person:jared kushner

  • Are Jared and Ivanka Good for the Jews? - The New York Times

    Jewish communities stand more divided than ever on whether to embrace or denounce Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump.

    By Amy Chozick and Hannah Seligson
    Nov. 17, 2018

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/17/style/ivanka-trump-jared-kushner.html

    On election night in Beverly Hills, Jason Blum, the hot shot horror-movie producer, was accepting an award at the Israel Film Festival. The polls in a string of midterm contests were closing, and Mr. Blum, a vocal critic of President Trump, was talking about how much was at stake.

    “The past two years have been hard for all of us who cherish the freedoms we enjoy as citizens of this country,” Mr. Blum said.

    That’s when the crowd of mostly Jewish producers and power brokers started to chant, “We like Trump!” An Israeli man stepped onto the stage to try to pull Mr. Blum away from the microphone as the crowd at the Saban Theater Steve Tisch Cinema Center cheered.

    “As you can see from this auditorium, it’s the end of civil discourse,” Mr. Blum said, as security rushed the stage to help him. “Thanks to our president, anti-Semitism is on the rise.”
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    In the weeks after a gunman killed 11 people at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, in one of the most horrific acts of anti-Semitism in years, debates about the president’s role in stoking extremism have roiled American Jews — and forced an uncomfortable reckoning between Mr. Trump’s rhetoric and his daughter and son-in-law’s Jewish faith.
    Rabbi Jeffrey Myers greets Mr. Kushner and Ms. Trump near the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.
    Credit
    Doug Mills/The New York Times

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    Rabbi Jeffrey Myers greets Mr. Kushner and Ms. Trump near the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times
    Rabbis and Jewish leaders have raged on Twitter and in op-eds, in sermons and over shabbat dinners, over how to reconcile the paradox of Jared Kushner, the descendant of Holocaust survivors, and Ivanka Trump, who converted to Judaism to marry Mr. Kushner.

    To some Jews, the couple serves as a bulwark pushing the Trump administration toward pro-Israel policies, most notably the decision to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. To many others, they are the wolves in sheep’s clothing, allowing Mr. Trump to brush aside criticism that his words have fueled the uptick in violent attacks against Jews.

    “For Jews who are deeply opposed to Donald Trump and truly believe he is an anti-Semite, it’s deeply problematic that he’s got a Jewish son-in-law and daughter. How can that be?” said Dr. Jonathan D. Sarna, a professor of American Jewish history at Brandeis University.
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    Mr. Kushner and Ms. Trump serve as senior advisers in the White House. At a time when Judaism is under assault — the F.B.I. said this week that anti-Semitic attacks have increased in each of the last three years — they are unabashedly Orthodox, observing shabbat each week, walking to an Orthodox Chabad shul near their Kalorama home in Washington, D.C., dropping their children off at Jewish day school and hanging mezuzas on the doors of their West Wing offices.

    After the Pittsburgh attack, Mr. Kushner played a key role in Mr. Trump (eventually) decrying “the scourge of anti-Semitism.” And Mr. Kushner helped arrange the president’s visit to the Squirrel Hill synagogue, including inviting Ron Dermer, the Israeli ambassador to the United States to accompany them. There, in Pittsburgh, thousands marched to protest what one organizer described as the insult of the Mr. Trump’s visit.
    Arabella Kushner lights the menorah as her parents look on during a Hanukkah reception in the East Room of the White House in 2017.
    Credit
    Olivier Douliery/Getty Images

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    Arabella Kushner lights the menorah as her parents look on during a Hanukkah reception in the East Room of the White House in 2017.CreditOlivier Douliery/Getty Images
    The White House has referenced Mr. Kushner and Ms. Trump’s religion to dismiss accusations that Mr. Trump’s rhetoric has emboldened anti-Semites. “The president is the grandfather of several Jewish grandchildren,” the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, told reporters.

    Using the couple in this way has unnerved many Jews who oppose the president and say Mr. Kushner and Ms. Trump violated the sacred, if sometimes unspoken, communal code that mandates Jews take care of each other during times of struggle. “I’m more offended by Jared than I am by President Trump,” said Eric Reimer, a lawyer in New York who was on Mr. Kushner’s trivia team at The Frisch School, a modern Orthodox yeshiva in New Jersey that they both attended.

    “We, as Jews, are forced to grapple with the fact that Jared and his wife are Jewish, but Jared is participating in acts of Chillul Hashem,” said Mr. Reimer, using the Hebrew term for when a Jew behaves immorally while in the presence of others.
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    For Mr. Reimer, who hasn’t spoken to Mr. Kushner since high school, one of those incidents was the administration’s Muslim ban, which prompted members of the Frisch community to sign an open letter to Mr. Kushner imploring him “to exercise the influence and access you have to annals of power to ensure others don’t suffer the same fate as millions of our co-religionists.”

    Leah Pisar, president of the Aladdin Project, a Paris-based group that works to counter Holocaust denial, and whose late father, Samuel Pisar, escaped Auschwitz and advised John F. Kennedy, said she found it “inconceivable that Jared could stay affiliated with the administration after Pittsburgh” and called Mr. Kushner the president’s “fig leaf.”

    Those kinds of accusations are anathema to other Jews, particularly a subset of Orthodox Jews who accused liberal Jews of politicizing the Pittsburgh attack and who say that any policies that would weaken Israel are the ultimate act of anti-Semitism.
    Ms. Trump and Mr. Kushner at the opening ceremony of the new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem in May.
    Credit
    Sebastian Scheiner/Associated Press

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    Ms. Trump and Mr. Kushner at the opening ceremony of the new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem in May.CreditSebastian Scheiner/Associated Press
    “Jared and Ivanka are one of us as traditional Jews who care deeply about Israel,” said Ronn Torossian, a New York publicist whose children attend the Ramaz School, the same Upper East Side yeshiva where Mr. Kushner’s eldest daughter Arabella was once enrolled. “I look at them as part of our extended family.”

    Even some Jews who dislike Mr. Trump’s policies and recoil at his political style may feel a reluctance to criticize the country’s most prominent Orthodox Jewish couple, grappling with the age-old question that has haunted the Jewish psyche for generations: Yes, but is it good for the Jews?
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    To that end, even as liberal New York Jews suggest the couple would be snubbed when they eventually return to the city, many in the Orthodox community would likely embrace them. “They certainly won’t be banned, but I don’t think most synagogues would give them an aliyah,” said Ethan Tucker, a rabbi and president of the Hadar yeshiva in New York, referring to the relatively limited honor of being called to make a blessing before and after the reading of the Torah. (Mr. Tucker is also the stepson of Joe Lieberman, the first Jewish candidate to run on a major party ticket in the U.S.) “I don’t think people generally honor people they feel were accomplices to politics and policies they abhor,” Mr. Tucker said.

    Haskel Lookstein, who serves as rabbi emeritus of the Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun, the modern Orthodox synagogue on the Upper East Side that Mr. Kushner and Ms. Trump attended, wrote in an open letter to Mr. Trump that he was “deeply troubled” by the president saying “You also had people that were very fine people, on both sides,” in response to the white nationalist riots in Charlottesville, Va.

    When reached last week to comment about the president’s daughter and son-in-law days after the Pittsburgh attack, Mr. Lookstein said simply, “I love them and that’s one of the reasons I don’t talk about them.”

    Talk to enough Jews about Mr. Kushner and Ms. Trump, and you begin to realize that the couple has become a sort of Rorschach test, with defenders and detractors seeing what they want to see as it relates to larger rifts about Jewish identity.

    “It’s not about Jared and Ivanka,” said Matthew Brooks, the executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition. “People look at them through the prism of their own worldviews.”
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    From left to right on front row, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his wife Sara Netanyahu, Mr. Kushner, Ms. Trump, and the U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin at the opening ceremony of the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem.
    Credit
    Sebastian Scheiner/Associated Press

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    From left to right on front row, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his wife Sara Netanyahu, Mr. Kushner, Ms. Trump, and the U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin at the opening ceremony of the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem.CreditSebastian Scheiner/Associated Press
    Those worldviews are rapidly changing. One in five American Jews now describes themselves as having no religion and identifying as Jews based only on ancestry, ethnicity or culture, according to Pew. By contrast, in the 1950s, 93 percent of American Jews identified as Jews based on religion.
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    As Jews retreat from membership to reform synagogues, historically made up of political liberals who were at the forefront of the fight for Civil Rights and other progressive issues, Chabad-Lubavitch, the Orthodox Hasidic group with which Mr. Kushner is affiliated, has become a rapidly-growing Jewish movement. The growth of Chabad correlates with fierce divisions about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and a small but growing contingent of American Jews who prioritize Israel above any other political or social issue.

