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Kushner Opens Up About Mideast Peace Process

US President Donald Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner on Monday expounded on the White House’s Middle East peace plan, which was revealed in January to much fanfare in Israel and Washington following more than three years of planning but has since, for all intents and purposes, been shelved. In a wide-ranging interview with Newsweek magazine spanning several high-profile issues, Kushner detailed his thinking while devising the plan, which proposes to award Israel 30% of the territories it conquered in the 1967 war while also establishing a Palestinian state. According to Kushner, focusing on “the history of the conflict, and the history of the peace process – those are traps.” Instead, he preferred to come up with new proposals and novel suggestions, such as an Israeli presence in an unprecedented amount of the territories or land swaps deep in Israeli land. “A lot of the former peace negotiators told me the goal is to give hope, it’s not to actually make a deal,” said Kushner. “I said the goal is to make a deal and finish this thing.” In recent months, after initially promising to unilaterally annex the territories promised to Israel in the plan, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was forced to walk back his statements and practically abandon his plans, as more pressing matters – mainly coronavirus – came into play. In his interview, Kushner places the blame for the plan’s failure to take off squarely on the Palestinians. “They say they want to compromise but they are never willing to get into the technical discussions that are going to lead somewhere.”