Jared Kushner, President Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, put together an Israeli-Palestinian peace plan that earned praise from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, immediate dismissal by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and unanimous rejection by all 22 Arab League member states, including several U.S. allies. The plan is "100 percent the ideas I personally heard many times from Netanyahu and his negotiators," said former Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat. "I can assure you that the American so-called peace team have only copied and pasted Netanyahu's and the settlers' councils plan."
But Netanyahu's allies among Israel's commentariat, rather than lauding Kushner, "started on Sunday what looked like an orchestrated campaign" against him, "attacking him for stopping the Israeli prime minister from annexing parts of the West Bank" and apparently using "many of the same talking points," Israeli journalist Barak Ravid writes at Axios. Kushner has said publicly several times that Israel shouldn't annex any part of Palestinian territory until at least after Israel's March 2 elections. "Netanyahu — who promised to annex the Jordan Valley and the settlements as soon as this week, hoping it would help his election campaign — was forced to back down," Ravid reports.
Among the common points these commentators make is that Trump risks losing his evangelical Christian base if Kushner messes this up by pressuring Netanyahu into waiting on annexation. Talk radio host Yaakov Bardugo even appeared to threaten Trump on Israel's Army Radio: "With all due respect to Kushner, there are millions of evangelicals in the U.S. and Netanyahu can mobilize them against Trump like he did to Obama."
Continue reading for free
We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.
Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.