    Mr. Kushner, in particular, has become a sort of proxy for these larger schisms about faith and Israel, according to Jewish experts. “There is a great deal of anxiety around the coming of the Orthodox,” said Dr. Sarna, the Brandeis professor. “Jared in every way — his Orthodoxy, his Chabad ties, his views on Israel — symbolizes those changes.”

    Mr. Kushner is the scion of wealthy real-estate developers and his family has donated millions of dollars to the Jewish community, including through a foundation that gives to settlements in the West Bank. Mr. Kushner influenced the Trump administration’s decision to move the U.S. Embassy, to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, and to shutter a Palestine Liberation Organization office in Washington.

    “You’d be hard pressed to find a better supporter of Israel than Donald Trump and Jared plays a role in that,” said Ari Fleischer, a former White House press secretary under President George W. Bush. Mr. Kushner is currently working on a Middle East peace plan expected to be rolled out in the coming months.

    Haim Saban, an entertainment magnate and pro-Israel Democrat, is optimistic about Mr. Kushner’s efforts. He said in an interview from his hotel in Israel that although he disagrees with some of Mr. Trump’s policies, “Jared and by extension the president understand the importance of the relationship between the U.S. and Israel on multiple levels — security, intelligence, but most of all, shared values.”
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    That embrace has only exacerbated tensions with secular Jews who overwhelmingly vote Democratic and oppose Mr. Trump. According to a 2018 survey by the American Jewish Committee, 41 percent of Jews said they strongly disagree with Mr. Trump’s handling of U.S.-Israeli relations and 71 percent had an overall unfavorable opinion of Mr. Trump. (In response to questions for this story, a White House press aide referred reporters to an Ami magazine poll of 263 Orthodox Jews in the tristate area published in August. Eighty-two percent said they would vote for President Trump in 2020.)

    “To wave a flag and say ‘Oh, he’s obviously pro-Jewish because he moved the embassy’ just absolutely ignores what we know to be a deeply alarming rise of anti-Semitism and all sorts of dog-whistling and enabling of the alt-right,” said Andy Bachman, a prominent progressive rabbi in New York.
    President Trump praying at the Western Wall.
    Credit
    Stephen Crowley/The New York Times

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    President Trump praying at the Western Wall.CreditStephen Crowley/The New York Times
    In September, Mr. Kushner and his top advisers, Jason D. Greenblatt and Avi Berkowitz, hosted a private dinner at the Pierre Hotel on the Upper East Side. Over a kosher meal, Mr. Kushner, aware of concerns within the Jewish community that Israel policy had become an overly partisan issue, fielded the advice of a range of Jewish leaders, including hedge-fund billionaire and Republican donor Paul Singer and Mr. Saban, to craft his Middle East peace plan. “He called and said ’I’ll bring 10 Republicans and you bring 10 Democrats,’” Mr. Saban said.

    The undertaking will only bring more kvetching about Mr. Kushner. Indeed, some of Mr. Trump’s most ardent Jewish supporters have already expressed their displeasure at any deal that would require Israel to give up land.

    “I’m not happy with Jared promoting a peace deal that’s sending a message that we’re ready to ignore the horrors of the Palestinian regime,” said Morton A. Klein, the president of the Zionist Organization of America and a friend of Republican megadonor Sheldon G. Adelson.

    “But …” Mr. Klein added, as if self-aware of how other Jews will view his position, “I am a fanatical, pro-Israel Zionist.”
    Amy Chozick is a New York-based writer-at-large and a frequent contributor to The New York Times Magazine, writing about the personalities and power struggles in business, politics and media.


  • 11 novembre : l’histoire se répète dans le monde arabe ?
    Par Abdelbari Atwan - Rai Al-Youm – Actuarabe - Lundi 12 novembre
    http://actuarabe.com/11-novembre-lhistoire-se-repete-dans-le-monde-arabe

    (...) Les Etats-Unis jouent le rôle que jouaient la Grande-Bretagne et la France

    Cent ans après, l’histoire se répète. Les Etats-Unis jouent le rôle que jouaient la Grande-Bretagne et la France. Ils préparent le terrain à une deuxième grande révolution arabe sous le nom d’OTAN arabe sunnite, afin de faire la guerre à l’Iran cette fois-ci, avec la participation d’Israël.

    Le Chérif Hussein Ben Ali a lancé sa grande révolution arabe depuis La Mecque et son successeur, ou plutôt son rival saoudien, le Roi Salman Ben Abdulaziz et peut-être son fils Mohammed Ben Salman, seront les chefs de ce mouvement « arabe sunnite » parrainé par les Etats-Unis et Israël, sous prétexte de lutte contre l’expansion iranienne menaçant la région. Il est paradoxal que la Jordanie fasse partie de ce nouvel OTAN arabe, qui sera peut-être annoncé en janvier au sommet des huit (six Etats du Golfe avec l’Egypte et la Jordanie) à Washington, si tout se passe comme l’ont prévu Benyamin Netanyahou et Jared Kushner, gendre du Président américain. En ce qui concerne la nouvelle déclaration Balfour, elle est incarnée par la « transaction du siècle », qui est un des piliers du plan américano-israélien que nous venons de mentionner.

    Nous sommes devant un leurre qui sera peut-être plus dangereux que le premier et nous impliquera dans une guerre dont nous, les Arabes, seront les premières victimes. Elle épuisera nos richesses, ou ce qu’il en reste, et se terminera par la destruction de nos villes et villages, sans oublier nos puits de pétrole. Il y a tout de même une différence de taille : Israël, qui appelle à la guerre, n’en sortira pas indemne et sera d’une manière ou d’une autre victime des destructions comme les pays de « l’OTAN arabe ». (...)


    • Exclusive: Khashoggi sons issue emotional appeal for the return of their father’s body
      By Nic Robertson, CNN
      https://edition.cnn.com/2018/11/04/middleeast/salah-khashoggi-abdullah-khashoggi-intl/index.html

      Updated 0004 GMT (0804 HKT) November 5, 2018

      (...) Khashoggi was labeled as a Muslim Brotherhood sympathizer and a dangerous Islamist in phone calls the Saudi crown prince had with Jared Kushner, US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and Middle East adviser, and John Bolton, national security adviser, according to reports in both the Washington Post and New York Times. The Muslim Brotherhood, considered a terror group in many Arab nations, but not the US or Europe, has long been seen as an existential threat by the desert kingdom’s leaders.
      ‘It’s just labels and people not doing their homework properly, and reading his article and going in depth. It’s easier to stick a label on him,’ Abdullah said, when asked about the Muslim Brotherhood claim.
      Asked how Khashoggi should be remembered, Salah replied, ‘as a moderate man who has common values with everyone... a man who loved his country, who believed so much in it and its potential.’
      “Jamal was never a dissident. He believed in the monarchy that it is the thing that is keeping the country together. And he believed in the transformation that it is going through.”
      Reflecting on their father’s career as a journalist, they say Khashoggi was ‘like a rock and roll star’ when they were out with him in Saudi Arabia.
      ‘He was a public figure that was liked by everyone else,’ Salah said. ‘You don’t see that much in media, in print media.’ (...)

      #Jamal_Khashoggi


  • Khashoggi and the Jewish question - Middle East - Jerusalem Post
    https://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Khashoggi-and-the-Jewish-question-569256

    Khashoggi and the Jewish question
    “It is certainly not in our interests to see the status of the Saudi government diminished in Washington.”
    By Herb Keinon
    October 12, 2018 04:24

    The disappearance of Saudi government critic and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey – and the very real possibility that the Saudis either kidnapped him, killed him, or both – is no exception.

    On the surface, this story seems distant from Jerusalem. Israel was not involved in any way, and even Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who never misses an opportunity to blast Israel, is not saying that Jerusalem had anything to do with it.

    (...)
    As a New York Times headline read on Thursday, “Khashoggi’s disappearance puts Kushner’s bet on Saudi crown prince at risk.”

    US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner has invested much in building a relationship with MBS, and Jerusalem – for its own interests – hopes that this particular bet does not turn sour.

    (...) As Dore Gold, the head of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and former Foreign Ministry director-general, said: “This problem could be used by the Iranians to drive a wedge between the West and Saudi Arabia.”

    That is bad for Israel, he added, because “anything that strengthens Iran’s posturing in the Middle East is bad for Israel,” and in the Mideast balance of power, a weakened Saudi Arabia means a strengthened Iran.

    It also means a strengthened Turkey, which could explain why Ankara is going the full monty on this issue, releasing surveillance tape and leaking information about the investigation.

    “Turkey is part of an axis with Qatar,” Gold said, “and that puts Saudi Arabia at odds with the Turkish government.


