Amid Investigation, Kushner to Seek Israel-Palestine Solution

  • This will be Jared Kushner

    This will be Jared Kushner’s third visit to the region. | Photo: AFP

Published 19 June 2017
“With determination, compromise, and the belief that peace is possible, Israelis and Palestinians can make a deal,’’ Trump said in May.

The senior adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump, Jared Kushner, will travel to the Middle East this week.

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The purpose of the trip is to push for a peace deal between the Israelis and the Palestinians, according to an unnamed White House official.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, disclosed that Kushner plans to travel to Jerusalem on Wednesday for meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Following which, he will meet with the Palestinian Authority’s President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah.

In May, his father-in-law and boss – during an address in Jerusalem – expressed personal committed to helping the Israelis and Palestinians achieve a peace agreement. “With determination, compromise, and the belief that peace is possible, Israelis and Palestinians can make a deal,’’ Trump had said.

Kushner will be embarking on, this, his third visit to the region amid speculation that he is considering making amendments to his legal representation in the probe regarding the Trump Administration’s connections with Russia.

The F.B.I. and other investigators are examining whether he had dealings with Sergey N. Gorkov, the head of the state-owned development bank Vnesheconombank.

The senior adviser’s current lawyer, Jamie S. Gorelick, and Trump-Russia special counsel Robert S. Mueller III were colleagues at Washington law firm WilmerHale.

Gorelick, who has repeatedly stated that Kushner will cooperate fully with all Russia-related inquiries, reportedly urged him to consider new representation.

But, so far, his legal team remain unchanged.

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The White House’s special representative for international negotiations, Jason Greenblatt, is set to arrive in the Middle East ahead of Kushner, according to the official. The two are expected to work to advance direct talks between the parties.

Trump, who has hosted both Netanyahu and Abbas at the White House, put Kushner in charge of brokering a peaceful solution to the ongoing conflict.

According to the White House, Trump has kept the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem open in a bid to advance the prospects of a peace agreement.

“I’ve always heard that perhaps the toughest deal to make is the deal between the Israelis and the Palestinians,’’ Trump said when he hosted Abbas. “Let’s see if we can prove them wrong, OK?’’

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Take action: Tell Radiohead ‘Don’t endorse Israeli Apartheid’

Rock band Radiohead perform live on 11 November 2012 [Lee Gwyn/Flickr]

Rock band Radiohead perform live on 11 November 2012 [Lee Gwyn/Flickr]

A social media campaign has been launched to pressure the rock band Radiohead not to play in Israel next month.

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) has urged activists to tweet at the group using the hashtags #Glastonbury2017 and #LoveRadioheadHateApartheid to encourage the band to cancel their planned performance in Israel on 19 July.

The band, which is headlining at this week’s Glastonbury Festival, has been embroiled in negative publicity since the announcement of their European Tour which includes a final performance in Tel Aviv.

Read: Fans try to rock Radiohead’s conscience

PSC said the band’s decision to perform in Israel helps whitewash the occupying army’s oppression of Palestinians. It is urging the band to cancel the show and respect the call by Palestinian civil society to boycott Israel until it respects Palestinian rights.

Everyone is being urged to partake in the action to pressure Radiohead to support human rights and send them the message: “Don’t endorse apartheid!”

Suggested tweets include:

  • Don’t play apartheid Israel, @Radiohead. You don’t belong there. #Glastonbury2017 #LoveRadioheadHateApartheid
  • No one regrets boycotting Apartheid South Africa. @Radiohead, cancel Apartheid Israel. #Glastonbury2017 #LoveRadioheadHateApartheid
  • Don’t be a creep, @Radiohead. Respect the Palestinian picket line. Cancel Israel gig. #Glastonbury2017 #LoveRadioheadHateApartheid
  • It’s #NotOK, @Radiohead, to cross the Palestinian picket line. Cancel show in Apartheid Israel #OKNotOK #LoveRadioheadHateApartheid
  • .@Radiohead, if ur support 4 justice isn’t “mere rhetoric”,ull cancel gig in Apartheid Israel #Glastonbury2017 #LoveRadioheadHateApartheid
  • .@Radiohead, during apartheid South Africa, artists stayed away. Do the same with Israel. #Glastonbury2017 #LoveRadioheadHateApartheid

Earlier this month, Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke said boycott campaigns sow divisions that fuel right-wing leaders. “It’s such an extraordinary waste of energy. Energy that could be used in a more positive way.”

In response, award-winning film director Ken Loach said: “Thom’s is a simple choice: will he stand with the oppressor or the oppressed?”


Arabs to undergo ‘thorough searches’ before entering Jerusalem

Palestinians walk outside Damascus Gate leading into the Old City of Jerusalem on 18 November 2011. [Mahfouz Abu Turk/Apaimages]

Palestinians walk outside Damascus Gate leading into the Old City of Jerusalem on 18 November 2011. [Mahfouz Abu Turk/Apaimages]
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Israel is to setup security cordons and “surveillance points” at the Damascus Gate entrance to the Old City of Jerusalem, Israel’s Channel 2 reported yesterday.

According to the Israeli TV channel, top Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, approved the new “security strategy” in a meeting with Israeli Public Security Minister, Gilad Erdan, Chief of Israel Police, Roni Alsheikh, and Chief of Israel Police in Jerusalem, Yoram Halevy, on Wednesday.

Certain routes will be specified for entering the old city at the Damascus Gate, and more technological devices will be installed and used at the area to maintain Israeli police’s control and surveillance over the area

the channel reported.

This will make it “difficult for Palestinians to approach Israeli soldiers” and ensure they undergo “thorough searches” before entering the souq and Old City.

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