Kushner threatens to abandon his Mideast peace plan B

President Donald Trump, left, with senior adviser Jared Kushner
President Donald Trump, left, with senior adviser Jared Kushner. Kushner and his partner in Middle East peacemaking, Jason D. Greenblatt, are threatening to pull the plug on Plan B.

Five months ago, Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, began quietly shifting his focus from brokering a peace accord between Israel and the Palestinians to tackling the dire humanitarian crisis in the Palestinian enclave of Gaza.

Now, with Israel and the Hamas militants who control Gaza in a fresh cycle of violence that analysts fear could escalate into a full-blown war,  Kushner and his partner in Middle East peacemaking, Jason D. Greenblatt, are threatening to pull the plug on Plan B.

Declaring that no foreign investors are willing to pour money into Gaza during what they label a Hamas-driven conflict, Kushner and  Greenblatt, the president’s special representative for international negotiations, are rethinking their efforts to rebuild Gaza’s economy as a way of opening the door to a broader peace accord.

“Hamas has driven Gaza to a state of desperation,”  Kushner said on Sunday. “Provocations will not be rewarded with aid.”

Hamas leaders, he said, needed to demonstrate “a clear intent for a peaceful relationship with their neighbors” in order for aid and investment money to flow.

Kushner and  Greenblatt foreshadowed their move in an unusual pair of opinion articles, for CNN and The Washington Post. David M. Friedman, the American ambassador to Israel, added his name to both articles, while Nikki R. Haley, the American ambassador to the United Nations, joined the CNN column as a fourth co-writer.

The Trump officials laid the blame for the violence on the Hamas leaders, whom they condemned as “corrupt and hateful” and accused of attacking Israel relentlessly over the past few months with “rockets, mortars, terror tunnels, kite bombs and other weapons of aggression.” Palestinians say Israel set the tragedy in motion by imposing a blockade on Gaza intended to turn the people against their leaders.

The clashes threatened to erupt into a wider conflict on Friday when Israeli warplanes struck targets across the Gaza Strip after a Palestinian sniper killed an Israeli soldier along a border fence. Both sides are now honoring a cease-fire, and Israel said on Sunday that it would reopen Gaza’s main commercial crossing if the truce holds for another two days.

Still, the talk of a new Gaza war is another setback for Kushner and Greenblatt, two diplomatic newcomers whom Trump charged with negotiating what he has called the “deal of the century.” After nearly 18 months of work, and more than a dozen trips to the Middle East, the timing for the rollout of their peace plan remains uncertain

“We have the plan ready — mostly ready — and when the time is right, we’ll bring it out,”  Kushner said in an interview before the latest spike in tensions.

Their effort has been stymied by the Palestinian refusal to talk to them since  Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in December. Arab diplomats say their leaders could never publicly embrace the Trump plan now, given the domestic blowback they would face because of the Jerusalem move.

While Kushner and Greenblatt wait for a better moment to release their plan, they have turned Gaza into a side project. Focusing on Gaza,  Kushner said, made sense because no peace accord could succeed without resolving the status of the strip and because improving the fortunes of the two million Palestinians who live there could offer a path to an elusive broader deal with the Palestinian Authority, which is based in the West Bank.

“You have to figure out which cards to play at which time,” Kushner said. “Getting a positive outcome there could set the momentum for the rest of the process.”

In March, he and Greenblatt convened a White House conference to galvanize international efforts to rebuild Gaza’s economy. Though the Palestinian Authority boycotted the session, Kushner and  Greenblatt talked about scheduling another one.

But days after that first meeting, Palestinians began protesting, often violently, in Hamas-orchestrated demonstrations along the fence that divides Gaza from Israel. Since then, Israeli snipers have killed more than 140 mostly unarmed Palestinians, according to officials in Gaza. Adding to the tensions, Hamas is floating flaming kites and balloons into southern Israel, where they ignite wildfires and terrorize the people living there.

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  • master09

    No one wants peace in the ME, its that simple. Leaders make lots of money to keep conflict going. People will continue to suffer under the hands of a few.

    • vs

      with mental infection death cult mental masturbation “islam” will never be peace

      • vs

        islam = humanitarian catastrophe

        • Niemals

          RT.com too have pointed out the imam that lives in Lebanon but has family in Denmark.
          He said he isn’t afraid of being put on Denmark’s new list of banned hate preachers.

