Jared Kushner rips into Palestinian leader Abbas’ ability to make peace

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Mark Wilson/Getty Images

  • Jared Kushner slammed Palestinian leadership for its lack of commitment to peace in a rare interview with an Arabic-language Palestinian newspaper.
  • Kushner’s interview is widely seen as an attempt to reach out directly to the Palestinian people at a time when tensions are high between the Trump administration and the Palestinian Authority.
  • Kushner has been in the Middle East promoting peace plans which the White House said could be released “soon.”

Presidential adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner slammed Palestinian leadership for its lack of commitment to peace in a rare interview with an Arabic-language Palestinian newspaper.

During a tour of the region, Kushner spoke to Al Quds newspaper in what is seen as an attempt to reach out directly to the Palestinian people at a time when tensions are high between the Trump administration and the Palestinian Authority.

“President Abbas says that he is committed to peace and I have no reason not to believe him,” Kushner said in the interview published Sunday.

“However,” he added, “I do question how much President Abbas has the ability to, or is willing to, lean into finishing a deal. He has his talking points which have not changed in the last 25 years. There has been no peace deal achieved in that time. To make a deal both sides will have to take a leap and meet somewhere between their stated positions. I am not sure President Abbas can do that.”

Kushner has been in the Middle East promoting peace plans which the White House said could be released “soon.” Kushner and his White House envoy met with leaders from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Qatar, Jordan, and Israel but did not meet with the Palestinians, who suspended US ties after President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December.

The 37-year-old, who has been tasked with reaching a Middle East peace agreement, said he was willing to resume talks with Abbas, but that a deal “will be up to the leadership and the people of both sides to determine what is an acceptable compromise in exchange for significant gains.”

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (R) met with Jared Kushner last year in the West Bank to broker a peace deal.

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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (R) met with Jared Kushner last year in the West Bank to broker a peace deal.
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Thaer Ghanaim/PPO via Getty Images

While the White House has given little detail about the peace plan, which is said to be nearly complete, it reportedly tries to address the humanitarian situation in Gaza as priority.

In his interview, Kushner tried to appeal directly to the Palestinian people, saying: “You deserve to have a bright future.”

“Now is the time for both Israelis and Palestinians to strengthen and refocus their leadership, to encourage them to be open to a solution and not to fear the attempt. Over the years, you, the Palestinian people, have paid the price. Show your leadership that you support efforts to achieve peace, let them know your priorities and give them the courage to maintain an open mind towards achieving them.”

Palestine’s top peace negotiator Saeb Erekat cast doubt on the peace process on Saturday and claimed that Kushner’s Middle East tour is an attempt to overthrow the Palestinian leadership.