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Trump ‘fond’ of Abbas, Kushner insists while raging over Palestinian rejection

Trump ‘fond’ of Abbas, Kushner insists while raging over Palestinian rejection
Presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner slammed the Palestinian Authority for rejecting his “Deal of the Century,” calling them “hysterical and erratic” while claiming President Donald Trump is “fond” of President Mahmoud Abbas.

Trump likes the Palestinian leader “very much personally,” Kushner told reporters on Wednesday, adding that the president is just waiting for the right time to “engage” him on the long-awaited “Deal of the Century” peace plan the administration has been hyping for over a year. Palestinian leadership has refused to meet with the Trump administration ever since the US cut Palestine off from hundreds of millions of dollars in United Nations refugee aid in January 2018, a month after moving its Israeli embassy to Jerusalem.

“Our door is always open to the Palestinian leadership,” the senior White House adviser said, complaining that “certain people around [Abbas] are very uncomfortable with the way we’ve approached this and their natural reaction is to attack and say crazy things.”

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Kushner also hinted that his “deal” could require five million Palestinian refugees to give up their claims to the land they were forced to abandon during the 1948 Nakba that followed the creation of Israel. He insisted on “finalizing” the economic plan before moving on to the political process, even though both the Israeli and Palestinian governments boycotted the Bahrain conference Kushner staged to unveil the economic part of the “deal.”

While Kushner’s proposition offers Palestinians $50 billion for their homeland, expected to be contributed by Israel’s wealthy Gulf State neighbors, and he even offered to sweeten the deal by promising a million jobs and a doubling of Palestine’s GDP over the next decade, Abbas has dismissed it as “humiliating blackmail,” pointing out that it “ends the Palestinian cause.”

The Palestinian leadership has made a strategic mistake by not engaging on this.They look very foolish for trying to fight against this.

While acknowledging that Palestinian refugees in Lebanon might be interested in “a pathway for them to have more rights and live a better life,” any political solution will focus on what is “pragmatic, achievable and viable in this day and age.”

“If the US is so concerned about Palestinian wellbeing, then why did they carry out these punitive measures against us?” senior Palestinian Liberation Organization official Hanan Ashrawi asked reporters last week. Like Abbas, he was unwilling to consider an economic “solution” without solving the political problem at the core of the conflict, continuing, “The elephant in the room in Manama is obviously the [Israeli] occupation itself.”

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Abbas did not respond to Kushner’s latest comments. Before the Bahrain conference, he told reporters he would rejoin negotiations with the US only if Trump reversed the embassy move. Meanwhile, Kushner has pushed the date for a full reveal of the political side of the “deal” even further down the road, stating the details would be revealed “when we’re ready” – presumably after September’s Israeli general election.

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