  • Trump et l’affaire Khashoggi, par Abdelbari Atwan - Actuarabe
    http://actuarabe.com/trump-khashoggi

    Revenons au point le plus important de notre article : l’administration Trump est embarrassée et ne veut prendre aucune mesure contre le Royaume d’Arabie saoudite, même si sa culpabilité est prouvée. Le Président américain a déclaré mot pour mot dans cet entretien : « Arrêter les ventes d’armes nous ferait du mal. Il y a les emplois et beaucoup d’autres choses. L’économie de notre pays n’a jamais aussi bien tourné et cela est en partie dû à nos systèmes de défense…Franchement, je pense que la pilule serait difficile à avaler ». Il a fermement critiqué les 22 membres du congrès américain qui lui ont adressé une lettre pour lui demander d’imposer des sanctions contre l’Arabie saoudite en application de la loi Magnitsky. Il a répondu qu’ils étaient allé bien vite en besogne et que cela nuirait aux Etats-Unis.

    Ces paroles révèlent que la priorité est actuellement donnée à la conclusion d’un marché secret sur le « dos » de la victime et non à la recherche de la vérité. Il y a des discussions à ce sujet entre trois responsables américains, John Bolton (conseiller à la sécurité nationale), Jared Kushner (gendre et conseiller du Président Trump) et Mike Pompeo (Ministre des Affaires étrangères), et le Prince héritier Mohammed Ben Salman. Dans le même temps, il y a des discussions secrètes entre la Turquie et l’Arabie saoudite alors que l’on dit que le gouvernement turc ne veut pas de confrontation avec l’Arabie saoudite, « puissance régionale », et cherche une « issue négociée » à cette crise.


  • Donald Trump admet que son fils a rencontré une Russe pour obtenir des informations sur Hillary Clinton
    https://www.lemonde.fr/donald-trump/article/2018/08/06/donald-trump-admet-que-son-fils-a-rencontre-une-russe-pour-obtenir-des-infor

    S’il évoque clairement, pour la première fois, le motif de cette réunion, le président américain affirme que celui-ci était « totalement légal ».

    Lorsqu’un intermédiaire lui avait promis des informations compromettantes supposées émaner du gouvernement russe sur la candidate démocrate à la présidentielle de 2016, Hillary Clinton, son fils Donald Trump Junior avait accepté avec enthousiasme de rencontrer l’avocate russe Natalia Veselnitskaya, qui a nié par la suite avoir des liens avec le Kremlin.

    Le gendre de Donald Trump, Jared Kushner, et son directeur de campagne de l’époque, Paul Manafort, actuellement poursuivi pour fraude fiscale et blanchiment d’argent, étaient également présents lors cette rencontre.

    le tweet,… (le croisillon est de moi)

    @realDonaldTrump
    #Fake_News reporting, a complete fabrication, that I am concerned about the meeting my wonderful son, Donald, had in Trump Tower. This was a meeting to get information on an opponent, totally legal and done all the time in politics - and it went nowhere. I did not know about it!

    #encore_un_coup_des_Russes :-D

    De fait, on ne voit pas en quoi une telle rencontre trois mois avant l’élection, à laquelle participe son fils et son directeur de campagne, pourrait concerner le candidat en quoi que ce soit…


  • Trump and Allies Seek End to Refugee Status for Millions of Palestinians
    Foreign Policy - By Colum Lynch, Robbie Gramer | August 3, 2018, 2:12 PM
    https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/08/03/trump-palestinians-israel-refugees-unrwaand-allies-seek-end-to-refuge

    Jared Kushner, U.S. President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor, has quietly been trying to do away with the U.N. relief agency that has provided food and essential services to millions of Palestinian refugees for decades, according to internal emails obtained by Foreign Policy.

    His initiative is part of a broader push by the Trump administration and its allies in Congress to strip these Palestinians of their refugee status in the region and take their issue off the table in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, according to both American and Palestinian officials. At least two bills now making their way through Congress address the issue.

    Kushner, whom Trump has charged with solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, has been reluctant to speak publicly about any aspect of his Middle East diplomacy. A peace plan he’s been working on with other U.S. officials for some 18 months has been one of Washington’s most closely held documents.

    But his position on the refugee issue and his animus toward the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) is evident in internal emails written by Kushner and others earlier this year.

    “It is important to have an honest and sincere effort to disrupt UNRWA,” Kushner wrote about the agency in one of those emails, dated Jan. 11 and addressed to several other senior officials, including Trump’s Middle East peace envoy, Jason Greenblatt.

    “This [agency] perpetuates a status quo, is corrupt, inefficient and doesn’t help peace,” he wrote.

    The United States has helped fund UNRWA since it was formed in 1949 to provide relief for Palestinians displaced from their homes following the establishment of the State of Israel and ensuing international war. Previous administrations have viewed the agency as a critical contributor to stability in the region.

    But many Israel supporters in the United States today see UNRWA as part of an international infrastructure that has artificially kept the refugee issue alive and kindled hopes among the exiled Palestinians that they might someday return home—a possibility Israel flatly rules out.

    Critics of the agency point in particular to its policy of granting refugee status not just to those who fled Mandatory Palestine 70 years ago but to their descendants as well—accounting that puts the refugee population at around 5 million, nearly one-third of whom live in camps across Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank, and Gaza.

    By trying to unwind UNRWA, the Trump administration appears ready to reset the terms of the Palestinian refugee issue in Israel’s favor—as it did on another key issue in December, when Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

    In the same January email, Kushner wrote: “Our goal can’t be to keep things stable and as they are. … Sometimes you have to strategically risk breaking things in order to get there.”

    #UNRWA


  • As U.S. pushes for Mideast peace, Saudi king reassures allies |
    Reuters

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-israel-paelestinians-usa-saudi/as-u-s-pushes-for-mideast-peace-saudi-king-reassures-allies-idUSKBN1KJ0F9

    RIYADH (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia has reassured Arab allies it will not endorse any Middle East peace plan that fails to address Jerusalem’s status or refugees’ right of return, easing their concerns that the kingdom might back a nascent U.S. deal which aligns with Israel on key issues.

    King Salman’s private guarantees to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his public defense of long-standing Arab positions in recent months have helped reverse perceptions that Saudi Arabia’s stance was changing under his powerful young son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, diplomats and analysts said.

    This in turn has called into question whether Saudi Arabia, birthplace of Islam and site of its holiest shrines, can rally Arab support for a new push to end the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, with an eye to closing ranks against mutual enemy Iran.

    “In Saudi Arabia, the king is the one who decides on this issue now, not the crown prince,” said a senior Arab diplomat in Riyadh. “The U.S. mistake was they thought one country could pressure the rest to give in, but it’s not about pressure. No Arab leader can concede on Jerusalem or Palestine.”

    SPONSORED

    Palestinian officials told Reuters in December that Prince Mohammed, known as MbS, had pressed Abbas to support the U.S. plan despite concerns it offered the Palestinians limited self-government inside disconnected patches of the occupied West Bank, with no right of return for refugees displaced by the Arab-Israeli wars of 1948 and 1967.

    Such a plan would diverge from the Arab Peace Initiative drawn up by Saudi Arabia in 2002 in which Arab nations offered Israel normal ties in return for a statehood deal with the Palestinians and full Israeli withdrawal from territory captured in 1967.

    Saudi officials have denied any difference between King Salman, who has vocally supported that initiative, and MbS, who has shaken up long-held policies on many issues and told a U.S. magazine in April that Israelis are entitled to live peacefully on their own land - a rare statement for an Arab leader.

    The Palestinian ambassador to Riyadh, Basem Al-Agha, told Reuters that King Salman had expressed support for Palestinians in a recent meeting with Abbas, saying: “We will not abandon you ... We accept what you accept and we reject what you reject.”

    He said that King Salman naming the 2018 Arab League conference “The Jerusalem Summit” and announcing $200 million in aid for Palestinians were messages that Jerusalem and refugees were back on the table.

    FILE PHOTO: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud attends Riyadh International Humanitarian Forum in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia February 26, 2018. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser
    The Saudi authorities did not respond to a request for comment on the current status of diplomatic efforts.

    RED LINES

    Diplomats in the region say Washington’s current thinking, conveyed during a tour last month by top White House officials, does not include Arab East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state, a right of return for refugees or a freeze of Israeli settlements in lands claimed by the Palestinians.

    Senior adviser Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, has not provided concrete details of the U.S. strategy more than 18 months after he was tasked with forging peace.

    A diplomat in Riyadh briefed on Kushner’s latest visit to the kingdom said King Salman and MbS had seen him together: “MbS did the talking while the king was in the background.”

    Independent analyst Neil Partrick said King Salman appears to have reined in MbS’ “politically reckless approach” because of Jerusalem’s importance to Muslims.

    “So MbS won’t oppose Kushner’s ‘deal’, but neither will he, any longer, do much to encourage its one-sided political simplicities,” said Partrick, lead contributor and editor of “Saudi Arabian Foreign Policy: Conflict and Cooperation”.

        Kushner and fellow negotiator Jason Greenblatt have not presented a comprehensive proposal but rather disjointed elements, which one diplomat said “crossed too many red lines”.

