US President Donald Trump's "deal of the century" is "very close" to what Israel wants, outgoing French Ambassador to the US Gérard Araud told The Atlantic on Friday.
He also said he believes the plan is "doomed to fail."
"I’m close to Jared Kushner," he told The Atlantic's Yara Bayoumy. "Everywhere in the history of mankind, when there is a negotiation between two sides, the more powerful [party] is imposing terms on the weaker party. That’s the basis of Jared Kushner’s [peace plan] - it will be a proposal very close to what the Israelis want."
"Is it doomed to fail? I should say 99 percent yes, but 1 percent, you never forget the 1 percent. Trump is uniquely able to push the Israelis, because he is so popular in Israel."
Though Trump hasn't pushed Israel yet, Araud emphasized that "if need be, he may do it."
"Once Trump told Macron, “I have given everything to the Israelis; the Israelis will have to give me something."
"He is more popular than [Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu in Israel, so the Israelis trust him," Araud explained. "That’s the first bet, Kushner told me."
"The second is that the Palestinians may consider, it’s their last chance to get limited sovereignty. And the third element is Kushner is going to pour money on the Palestinians. Don’t forget, the Arabs are behind the Americans. The plan is 50 pages, we were told, very precise; we don’t know what is in the plan. But we’ll see."
Araud added that if Israel makes residents of the Palestinian Authority citizens of Israel or stateless, that would be "an apartheid" and "there will be officially an apartheid state. They are in fact already."
According to him, Kushner "is so rational, and he is so pro-Israeli also, that he may neglect the point that if you offer the Palestinians the choice between surrendering and committing suicide, they may decide the latter. Somebody like Kushner doesn’t understand that."