Monday, November 23, 2020

Kushner: ‘We’ll have to see’ about Palestinian self-governance

By J.J. Rhies - June 04, 2019
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [Trump]

In a 2 June television interview, Jared Kushner, an adviser to United States President Donald Trump, expressed misgivings about Palestinians’ ability to govern themselves.

The Palestinians “need to have a fair judicial system … freedom of press, freedom of expression, tolerance for all religions,” Kushner, who is Trump’s son-in-law and centrally involved in the forthcoming U.S. peace plan, said in an interview with Axios on HBO.

When asked if he thought Palestinians could govern themselves, he said: “That’s a very good question. That’s one that we’ll have to see. The hope is that they, over time, will become capable of governing.”

He added that “I do think they [Palestinians] should have self-determination. I’m going to leave the details until we come out with the actual plan.”

While Kushner expressed doubts about Palestinian self-autonomy, other U.S. officials are sceptical of the upcoming peace deal, which President Trump and others call the “deal of the century.”

The Washington Post obtained a leaked audio recording of a closed meeting between U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Jewish leaders last week. The tape revealed that Pompeo is not confident about the deal; he described it as possibly “unexecutable.”

Pompeo also said he understands “why people think this will be a deal that only the Israelis could love, I understand the perception of that. I just hope everyone will just give us the space and see if in fact we have struck the right place.”

He added: “We hope there’s enough vision here, that lots of countries will see this as an opportunity. I hope everyone will look at it and say — I think there’s at least a nugget of hope in there.”

On the evening of 2 June, President Trump said Pompeo’s negative assessment of the deal “may be right.”

“Look, we’re doing our best to help the Middle East to get a peace plan, and he may be right. I mean, most people would say that,” Trump said.

“If we can get a Mid-East peace plan that would be good. And when Mike says that, I understand when he says that, because most people think it can’t be done. I think it probably can. But as I say often, we’ll see what happens,” he added.

The “deal of the century” has consistently drawn Palestinian ire and criticism, and the Palestinians have adamantly resisted cooperation with the U.S. since Trump’s unilateral decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in late 2017.  

Last month, Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said: “The Palestinians are not ready to discuss any plan which does not include the Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders and East Jerusalem as its capital.”

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