    Instead, they heavily focused on the idea of setting up an economic zone in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula with the adjacent Gaza Strip possibly coming under the control of Cairo, which Arab diplomats described as unacceptable.

    In Qatar, Kushner asked Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani to pressure the Islamist group Hamas to cede control of Gaza in return for development aid, the diplomats said.

    One diplomat briefed on the meeting said Sheikh Tamim just nodded silently. It was unclear if that signaled an agreement or whether Qatar was offered anything in return.

    “The problem is there is no cohesive plan presented to all countries,” said the senior Arab diplomat in Riyadh. “Nobody sees what everyone else is being offered.”

    Kushner, a 37-year-old real estate developer with little experience of international diplomacy or political negotiation, visited Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Egypt and Israel in June. He did not meet Abbas, who has refused to see Trump’s team after the U.S. embassy was moved to Jerusalem.

    In an interview at the end of his trip, Kushner said Washington would announce its Middle East peace plan soon, and press on with or without Abbas. Yet there has been little to suggest any significant progress towards ending the decades-old conflict, which Trump has said would be “the ultimate deal”.

    “There is no new push. Nothing Kushner presented is acceptable to any of the Arab countries,” the Arab diplomat said. “He thinks he is ‘I Dream of Genie’ with a magic wand to make a new solution to the problem.”

    A White House official told reporters last week that Trump’s envoys were working on the most detailed set of proposals to date for the long-awaited peace proposal, which would include what the administration is calling a robust economic plan, though there is thus far no release date.

    Editing by Giles Elgood
    Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

    • In Saudi Arabia, the king is the one who decides on this issue now, not the crown prince,
      […]
      A diplomat in Riyadh briefed on Kushner’s latest visit [in June] to the kingdom said King Salman and MbS had seen him together: “MbS did the talking while the king was in the background.

      Euh, question bête : c’est dans la même aile de l’hôpital la gériatrie de king S et la rééducation (il est probablement sorti des soins intensifs, depuis le temps) de Kronprinz bS ?

      Ce serait quand même plus commode pour Mr Son in law


  • A Strip apart? Gaza grapples with politics of expanded Egyptian administration in Trump’s ‘century deal’ | MadaMasr

    https://www.madamasr.com/en/2018/06/29/feature/politics/a-strip-apart-gaza-grapples-with-politics-of-expanded-egyptian-administrat

    An economic delegation from the Gaza Strip arrived in Cairo on Tuesday night to discuss the United States’ proposal concerning the humanitarian and economic state of the besieged Palestinian territory, as Washington continues to push talks concerning the “deal of the century.”

    Deputy Finance Minister Youssef al-Kayali headed up the Gaza delegation, which, according to a Palestinian political source who spoke to Mada Masr on condition of anonymity, was in Cairo “to listen to what the Egyptian side proposes without a preconceived position and without violating known Palestinian principles.”

    To this point, indications of Gaza’s appetite for the deal have been absent from the unfolding diplomatic discussions. The US diplomatic envoy headed by Jared Kushner, US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor, and Jason Greenblatt, Trump’s special envoy to the Middle East, was primarily focused on informing regional leaders of the defining features of Trump’s initiative to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, but, notably, did not meet with Palestinian actors during last week’s regional tour, which included stops in Egypt, Qatar, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Israel.

    The framework of the US’s “century deal” involves the construction of a joint port on the Mediterranean between the Egyptian and Palestinian cities of Rafah, according to US and European diplomatic sources that spoke to Mada Masr ahead of the US delegation’s visit last week. The joint port would act as a prelude to extensive economic activity, for which North Sinai would serve as a hub, and would include five principal projects that would be funded by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, with a labor force that would be two-thirds Palestinian from the Gaza Strip and one-third Egyptian.


  • Pour Jared Kushner, les Palestiniens sont à vendre
    Robert Fisk - 29 juin 2018 – The Independent – Traduction : Chronique de Palestine – Dominique Muselet
    http://www.chroniquepalestine.com/pour-jared-kushner-les-palestiniens-sont-a-vendre

    Après trois guerres, des dizaines de milliers de morts palestiniens et des millions de réfugiés, Kushner croit-il vraiment que les Palestiniens se contenteront de cash ?

    N’y aura-t-il pas de fin à d’humiliation des Palestiniens ? Après Oslo, après la « solution des deux États », après les années d’occupation israélienne répartissant les Palestiniens en zones « A » et « C » suivant les modalités d’occupation définies par Israël, après la vaste colonisation juive de terres volées à ses propriétaires arabes, après les massacres de Gaza, et la décision de Trump dé désigner Jérusalem, toute entière, comme capitale d’Israël, va-ton oser demander aux Palestiniens de se contenter de cash et d’une misérable banlieue comme capitale ? Il n’y a donc pas de limite au cynisme ?

    Car les Palestiniens se verront bientôt imposer un « accord final » – « final », signifiant dernier, définitif, terminal, irréversible, on tente le tout pour le tout, c’est à prendre ou à laisser, c’est le dernier avertissement, le jeu est fait, on remet les compteurs à zéro, c’est la fin de la partie, allez au diable. Une pauvre banlieue comme capitale, pas de fin à la colonisation, pas de sécurité, pas d’armée, pas de frontières indépendantes, pas d’unité territoriale – en échange d’une énorme somme d’argent, des milliards de dollars et d’euros, des millions de livres, des tas de dinars, de shekels, de deniers et de scandaleux profits , du fric quoi ! (...)

    #trocdusiècle


  • L’« accord du siècle » : les maîtres espions entrent en scène
    Middle East Eye - 28 juin 2018
    http://www.middleeasteye.net/fr/reportages/l-accord-du-si-cle-les-ma-tres-espions-entre-en-sc-ne-1793925807

    Yossi Cohen, directeur du Mossad israélien assistant à la fête nationale du 4 juillet à l’ambassade américaine en Israël, 2017 (AFP)

    Une importante réunion a rassemblé, le 17 juin dernier, à Aqaba en Jordanie, les responsables des services secrets israéliens, saoudiens, égyptiens et palestiniens.

    Selon le site français Intelligence online, cette réunion intervenait un jour avant la rencontre entre le Premier ministre israélien, Benyamin Netanyahou, et le roi de Jordanie, Abdallah II.

    Le chef du Mossad israélien, Yossi Cohen, le directeur des services secrets saoudiens, Khaled ben Ali al-Humaidan, le responsable du Service de renseignement général égyptien, Abbas Kamel, le chef des services secrets jordaniens, Adnan Issam al-Jundi, et le directeur du renseignement de l’Autorité palestinienne Majed Faraj, auraient assisté à cette réunion secrète dans la ville côtière jordanienne.

    Selon les sources du site Intelligence Online, ce sont le conseiller de Donald Trump, Jared Kushner, et l’émissaire spécial de Donald Trump pour le Moyen-Orient, Jason Greenblatt qui sont à l’origine de l’organisation de ce conclave entre maîtres espions.

    L’ordre du jour de cette réunion reste encore inconnue. Plusieurs médias s’accordent toutefois à deviner qu’il s’agissait de convaincre l’Autorité palestinienne d’’accepter l’« accord du siècle » que veut imposer l’administration Trump.

    Mais le patron des services secrets palestiniens, Majed Faraj, aurait refusé de participer activement à la discussion lors de cette réunion, se contentant d’exprimer des observations d’ordre général.

    Or, mercredi 27 juin, Majed Faraj a déclaré devant des journalistes à Ramallah qu’il était satisfait du refus de plusieurs pays arabes à la proposition de Washington, appelé l’« accord du siècle ».


  • “National security” cited as reason Al Jazeera nixed Israel lobby film | The Electronic Intifada
    https://electronicintifada.net/content/national-security-cited-reason-al-jazeera-nixed-israel-lobby-film/24566

    Al Jazeera’s investigative documentary into the US Israel lobby was censored by Qatar over “national security” fears, The Electronic Intifada has learned.

    These include that broadcast of the film could add to pressure for the US to pull its massive Al Udeid air base out of the Gulf state, or make a Saudi military invasion more likely.

    A source has confirmed that broadcast of The Lobby – USA was indefinitely delayed as “a matter of national security” for Qatar. The source has been briefed by a high-level individual in Doha.

    One of the Israel lobby groups whose activities are revealed in the film has been mounting a campaign to convince the US to withdraw its military forces from Qatar – which leaders in the emirate would see as a major blow to their security.

    The tiny gas-rich monarchy houses and funds satellite channel Al Jazeera.

    In April, managers at the channel were forced to deny a claim by a right-wing American Zionist group that the program has been canceled altogether.

    In October 2017, the head of Al Jazeera’s investigative unit promised that the film would be aired “very soon.”

    Yet eight months later, it has yet to see the light of day.

