While the media has been accusing Jared Kushner of “messing up” the Middle East and being in the back pocket of the Saudi Crown Prince, Kushner was working on a closer, far more beneficial relationship with the Saudi kingdom.
Kushner gets the last laugh here but little to no credit in the media for a remarkable achievement towards peace.
After sixty years of refusing to recognize the state of Israel, the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Tuesday stated openly that Israel had a right to exist. In an interview with Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic, he said: “I believe that each people, anywhere, has a right to live in their peaceful nation. I believe the Palestinians and the Israelis have the right to have their own land.”
He added, for clarification, “We have religious concerns about the fate of the holy mosque in Jerusalem and about the rights of the Palestinian people. This is what we have. We don’t have any objection against any other people.”
He also said, “there are a lot of interests we share with Israel.” Saudi Arabia and Israel have been working on the real threat in the region. The terror-sponsoring nation of Iran presents an existential threat to Saudi Arabia, Israel and others.
Recently, the Saudi nation also agreed to allow Air India to fly to Tel Aviv through Saudi airspace. That too is a win.
There is also a plan for peace between Palestine and Israel
Additionally, Salman proposed a peace plan that would give Palestinians their own state “but only noncontiguous parts of the West Bank and only limited sovereignty over their own territory. The vast majority of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, which most of the world considers illegal, would remain. The Palestinians would not be given East Jerusalem as their capital and there would be no right of return for Palestinian refugees and their descendants,” according to The New York Times.
That is a plan that could work but it’s hard to imagine Hamas/Palestinian Authority agreeing to it. In the past, Palestinians rejected far better plans. One offered by Bill Clinton gave them East Jerusalem and complete autonomy.
Kushner and Salman have fostered a “close relationship” according to them. It is paying off. It probably helped deflect the expected violence over moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. There were protests but nothing near what was expected. Kushner is said to have worked on the planning for that with Rex Tillerson’s State Department.