Kushner to Discuss Mideast Plan at UN as Annexation Pressure Mounts in Israel

Trump adviser to hold closed-doors meeting in N.Y. with envoys of Security Council's member states as protests planned in Israel to push Netanyahu over annexation vow

Jared Kushner speaks during a television interview at the White House, January 29, 2020.
AFP

WASHINGTON – Jared Kushner is scheduled to brief members of the UN Security Council on Thursday regarding Washington's Middle East peace plan, which was published last week. 

Kushner, U.S. President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, is expected to hold a closed-door briefing with ambassadors of the countries who are members of the Security Council (the five permanent member states are China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States). 

Netanyahu's 'annexation nation' is ready to strike again. ListenHaaretz Weekly Ep. 60

A draft UN Security Council resolution on Tuesday condemned an Israeli plan to annex settlements in the West Bank. The draft text, circulated to council members by Tunisia and Indonesia, is expected to face a U.S. veto.

On Thursday, the pro-Netanyahu newspaper Israel Hayom, which is owned by one of Trump's most important campaign donors, Sheldon Adelson, reported in a front-page headline that Netanyahu was still in deliberations with the Americans about immediate annexation of West Bank settlements.

Last week, Netanyahu promised to carry out complete annexation before the March 2 Israeli election, but then backtracked due to reservations from the White House about the timing.

While Kushner will hold his closed-door meeting in New York, right-wing groups in Israel are planning demonstrations calling on Netanyahu to immediately begin annexation of all settlements in the West Bank, regardless of the U.S. position on the subject.

Kushner said in interviews last week that he "hopes" Israel won't immediately annex all the settlements, and that it will "take time" for Israeli and American teams to agree on the exact scale of annexation. Kushner also said the Palestinian Authority should enter direct negotiations with Israel, using his plan as a potential basis for talks – although it is not clear what would be left to negotiate if Israel annexed all the settlements within weeks. 

Trump mentioned the Middle East plan during his State of the Union address on Tuesday. He said the plan could improve "the lives of millions" in the Middle East. While several important Arab states, including Saudi Arabia and Egypt, welcomed the blueprint's release and called on Israel and the Palestinians to enter negotiations, the plan was rejected by the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.