    In March, The Electronic Intifada exclusively published the first concrete details of what is in the film.

    The film reportedly identifies a number of lobby groups as working directly with Israel to spy on American citizens using sophisticated data gathering techniques. The documentary is also said to cast light on covert efforts to smear and intimidate Americans seen as too critical of Israel.

    Some of the activity revealed in the film could include US organizations acting as front operations for Israel without registering as agents of a foreign state as required by US law.

    The latest revelation over the censored film shows how seriously Qatar’s leadership is taking threats of repercussions should it air.

    Threats
    The Israel lobby groups reported on in the film could be expected to take legal action against Al Jazeera if it is broadcast.

    However, such threats alone would be unlikely to deter Al Jazeera from broadcasting the film.

    The network has a history of vigorously defending its work and it was completely vindicated over complaints about a documentary aired in January 2017 that revealed how Israel lobby groups in Britain collude with the Israeli embassy, and how the embassy interfered in British politics.

    Israel’s supporters are also pushing for the US Congress to force the network, which has a large US operation, to register as a “foreign agent” in a similar fashion to Russian channel RT.

    But the high-level individual in Doha’s claim that the film is being censored as “a matter of national security” ties the affair to even more serious threats to Qatar and bolsters the conclusion that the censorship is being ordered at the highest level of the state.

    A year ago, with the support of US President Donald Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates cut off diplomatic relations with Qatar and imposed a transport and economic blockade on the country.

    Saudi rulers and their allies see Qatar as too independent of their influence and too open to relations with their regional rival Iran, and the blockade was an attempt to force it to heel.

    The Saudis and Israel accused Qatar of funding “terrorism,” and have taken measures to restrict Al Jazeera or demanded it be shut down altogether over what they perceive as the channel’s anti-Israel and anti-Saudi-monarchy biases.

    The blockade and the diplomatic assault sparked existential fears in Qatar that Saudi-led forces could go as far as to invade and install a more pliant regime in Doha.

    French newspaper Le Monde reported on Friday that the Saudi king has threatened “military action” against Qatar should it go ahead with a planned purchase of a Russian air defense missile system.

    In 2011, Saudi and Emirati forces intervened in Bahrain, another small Gulf nation, at the request of its ruling Khalifa monarchy in order to quell a popular uprising demanding democratic reforms.

    For three years, US and British-backed Saudi and Emirati forces have been waging a bloody and devastating war on Yemen to reimpose a Saudi-backed leadership on the country, clear evidence of their unprecedented readiness to directly use military force to impose their will.

    And no one in the region will have forgotten how quickly Iraqi forces were able to sweep in and take over Kuwait in August 1990.

    Air base
    The lesson of the Kuwait invasion for other small Gulf countries is that only the protection of the United States could guarantee their security from bigger neighbors.

    Qatar implemented that lesson by hosting the largest US military facility in the region, the massive Al Udeid air base.

    The Saudi-led bloc has pushed for the US to withdraw from the base and the Saudi foreign minister predicted that should the Americans pull out of Al Udeid, the regime in Doha would fall “in less than a week.”

    US warplanes operate from the Al Udeid air base near Doha, Qatar, October 2017. US Air Force Photo
    It would be a disaster from the perspective of Doha if the Israel lobby was to put its full weight behind a campaign to pull US forces out of Qatar.

    Earlier this year, an influential member of Congress and a former US defense secretary publicly discussed moving the US base out of Qatar at a conference hosted by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD).

    FDD is a neoconservative Israel lobby group that happens to be one of the subjects of the undercover Al Jazeera film.

    As The Electronic Intifada revealed in March, FDD is one of the groups acting as an agent of the Israeli government even though it is not registered to do so.

    In July 2017, FDD’s Jonathan Schanzer testified to Congress that it would be an “insane arrangement” to keep US forces at the Al Udeid air base while Qatar continued to support “terror.”

    It will concentrate minds in Doha that FDD was one of the lobby groups most dedicated to destroying the international deal with Iran over its nuclear energy program, a goal effectively achieved when the Trump administration pulled out of it last month.

    In a sign of how vulnerable Qatar feels over the issue, Doha has announced plans to upgrade the Al Udeid base in the hope, as the US military newspaper Stars and Stripes put it, “that the strategic military hub will be counted as one of the Pentagon’s permanent overseas installations.”

    The final straw?
    The cornerstone of Qatar’s effort to win back favor in Washington has been to aggressively compete with its Gulf rivals for the affections of Israel and its Washington lobby.

    Their belief appears to be that this lobby is so influential that winning its support can result in favorable changes to US policy.

    Qatar’s charm offensive has included junkets to Doha for such high-profile Israel supporters as Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz and Morton Klein, the head of the Zionist Organization of America who publicly took credit for convincing Qatar’s ruler Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to veto broadcast of the documentary.

    While an all-out Saudi invasion of Qatar over a film series may seem far fetched, the thinking in Doha seems to be that broadcast of The Lobby – USA could be the final straw that antagonizes Qatar’s enemies and exposes it to further danger – especially over Al Udeid.

    With an administration in Washington that is seen as impulsive and unpredictable – it has just launched a trade war against its biggest partners Canada and the European Union – leaders in Doha may see it as foolhardy to take any chances.

    If that is the reason Al Jazeera’s film has been suppressed it is not so much a measure of any real and imminent threat Qatar faces, but rather of how successfully the lobby has convinced Arab rulers, including in Doha, that their well-being and longevity rests on cooperating with, or at least not crossing, Israel and its backers.

    Asa Winstanley is associate editor and Ali Abunimah is executive director of The Electronic Intifada.

    Qatar Al Jazeera The Lobby—USA Al Udeid air base Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani Donald Trump Jared Kushner Saudi Arabia United Arab Emirates Bahrain Iran Kuwait Foundation for the Defense of Democracies Jonathan Schanzer Morton Klein Alan Dershowitz Zionist Organization of America

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  • Israel adopts abandoned Saudi sectarian logic - Modern Diplomacy

    https://moderndiplomacy.eu/2018/06/16/israel-adopts-abandoned-saudi-sectarian-logic

    Amid ever closer cooperation with Saudi Arabia, Israel’s military appears to be adopting the kind of sectarian anti-Shiite rhetoric that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is abandoning as part of a bid to develop a national rather than a religious ethos and promote his yet to be defined form of moderate Islam.

    The Israeli rhetoric in Arabic-language video clips that target a broad audience across the Middle East and North Africa emerged against the backdrop of a growing influence of conservative religious conscripts and officers in all branches of the Israeli armed forces.

    The clips featuring army spokesman Major Avichay Adraee were also designed to undermine support for Hamas, the Islamist group that controls the Gaza Strip and backed recent mass anti-Israeli protests along the border with Israel, in advance of a visit to the Middle East by US peace negotiators Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt.

    The visit could determine when US President Donald J. Trump publishes his long-awaited ‘art of the deal’ proposal for a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that despite Israeli and tacit Saudi and United Arab Emirates backing is likely to be rejected by the Palestinians as well as those Arab states that have so far refused to tow the Saudi line.

    Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, in tacit cooperation with the Palestine Authority on the West Bank, have adopted a carrot-and-stick approach in an as yet failed bid to weaken Hamas’ control of Gaza in advance of the announcement of Mr. Trump’s plan.

    Citing a saying of the Prophet Mohammed, Major Adraee, painting Hamas as an Iranian stooge, asserted that “whoever acts like a people is one of them… You (Hamas) have officially become Shiites in line with the Prophet’s saying… Have you not read the works of the classical jurists, scholars…who have clearly warned you about the threat Iranian Shiism poses to you and your peoples?”

    In a twist of irony, Major Adraee quoted the very scholars Prince Mohammed appears to be downplaying. They include 18th century preacher Mohammed ibn Abdul Wahhab, whose ultra-conservative anti-Shiite interpretation of Islam shaped Saudi Arabia for much of its history; Taqi ad-Din Ahmad ibn Taymiyyah, a 14th century theologist and jurist, whose worldview, like that of Wahhabism, inspires militant Islam; and  Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the Egyptian-born, Qatar-based scholar, who was designated a terrorist by Saudi Arabia and the UAE because he is believed to be the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood.


