectations for the new peace push are low.The Palestinians initially welcomed Trump's election, but they have since grown impatient with what they say is a failure by the U.S. president to present a roadmap for peace. Specifically, they are seeking a halt to Israeli settlement construction on occupied lands, and a U.S. commitment to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state as part of a peace deal with Israel."If the U.S. team doesn't bring answers to our questions this time, we are going to look into our options because the status quo is not working for our interests," said Ahmad Majdalani, an aide to Abbas.
A statement from Netanyahu's office after the meeting said the talks were "substantive" but gave no details on progress or further steps.On the campaign trail, Trump took a staunchly pro-Israel line, energizing Netanyahu and hard-liners in his coalition. He promised to relocate the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem — a move welcomed by Israel and opposed by the Palestinians — and refused to endorse the Palestinian goal of independence. His platform played down the significance of Israeli settlements and he surrounded himself with a group of advisers with deep ties to the settlement movement, including Kushner and the U.S. ambassador to Israel, David Friedman.But since taking office, Trump decided not to move the embassy and has urged Israel to restrain settlement construction.He has not come out in support of the two-state solution, a position backed by most of the international community and also his Republican and Democratic predecessors, indicating vaguely that he supports whichever solution the sides agree to.Disappointed Palestinian officials privately gripe that Trump's team has begun to support Israeli positions and ignore their concerns.Further complicating any hope for progress are internal troubles for all three leaders. Trump's administration has become preoccupied with a series of domestic crises, most recently the fallout from the deadly racially charged violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, earlier this month.Netanyahu, meanwhile, is facing a growing corruption investigation that could soon lead to an indictment against him. These legal troubles, along with Israeli concerns about a possible long-term Iranian presence in neighboring Syria, make it unlikely that he will agree to any major diplomatic initiative.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before his meeting with Jared Kushner, Jason Greenblatt, Dina Powell, and Amb. David Friedman. pic.twitter.com/aAkUvlxgqJ— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) 24 de agosto de 2017