Report: Mueller Investigating Kushner's Efforts to Combat UN Resolution Condemning Israeli Settlements

In the lead-up to the vote on the resolution, there were speculations that Russia could veto it, thus protecting Israel after the Obama administration decided to abstain

Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump attend a ceremony in the Rose Garden of the White House to pardon the National Thanksgiving Turkey, Washington, D.C., U.S., November 21, 2017.
Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump attend a ceremony in the Rose Garden of the White House to pardon the National Thanksgiving Turkey, Washington, D.C., U.S., November 21, 2017. Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

WASHINGTON – Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating Russia's interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections, is reportedly examining actions taken by Jared Kushner against a UN Security Council Resolution condemning Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. 

To really understand the Middle East - subscribe to Haaretz

The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday that Mueller is looking into efforts made by Kushner, U.S. President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law, against the resolution, which passed in December 2016, during the transition period between the Obama and Trump administrations.

The UN resolution against Israeli settlements in the West Bank was proposed by Egypt, and the Obama administration controversially decided not to veto it. Israeli officials reached out at the time to the Trump transition team, asking the president-elect to try and exert influence over different countries to block the resolution.

>> Britain pulled the strings and Netanyahu warned New Zealand it was declaring war: Israel's battle against the UN vote

Trump, in turn, attacked the resolution on his social media accounts and called Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi, requesting he reverse his country's support of the resolution.

In the lead-up to the vote on the resolution, there were speculations in the Israeli media that perhaps Russia could veto it, thus protecting Israel from the lack of a veto by the Obama administration. Eventually, however, Russia voted in favor of the resolution, as did all the 14 other members of the UN Security Council, except the U.S., which chose to abstain.

>> Understanding the UN resolution on Israeli settlements: What are the ramifications?

Trump took to Twitter following the vote, writing, in reference to his slated inauguration date: "As to the UN, things will be different after Jan. 20th."

The White House, in turn, blamed the passage of the resolution on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's settlement policies. "If we didn’t see acceleration in settlement activity and wouldn’t hear that kind of rhetoric from the Israeli government then maybe the U.S. would have taken take a different view," then-Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said.

Netanyahu, for his part, called the resolution "crazy," accused the Obama administration of carrying out an underhanded, anti-Israel maneuver and assured the Israeli public that the resolution would be overcome.