  • Top U.S. officials to Haaretz: Peace plan will be basis for talks, not ’take it or leave it’ document

    Senior officials say the plan will be revealed soon and stress that Trump sees Palestinian President Abbas as the only ’relevant address’

    Amir Tibon
    Jun 13, 2018

    https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premium-white-house-to-haaretz-peace-plan-is-basis-for-talks-not-blueprint

    WASHINGTON – The Trump administration’s plan for peace in the Middle East won’t be a “take it or leave it” proposal, but rather a basis for direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, administration officials told Haaretz this week. They said the plan will be revealed soon, and that the White House hopes to share it not only with the leaders in  the region, but also with the general public.
    The officials said previous reports that the plan would be released immediately at the end of the Muslim month of Ramadan were incorrect. “We hope to release it in the near future, but not immediately after Ramadan,” one official explained. “Our top priority is to put it out at the right moment, so that the various spoilers who don’t want us to succeed have less of a chance to cause damage.” 
    >> Palestinians to U.S.: No ’Deal of the Century’ if Jerusalem Not Addressed ■ U.S. Hopes to Unveil Breakthrough in Gaza Cease-fire Alongside Israeli-Palestinian Peace Plan
    While there have been some reports asserting that the plan will be a blueprint for a final peace agreement that the two sides will have to either accept or reject, the officials who spoke with Haaretz said those reports, too, were inaccurate.
    “We have said all along that we don’t want to impose an agreement. So presenting the plan as a ‘take it or leave it’ kind of document would be inconsistent with that,” one official explained. “We are a facilitator. It would be arrogant to assume we know better than anyone else,” said a second official. “At the end of the day, the two sides need to negotiate and reach an agreement. We want to help them reach that point, but we can’t structure the agreement for them.”
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    The officials criticized Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for refusing to engage with the administration, a position he has held to ever since Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel last December. “We assume there will be fair and substantial criticism of the plan, but we are astonished that Abbas won’t even see it,” one official said. “It would be a shame for the Palestinian people if the Palestinian leadership refuses to engage with this plan.”
    At the same time, the officials stressed that the Trump administration is not looking for a way to bypass Abbas, and is not speaking to any other Palestinian political figures. “We are not trying to engage with any Palestinian politicians except President Abbas. He is the relevant address, and he is the one we hope to work with,” one official said. 
    >> Trump Mideast envoy: The Palestinians deserve so much more than Saeb Erekat ■ Erekat fires back: Trump administration is killing the peace process, not me
    Last month Haaretz reported that the only recent contact between high-ranking Palestinian and American officials was a meeting between Abbas’ security chief, Majid Faraj, and Mike Pompeo, who is now Secretary of State and headed the CIA at the time of the meeting. Palestinian officials explained that the meeting focused only on security and intelligence issues, which are not included in the Palestinian Authority’s political and diplomatic boycott of the administration.

    The administration officials emphasized that they are encouraged by signs that Arab countries are getting closer to Israel, but added that they have no illusions about the Arab world “abandoning” the Palestinians as part of an alliance with Israel. “It’s not realistic to expect that the Arabs would abandon the Palestinians. That’s not going to happen,” one of the officials stated. The Arab states, in the administration’s view, can help encourage the two sides to move forward with negotiations – but aren’t expected to force anything on either side.
    Under previous administrations, there were different approaches with regard to public exposure of detailed plans for Middle East peace. The George W. Bush administration released its “Road Map for Peace” in a speech by the president. The peace plan of former Secretary of State John Kerry, by contrast, was never made public (although drafts of it were published by Haaretz last June.)
    The current administration is considering making its peace plan available to the public, but only after its final version is shared with the leaders in the region. “We want the public to know what is in it, at the right time, because the public needs to support it, not just the leaders,” said one official. “At the end of the day, the public is part of the process. The leaders need to have public support for going forward with this.” 
    The officials who spoke with Haaretz could not share specific details about the plan, which they said is close to being finalized. Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, will travel to the region next week with Jason Greenblatt, Trump’s special envoy to the Middle East peace process, to discuss the plan with leaders in Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and possibly also other countries.
    The Trump administration’s main foreign policy focus this week, of course, was the summit in Singapore in which Trump met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The officials who spoke with Haaretz said the summit proves that Trump’s unusual approach to foreign policy is working, adding that “this event should give hope to people in the Middle East that things can get better.”
    One official contended that “this event shows how suddenly and unexpectedly things can change, and how intractable positions can potentially be softened and modified. The members of our peace team have a lot of experience as negotiators. We know that positions can change. We know that views can be morphed.”
    The officials said a Middle East peace deal is still a top priority for Trump. “The president has the same level of dedication on this issue as he does on the Korean issue,” they maintained. 
    When asked if it is possible that following his summit with Kim, Trump will lose interest in an Israeli-Palestinian deal since he no longer needs a foreign policy achievement to present to the American public, one official used a metaphor from Trump’s real estate career to explain why he’s convinced that that’s not going to happen.
    “The president built Trump Tower, and then what did he do after that? He went and he built another five Trump Towers,” the official said.
    “He didn’t just stop with one.”


  • Middle Eastern Monarchs Look at the Trumps and See Themselves – Foreign Policy
    http://foreignpolicy.com/2018/05/28/middle-eastern-monarchs-look-at-the-trumps-and-see-themselves

    It seems that in the span of not quite two decades, the guy [George Nader] who ran a small, likely not profitable, but influential policy magazine become a conduit between Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan of the Abu Dhabi, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and Donald Trump’s closest inner circle, both after, and — crucially for special counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing criminal investigation — before Trump’s election as U.S. president.

    Nader’s story is yet another example of the sleaze, greed, and influence-peddling that has come to seem ordinary in Trump-era Washington. But it also offers a view into a more extraordinary and unprecedented problem: a decision by some of America’s closest allies in the Middle East to leverage their financial resources in common cause with a bunch of #ganefs to influence U.S. foreign policy. It is a problem that can be traced back, in ways that haven’t generally been understood, to Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner and his mobile phone.

    #riyalpolitik

    ganef - Wiktionary
    https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/ganef

    From Yiddish גנבֿ‎ (ganef), from Hebrew גנב‎ (ganáv, “thief”).


  • Avec le soutien des dictatures arabes, Trump veut liquider la cause palestinienne
    21 mai 2018 – Raï al-Yaoum – Traduction : Chronique de Palestine – Dominique Muselet
    http://www.chroniquepalestine.com/trump-veut-liquider-la-cause-palestinienne

    (...) En déplaçant l’ambassade en toute hâte pour faire coïncider son transfert avec l’anniversaire de la Nakba, les États-Unis et Israël ont lancé un « ballon d’essai » pour mesurer les réactions arabes et internationales avant de dévoiler « l’accord ». Malheureusement, les réactions ont été insignifiantes dans la plupart des territoires palestiniens occupés à part la bande de Gaza où des manifestations de masse ont eu lieu pendant six semaines consécutives, au cours desquelles plus de 100 personnes ont été tuées et 3 000 personnes blessées par des tireurs d’élite israéliens. Il en a été de même pour la réaction de la plupart des capitales arabes et islamiques.

    Les « fuites » visant à promouvoir l’accord ont commencé vendredi par le biais de l’agence Associated Pressnews qui a révélé que, selon cinq responsables américains anonymes, le président Donald Trump prévoyait de dévoiler son plan – dressé principalement par son gendre Jared Kushner et l’envoyé « pour la paix » Jason Greenblatt sous la supervision directe du premier ministre israélien Binyamin Netanyahu – à la fin du mois de juin, après le Ramadan.

    La réaction arabe officielle au déplacement de l’ambassade et au massacre israélien à Gaza n’a pas été seulement insignifiante, en fait, elle a mis en lumière la complicité et la duplicité des principaux alliés arabes des États-Unis – en particulier l’Égypte, la Jordanie et la plupart des États du Golfe – quand il s’est avéré qu’ils étaient au courant des détails du projet d’accord américain. Ils se sont bien gardés de convoquer un sommet arabe d’urgence, et leur participation au sommet islamique convoqué par le président turc Recep Tayyip Erdogan (à l’exception de la Jordanie) a été minimale, la plupart des États du Golfe (à part le Koweït) étant représentés par leurs ministres des affaires étrangères. Le fait que les États arabes qui entretiennent des relations diplomatiques officielles avec Israël (Égypte et Jordanie) n’aient pas osé rappeler leurs ambassadeurs ou expulser des diplomates israéliens de leurs capitales en signe de protestation – bien que des mesures de ce type aient été prises par des pays non arabes comme la Turquie, la Bolivie, l’Afrique du Sud, l’Irlande et la Belgique – est significatif. Cela pourrait être le prélude de développements encore plus choquants dans les mois à venir. (...)



  • A Grotesque Spectacle in Jerusalem
    by Michelle Goldberg

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/14/opinion/jerusalem-embassy-gaza-protests.html

    On Monday, Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner and other leading lights of the Trumpist right gathered in Israel to celebrate the relocation of the American Embassy to Jerusalem, a gesture widely seen as a slap in the face to Palestinians who envision East Jerusalem as their future capital.

    The event was grotesque. It was a consummation of the cynical alliance between hawkish Jews and Zionist evangelicals who believe that the return of Jews to Israel will usher in the apocalypse and the return of Christ, after which Jews who don’t convert will burn forever.