          When the video of Mundhir Abdallah’s remarks surfaced on social media, he was condemned by Inger Stojberg, the Danish minister for immigration, integration and housing. “The following video is from the mosque at Heimdalsgade in Copenhagen on March 31 this year, and this calls for the killing of Jews,” she said on Facebook in 2017. “This is completely preposterous, undemocratic and awful. But it also shows why we need to lead a harsh and consistent policy.”
          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/783a2b2f4bbb208d2428b77556f4f1f812c921431e9c4d4a5df26924138a9aee.jpg

          Egyptian abused 13 women: “Nobody told me that this is wrong in Germany”….
          Those arabs always blames others (Investigator: Defendant blames German politics), like this Aly E. (Egyptian), married, a son, part-time chef in a Schöneberg restaurant, says: “In Egypt, things like that happen a lot, they do not punish them. I do not know any laws. There was no police in my village. Nobody told me that this is wrong. ” https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/cb63bbc971e99abeb1c0b87d8af9fcb9c009d3c560572bc6ec195f1128ebf60b.jpg

          In the interrogation he have blamed the investigators for German politics against his crimes. But in court yesterday, he presented this as a translation error: “The interpreter was racist.”

      • Niemals

        Islam claims to be a religion of peace….
        A Danish imam prosecuted for encouraging murder of Jews, writes Danish TV2.

        The opinion should have taken place during one of Imam’s sermons in a mosque in Copenhagen.

        This is the first case that was taken up by the law after Denmark introduced a new law against so-called “hatreds”.

        The mosque filmed the sermon and uploaded the video on Youtube and Facebook. The film clip will now be used as part of the evidence against the Imam in court.

        According to the Danish Public Prosecutor’s Office, the sermon consisted of both the Imam’s own words and a quote from the Qur’an. According to the Danish police’s translation of the sermon, the imam must say, among other things: “The day of Judgment will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews, so that the Muslims will kill them, and the Jew will hide behind stones and trees, and the stones and trees will say” O Muslim, O worship of God, there is a Jew behind me, so come kill him”.
        The Imam claimed: “I’m subject to plot”….
        “Politicians in the Western world and the media never stop attacking Islam and Muslims. Their propaganda never ends. Muslims are the real victims, not others. Our women get attacked, our mosques are burned, “he writes to Kristelt Dagblad.

  • Niemals

    The Israeli tightening of the embargo on Gaza, which stops the fuel shipment, is just the start of naval invasion of Gaza according to unnamed and unverified source. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a6325111e32ed86cafc5a6d06fff3bf5ffbc35f6f2da5b62f0b273432dbfdc40.jpg The Israeli navy has intercepted the Norwegian-flagged ship in order to eliminate any disruption of the approaching naval invasion of Gaza. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2437bf7347ec926d3aa96c97464d5369cf0d8a47497c5a9959fd6ce8b9a8fe0c.jpg Israeli Navy Gears Up for Hamas Offshore Threat

  • Niemals

    The Israeli tightening of the embargo on Gaza, which stops the fuel shipment, is just the start of naval invasion of Gaza according to unnamed and unverified source. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a6325111e32ed86cafc5a6d06fff3bf5ffbc35f6f2da5b62f0b273432dbfdc40.jpg The Israeli navy has intercepted the Norwegian-flagged ship in order to eliminate any disruption of the approaching naval invasion of Gaza. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2437bf7347ec926d3aa96c97464d5369cf0d8a47497c5a9959fd6ce8b9a8fe0c.jpg Israeli Navy Gears Up for Hamas Offshore Threat
    Furthermore Netanyahu threatens Iran with ‘all Israel’s arms’ if Tehran blocks key waterway off Yemen.

    Benjamin Netanyahu has lashed out at Israeli arch-regional foe Iran, vowing that any attempt by Tehran to block the key waterway off Yemen’s coast would be met by force from the “international coalition” and Israel in particular.

    The harsh statements by the Israeli PM, who was speaking at a graduation ceremony for naval officers on Wednesday, were referring to the recent Houthi attack on a Saudi oil tanker off Yemen’s western coast. The Saudi-led coalition has repeatedly said the Houthis are armed and supported by Iran, but both the group and Tehran deny the claims.

  • Niemals

    CNN says that Iran is gearing up for major drill threatening to shut Strait of Hormuz.

    Islamic Revolutionary Guards readying for exercise, possibly with 48 hours, to demonstrate ability to shut waterway vital for international shipping, global energy supplies.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d2d2a5570cf6054f0cf8049bfc9c4fac66b41dcc07052e5ad01518a284b2e2cd.jpg
    “We are aware of the increase in Iranian naval operations within the Arabian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz and Gulf of Oman. We are monitoring it closely, and will continue to work with our partners to ensure freedom of navigation and free flow of commerce in international waterways,” Captain William Urban, chief spokesman for US Central Command, told CNN.