Yesha Council: Kushner shares our vision of peace

Efrat mayor and Yesha envoy praises Kushner's comments on Mideast peace, says Trump's son-in-law understands need for 'ground up' approach.

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Oded Revivi
Oded Revivi
Miriam Tzachi

President Trump’s senior advisor and son-in-law drew praise from the Yesha Council, the umbrella organization which represents Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, following his appearance at the Saban Forum in Washington on Sunday.

The president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, took part in the annual Saban Forum on Sunday, answering questions from the forum’s sponsor, Israeli-American media mogul Haim Saban.

During the roughly 25-minute discussion, Kushner stated that President Trump is “personally” invested in helping Israel and the Arab world achieve a major peace deal, but added that the administration’s approach was to avoid imposing a solution from above, and instead looked to foster talks between the parties towards a final status agreement.

"We've been trying to find a solution that comes from the region, as opposed to imposing one,” said Kushner.

"We've gone out of our way to do a lot of listening with the Israelis, with the Palestinians, to understand what their issues are, what their red lines are, why [those] are red lines. And then to decide how we can find areas of mutual agreement and reasons to do things as opposed to not doing things."

Shortly after the discussion, Yesha Council foreign envoy and Mayor of Efrat Oded Revivi released a video statement expressing his support for the framework laid out by Kushner, saying that under the Trump administration, the US had adopted the same approach long advocated by the council.

“Jared Kushner shares our vision,” said a Yesha spokesperson. “Peace will come from the bottom up.”

In his video statement, Revivi reiterated Kushner’s vision for peace talks, emphasizing the importance of trust between the parties and the dangers of an imposed solution.

The most important thing, said Revivi, “is that in order to build trust between the [two] sides, there are no shortcuts, we need to start bottom-up. We need to let the sides [get] involved and build the trust between them. And the second thing, like any deal you want to do, you can’t what are the timelines until you actually start building the trust between the people.”

Kushner also spoke out on the possibility of President Trump announcing the relocation of the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, saying that despite widespread media reports suggesting the president was preparing for the move, Trump had yet to reach a decision.

"All reporters have called saying they have inside sources and they know what his position is,” joke Kushner.

"The president is going to make his decision. He's still looking at a lot of different facts, and when he makes his decision, he'll be the one to want to tell you."

Observers have noted that the president has until the end of Monday, December 4th, to either renew the security waiver which permits the US embassy in Israel to remain in Tel Aviv, or to being the process of relocating the embassy.

“I understand from officials in the administration that something big is going to happen this week, but we’re going to have to just wait and see,” said journalist Caroline Glick.