    Religions like “Mormonism, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism” lead people “to an eternity of separation from God in Hell,” Robert Jeffress, a Dallas megachurch pastor, once said. He was chosen to give the opening prayer at the embassy ceremony. John Hagee, one of America’s most prominent end-times preachers, once said that Hitler was sent by God to drive the Jews to their ancestral homeland. He gave the closing benediction.

    This spectacle, geared toward Donald Trump’s Christian American base, coincided with a massacre about 40 miles away. Since March 30, there have been mass protests at the fence separating Gaza and Israel. Gazans, facing an escalating humanitarian crisis due in large part to an Israeli blockade, are demanding the right to return to homes in Israel that their families were forced from at Israel’s founding. The demonstrators have been mostly but not entirely peaceful; Gazans have thrown rocks at Israeli soldiers and tried to fly flaming kites into Israel. The Israeli military has responded with live gunfire as well as rubber bullets and tear gas. In clashes on Monday, at least 58 Palestinians were killed and thousands wounded, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.

    The juxtaposition of images of dead and wounded Palestinians and Ivanka Trump smiling in Jerusalem like a Zionist Marie Antoinette tell us a lot about America’s relationship to Israel right now. It has never been closer, but within that closeness there are seeds of potential estrangement.


  • Journée sanglante à Gaza : des Palestiniens abandonnés et déshumanisés
    http://www.lemonde.fr/idees/article/2018/05/15/des-palestiniens-abandonnes-et-deshumanises_5299183_3232.html

    Editorial. La répression sanglante contre des milliers de civils palestiniens massés à la frontière israélienne lundi éclaire la spirale guerrière dans laquelle Israël s’est enfermé.

    Que retiendra l’histoire de ce 14 mai 2018 ? Le transfert historique de l’ambassade des Etats-Unis à Jérusalem, signe de la reconnaissance de la Ville sainte comme capitale d’Israël, le jour même de son 70e anniversaire ? Ou le bilan historiquement élevé – au moins 58 morts et plus de 1 350 blessés par balles – de la répression des manifestations palestiniennes le long de la barrière de sécurité israélienne entourant la bande de Gaza ? Dans une région où le tragique l’emporte toujours, la deuxième information éclipse sans conteste la première. Ce qu’il restera, surtout, de cette journée est le spectacle schizophrène et obscène des réjouissances diplomatiques américano-israéliennes à Jérusalem pendant qu’un carnage était perpétré, à une centaine de kilomètres de là, sur des civils cherchant à franchir une frontière, sans autre arme que leur désespoir.

    Il faut remonter à 2014 pour constater un tel massacre dans les territoires palestiniens, à ceci près qu’à l’époque c’est une guerre qui sévissait à Gaza, avec chasseurs F16, chars et tirs de roquettes. Lundi 14 mai, ce n’était pas la guerre. Pas un coup de feu ni une roquette n’a été tiré par les manifestants, malgré la présence de groupes armés à l’arrière de la foule. C’était une protestation géante, comme la Palestine n’en a jamais connu, une manifestation à mains nues, comme au temps de la première Intifada (1987-1993) et au tout début de la deuxième, en septembre 2000. Mais autrement plus meurtrière.

    Ce que met crûment à nu cette journée tragique, c’est l’abandon total de la bande de Gaza et de son 1,9 million d’habitants. Condamnés à un blocus cruel depuis la prise de pouvoir du mouvement islamiste Hamas en 2007, ignorés par l’Autorité palestinienne, réduits à la misère et meurtris par trois guerres en dix ans, les Gazaouis n’ont pas besoin d’incitation du Hamas – contrairement aux affirmations de Jared Kushner et de Benyamin Nétanyahou – pour se jeter sur les barbelés israéliens dans l’espoir, aussi fou qu’illusoire, de retrouver les terres de leurs ancêtres et d’échapper à leur prison.

    Ce « lundi noir » révèle également la déshumanisation quasi totale des Palestiniens par une grande partie de la classe politique et de la société israéliennes, qui ne voient en eux que des suppôts du Hamas, alors que le mouvement de la « marche du grand retour » prouve que la société palestinienne a choisi la protestation civile et populaire, contre le terrorisme et les armes. Ignorer cette évolution est dangereux.

    Enfin, l’alignement, par l’administration Trump, de la position des Etats-Unis sur celle du Likoud n’est pas un cadeau pour Israël, contrairement à ce que pourraient croire les Israéliens : il encourage le gouvernement Nétanyahou dans son hubris guerrière, et donne l’illusion à ce jeune pays d’un soutien alors qu’il est plus isolé que jamais sur la scène internationale. Personne ne se berce d’illusions sur les promesses de plan de paix de Donald Trump. Or, sans perspective de paix, Israël se condamne à vivre dans la peur.


  • Trump Is Ending One Gulf Conflict to Start Another – Foreign Policy
    http://foreignpolicy.com/2018/05/03/trump-is-ending-one-gulf-conflict-to-start-another

    Now Trump is back to intervening — but only to make an apparent U-turn. Instead of hammering the Qataris as he did last June, the president just sent his newly confirmed secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, to the Middle East, where he read the Saudis the riot act. Pompeo told Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir to fix the problem with Qataris. Enough is apparently enough.

    What changed? The Trump administration realized its relationship with #Iran is coming to a head, and it wants a unified Gulf Cooperation Council on its side. Trump’s change of tone on Qatar almost certainly means he has made up his mind to bust the Iran nuclear deal in the coming weeks.

    Ironically, the Saudi-Emirati-Egyptian-Bahraini blockade had become, in the interim, the new regional reality, with #Qatar using its considerable financial wherewithal to tread water. It has set up its own dairy industry, adjusted Qatar Airways’ flight patterns, deepened its ties with Turkey, and accepted shipments of food from Iran, especially in the early days of the blockade. The emir has also used the fact that not everyone in the region was on board with the four countries’ program to his own diplomatic advantage.

    The blockading nations, for their part, once they understood the Qataris would not knuckle under and accede to 13 demands they had laid out as a condition for ending the blockade, shifted to working toward Doha’s long-term isolation in the region. The conflict has thus settled into a pattern of each side indulging in various degrees of trolling via fake news, strategic leaks, and hacks to embarrass the other. At times the level of pettiness has barely approached middle school levels. Etihad Airways has, for example, removed the word “Qatar” from its moving map program; meanwhile, the repeated public dumps of the Emirati ambassador’s emails have taken on a vendetta quality.

    #nuit_torride #mesquineries
    #bagarre_de_cour_de_récréation (c’est pas moi qui le dit…)


  • MBS : les Palestiniens doivent accepter le « plan de paix » étasunien ou « la fermer »

    https://www.axios.com/saudi-crown-prince-tells-jewish-leaders-palestinians-should-take-what-they-ar

    In a closed-door meeting with heads of Jewish organizations in New York on March 27th, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) gave harsh criticism of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), according to an Israeli foreign ministry cable sent by a diplomat from the Israeli consulate in New York, as well three sources — Israeli and American — who were briefed about the meeting.

    The bottom line of the crown prince’s criticism: Palestinian leadership needs to finally take the proposals it gets from the U.S. or stop complaining.

    According to my sources, the Saudi Crown Prince told the Jewish leaders:

    In the last several decades the Palestinian leadership has missed one opportunity after the other and rejected all the peace proposals it was given. It is about time the Palestinians take the proposals and agree to come to the negotiations table or shut up and stop complaining.
    — MBS

    MBS also made two other points on the Palestinian issue during the meeting:

    He made clear the Palestinian issue was not a top priority for the Saudi government or Saudi public opinion. MBS said Saudi Arabia “has much more urgent and important issues to deal with” like confronting Iran’s influence in the region.

    Regardless of all his criticism of the Palestinian leadership, MBS also made clear that in order for Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states to normalize relations with Israel there will have to be significant progress on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

    What we’re hearing: A source who was briefed on the meeting told me the attendees were stunned when they heard the Saudi Crown Prince comments on the Palestinian issue. “People literally fell off their chairs,” the source said.

    Why it matters: In the last year, the Trump administration has been drafting a plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace. The White House peace team, led by Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner and special envoy Jason Greenblatt, has basically finished drafting the plan and is discussing how and when to launch it.

    Launching the plan will be difficult because of the Palestinians have been boycotting the White House since Trump’s December 6th Jerusalem announcement.

    In the last year, Kushner managed to get MBS on board in trying to move the peace process forward, and get the Arab world to urge the Palestinians to enter peace talks with Israel on the basis of the U.S. peace plan.

