adviser says freedom from i military interference is a high bar


Jared Kushner, Donald Trumps Middle East adviser and son-in-law, has expressed uncertainty over the ability of the Palestinians to govern themselves in a rare television interview broadcast on Sunday night.

Khner who is considering delaying the ation of the political portion of his peace plan becae of the need for new parliamentary elections in Israel said it would be a high bar when asked Palestinians could expect freedom from i military and interference.

Meanwhile, in a leaked off-the-record briefing, the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, doed expectations that the plan would lead to an imte breakthrough, admitting it might be rejected, and adding: I get why people think this is going to be a deal that only the is could love.

Khner, who is due to meet British officials this week as part of Trumps visit to the to discs the plan, is still intending to publish the economic portion of the proposals covering Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt at a two-day workshop in Bah attended by prominent regional binessmen and mainly Arab finance ministers.

Airports, seaports, indtrial zones and power stations are all envisaged in a plan that has an emphasis on , and is in some ways modelled on the Saudi 2030 plan for modernisation, as well as on countries in south-east Asia that have been transformed.

Khner hopes the presence in Bah of finance ministers, as opposed to foreign ministers, will lead to a more pragmatic reception there.

The political section of the plan may have to be delayed until after the fresh i elections in September, but the decision on its timing will be for Trump to make.

Trump, a strong supporter of Benjamin Netanyahu, said he was not happy about the ridiculo fresh elections, saying was all messed up.

Khner clearly hopes that the plan likely to see an injection of as much as $50bn of mainly Gulf state cash into the region will be seen as transformative enough that it will overpower those voices saying the plan does not meet traditional Arab demands for a two-state solution, a capital in East Jeralem, a return to 1967 borders and Palestinian refugees right of return.

Khner has been keeping his cards close to his chest, and speaking to Ax on HBO he avoided explicitly saying whether the plan would include a two-state solution with a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with its capital in East Jeralem.

Ax (@ax)

Jared Khner on why the Palestinians would accept his Middle East peace plan:

“I’m not here to be trted…They’re gonna judge it based on the facts and then make a determination. Do they think this will allow them to have a pathway to a better le or not?” @DCTVny @HBODocs

June 3, 2019

He said of the Palestinians: I do think they should have self-determination. Im going to leave the details until we come out with the actual plan.

Asked whether he believed the Palestinians were capable of governing themselves without i interference, Khner said: Thats a very good question. Thats one that well have to see. The hope is that they, over time, will become capable of governing.

The Palestinians, he said, need to have a fair judicial sy freedom of press, freedom of expression, tolerance for all religions before the Palestinian areas can become investable.

Asked whether he understood why the Palestinians might not trt him, Khner said: Im not here to be trted, adding that he believed the Palestinian people would judge the plan on whether it improved their daily lives.

Palestinian leaders both in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip have said they will boycott the Bah event since they were not consulted.

China and Rsia have also turned down invites. They see the whole initiative as a bribe to persuade the Palestinians to abandon their decades-old quest for political rights in return for an uncertain promise of a new economic future that has been made by before.

Khner is clearly working hard to prepare the political ground for his plan, stressing his flexibility and willingness to listen to constructive criticism, but at the same time emphasising a fresh approach is required his plan is to avoid the fate of innumerable previo failed plans.

Khners critics claim he is misjudging the degree of popular Arab solidarity on the Palestinian issue by listening excessively to the Gulf monarchies in Saudi Arabia, Bah and the United Arab Emirates that combine opposition to the Mlim Brotherhood with an antipathy to Iran, and internal democracy.

Jordan, already suffering an economic crisis, will be critical to the plans reception, and seems increasingly alarmed at what it regards as Khners imbalance.

Khner is convinced that popular is more flexible than that of some Palestinian leaders. He said: Theres a dference between the nocrats and the people. While the nocrats are foced on very nocratic things, a reference to traditional demands for political rights, when I speak to Palestinian people, what they want is they want the opportunity to live a better le. They want the opportunity to pay their mortgage.

With Saudi Arabian cash a linchpinof his plan, Khner is sidestepping questions about the policy towards the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, the Washington Post columnist murdered by a Saudi government hit squad in Turkey. Asked he joined Khashoggis fiancee in calling on the Saudi to release his body (or identy where they put the body parts) so that his family might bury him, Khner said: Look, its a horric thing that happened Once we have all the facts, then well make a policy determination, but that would be up to the secretary of state to ph on our policy.

Khner is a close ally of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and sees him as a genuine reformer phing through s rights at a pace that a society can tolerate.

The Axios interview also touched on Khners views on whether Trump is racist.

Khner denied the president was racist but would not be drawn on his views on Trumps birtherism campaign against , in which Trump and others claimed Obama was born outside the .

I wasnt involved in that, he said several times, when asked it was racist. He was similarly reticent when asked about Trumps campaign pledge to stop Mlims entering the .

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