White House denies Lauder sent by Trump to meet Abbas

White House denies Israeli TV report that Trump had sent WJC President to convince Abbas to resume peace talks.

Elad Benari ,

Ronald Lauder
Ronald Lauder
Flash 90

The White House on Thursday denied an Israeli TV report which said that President Donald Trump had sent World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder to convince Palestinian Authority (PA) leaders to return to the negotiating table with Israel.

Responding to the report, National Security Council spokesman Garrett Marquis told Arutz Sheva, "The report in Channel 2 is false. Ambassador Lauder is a friend of the President but he was not sent by the White House to meet with the Palestinians on the President’s behalf — secretly or otherwise."

The report claimed that Lauder was sent by Trump to meet PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas. Lauder, said the report, urged Abbas to work with the Trump administration and told him he would be positively surprised by the Trump administration’s yet to be unveiled peace plan.

It was also reported that Lauder met with Abbas “behind Israel’s back” and without the Jared Kushner, Trump’s senior adviser, and Jason Greenblatt, the White House Special Representative for International Negotiations, who are in charge of the peace plan.

Abbas and other senior PA officials have been boycotting the US ever since Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last December. They argue that, due to this move, the US is no longer an honest broker for peace talks.

The PA has already rejected the peace plan before it has even been made public.

While details of the peace plan, which has been dubbed the “Deal of the Century”, have yet to be released, Greenblatt revealed in an interview with the Yediot Aharonot newspaper this week that the plan includes a provision for Palestinian Arab unity.

"Let’s be clear about something: Gaza and the West Bank have been separated for 10 years, not only physically, but politically—between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. It’s absurd to deny that reality," he said.

"In contrast, our peace plan intends to bring them together. Make no mistake; we are in this to help all Palestinians, in both the West Bank and Gaza. The type of disinformation being spread by some parties who have not even seen the plan yet wish to be spoilers does nothing to benefit ordinary Palestinian lives.”

Greenblatt did not reveal further details of the White House peace plan, which has yet to be finalized, but implored all parties involved to withhold judgment until the specifics of the plan are released.