    #Arabie_saoudite #Palestine #Israel #dirigeants_arabes #indigents_arabes « #monde_arabe »

    • « Qu’ils négocient ou qu’ils ferment leur bouche » : ce que MBS pense des Palestiniens
      Devant des responsables juifs américains, en mars dernier, le prince héritier saoudien a vivement critiqué la posture de la direction palestinienne
      MEE | 30 avril 2018
      http://www.middleeasteye.net/fr/reportages/que-les-palestiniens-n-gocient-ou-quils-ferment-leur-bouche-ce-que-mb

      « Au cours des dernières décennies, les dirigeants palestiniens ont manqué les opportunités, les unes après les autres, et rejeté toutes les propositions de paix qui leur ont été faites. Il est temps que les Palestiniens acceptent les propositions, qu’ils viennent à la table des négociations ou alors qu’ils ferment leur bouche et qu’ils arrêtent de se plaindre. » Cette déclaration n’émane pas d’un faucon israélien ou d’un leader de la droite dure de Washington. L’auteur de ces critiques n’est autre que Mohammed ben Salmane, prince héritier du royaume d’Arabie saoudite.
      C’est la chaîne israélienne Channel 10 et son journaliste Barak Ravid qui rapportent les détails d’une rencontre du prince saoudien avec des responsables d’organisations juives aux États-Unis le 27 mars dernier. MBS a alors rencontré des représentants de l’American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), des Fédérations juives d’Amérique du Nord, du Comité des juifs américains, de la Ligue anti-diffamation et de l’Ordre indépendant du B’nai B’rith à New York. (…)


  • Le parti démocrate attaque la campagne Trump, la Russie et Wikileaks
    http://www.parismatch.com/Actu/International/Le-parti-democrate-attaque-la-campagne-Trump-la-Russie-et-Wikileaks-1500

    Une étonnante contre-attaque en justice. Le « Washington Post » révèle ce vendredi que le parti démocrate a attaqué en justice la campagne Trump, la Russie et Wikileaks, leur reprochant de s’être concertés pour mettre à mal la candidature d’Hillary Clinton. La plainte civile, déposée devant une cour fédérale de Manhattan, vise nommément de nombreux proches du président comme son ami Roger Stone, son fils Donald Trump Jr -qui a confirmé avoir été en contact avec WikiLeaks-, son gendre et conseiller Jared Kushner, son ancien directeur de campagne Paul Manafort, mais aussi Julian Assange.

    Ils pourraient aussi sans doute attaquer quelques contributeurs de SeenThis tiens...

    Plus ça fonctionne pas, plus faut essayer. Les shadocks sont dans la place !


  • Le Kushner-gate et le blocus du Qatar : Le scandale du siècle ?
    par Maryam Al-Khater – 9 mars 2018 – The New Arab – Traduction : Chronique de Palestine – Dominique Muselet
    http://www.chroniquepalestine.com/kushner-gate-blocus-qatar-scandale-siecle

    Après le scandale du Watergate en 1972, le quatrième pouvoir* revient en première ligne avec les scandales politiques et financiers successifs qui assaillent la Maison Blanche de Trump.

    S’appuyant sur des notes de renseignement fuitées, le Washington Post vient encore de révéler un scandale, impliquant cette fois-ci Jared Kushner qui est à la fois le gendre de Trump et son assistant.

    Selon le Post il y aurait eu des accords entre Kushner et quatre États, les Émirats Arabes Unis [UAE], la Chine, Israël et le Mexique, pour échanger de l’influence politique contre des opérations financières profitant à l’affaire immobilière en difficulté de sa famille ainsi qu’à lui-même.

    Kushner a essayé d’utiliser sa position pour emprunter de l’argent pour renflouer son entreprise familiale et il a demandé à l’État du Qatar d’investir dans un bâtiment qu’il contrôle à New York. Lorsque le Qatar a refusé d’investir dans l’affaire immobilière de sa famille, Kushner lui en a apparemment voulu et il a rejoint le camp des pays qui faisaient le blocus de la nation du Golfe, selon un reportage paru d’abord dans le Daily Intelligencer, puis confirmé par CBNC News le 2 mars.

    Mais dans quel but ? Ou plus précisément, quel montant d’argent Kushner a-t-il perçu sans doute de la part de plusieurs entités ? (...)


  • Netanyahu: Trump and I talked ’Iran, #Iran, Iran,’ we discussed Palestinians for 15 minutes
    Noa Landau | Mar. 5, 2018- Haaretz.Com
    https://www.haaretz.com/misc/article-print-page/.premium-netanyahu-trump-and-i-talked-iran-palestinians-barely-came-up-1.58

    Despite a downgrade of the security clearance of Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, Netanyahu reportedly said that Kushner was present during a luncheon. “We did not deal with his issue, not even a word,” Netanyahu was quoted as saying in a reference to Kushner’s security clearance. “I don’t want to go into it. He participated in the broad discussion."

    #Palestine #Etats-Unis #Israel


  • Emails show UAE-linked effort against Tillerson - BBC News
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-43281519

    The BBC has obtained leaked emails that show a lobbying effort to get US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson sacked for failing to support the United Arab Emirates against regional rival Qatar.
    Major Trump fundraiser and UAE-linked businessman Elliott Broidy met Mr Trump in October 2017 and urged him to sack Mr Tillerson, the emails reveal.
    In other emails, he calls the top US diplomat “a tower of Jello”, “weak” and says he “needs to be slammed”.
    Mr Broidy says Qatar hacked his emails.
    “We have reason to believe this hack was sponsored and carried out by registered and unregistered agents of Qatar seeking to punish Mr Broidy for his strong opposition to state-sponsored terrorism,” a spokesman for the businessman said.
    He said some of the emails “may have been altered” but did not elaborate.
    Saudi Arabia, UAE and a number of Arab countries cut diplomatic ties with Qatar in June 2017 over its alleged support for terrorism, a claim which it denies. The unprecedented move was seen as a major split between powerful Gulf countries, who are also close US allies.
    Qatari royal ’held against will’ in UAE
    Nations silent on Tillerson Qatar blockade plea
    The BBC has asked the Qatar embassy in Washington for a response to the accusations.
    Mr Broidy’s defence company Circinus has hundreds of millions of dollars worth of contracts with the UAE, according to the New York Times newspaper.
    He had recently returned from the UAE when he met Mr Trump at the White House in October.
    What did the emails say?
    According to a memorandum he prepared of the meeting, Mr Broidy urged continued support of US allies the UAE and Saudi Arabia and advised Mr Trump against getting involved in last year’s row with Qatar.
    Mr Broidy called Qatar “a television station with a country” - alluding to broadcaster Al Jazeera - and said it was doing “nothing positive”, according to the emails.
    He said he touted a regional counter-terrorism force being set up by the UAE that his company was involved with, and suggested that the US president “sit down” with Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi and a top UAE military commander.
    “I offered that MBZ [the crown prince] is available to come to the US very soon and preferred a quiet meeting in New York or New Jersey. President Trump agreed that a meeting with MBZ was a good idea,” Mr Broidy wrote in an email.
    He also said he advised the president on Mr Tillerson - who was “performing poorly and should be fired at a politically convenient time”.
    Mr Tillerson had criticised the blockade of Qatar and called for it to be eased, in comments that contrasted with Mr Trump’s support for the move.
    Mr Tillerson spent most of the first year in his position embattled and weakened.
    Last autumn, in a rare move for the soft-spoken secretary, the state department held a press conference in which Mr Tillerson pushed back against reports he had called the president “a moron”.
    Who did Mr Broidy email?
    He emailed a detailed account of his meeting with the president to George Nader, a Lebanese-American businessman with decades of experience serving as an interlocutor between the Middle East and Washington.
    Sources familiar with the investigation of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is looking into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US election and possible links between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin, tell the BBC that Mr Nader has become a person of interest and has been questioned in recent weeks.
    Investigators questioned Mr Nader and other witnesses on whether there were any efforts by the Emiratis to buy political influence by directing money to Mr Trump’s presidential campaign, according to a New York Times report.

    What else was in the leaked emails?
    Mr Broidy also detailed a separate sit-down with Mr Trump’s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner, according to the emails.
    After Mr Broidy criticised Qatar extensively to Mr Kushner, “Jared’s demeanour was very passive and pleasant but he seemed to not want to engage on this issue,” he wrote to Mr Nader.
    Kushner Companies - owned by the family of Jared Kushner - is reported to have in April 2017 sought financing from Qatar for its flagship property at 666 5th Avenue, New York.
    However, Mr Kushner has maintained that he has had no role in his family’s business since joining the White House last year.
    Has anyone else claimed to have been hacked?
    UAE ambassador to Washington Yousef al-Otaiba - who in diplomatic circles is known as the most effective and influential ambassador in Washington - has himself been a recent victim of email hacking.
    It’s well known in Washington that Mr Otaiba and Mr Kushner have enjoyed close relationship.
    Industry experts looking at both hacks have drawn comparisons between the two, showing reason to suspect links to Qatar.
    “This is rinse and repeat on Otaiba,” a source familiar with the hack told the BBC.
    The UAE has also been known to use similar tactics, and was accused of hacking Qatari government websites prior to the blockade, according to the FBI.