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It's not meant to " help the United States"
Thu Dec 7, 2017 6:56am

It's meant to help (in order) Jared Kushner and Donald Trump.

Reportedly, Kushner has been losing influence in the White House. And Trump is simply dying for a "win" and for ways to feed his base by fulfilling campaign promises. This accomplished both goals.
Kushner bets he can have it both ways on Jerusalem move


Jared Kushner is betting the house on a risky strategy that Middle East experts worry will derail any future Israeli-Palestinian peace deal — as well as what remains of the powerful son-in-law’s shrinking West Wing portfolio.

He privately encouraged President Donald Trump’s announcement Wednesday that “Jerusalem is Israel’s capital,” which was seen by some experts in the region as a setback for peace efforts led by Kushner and his small team. The group has made dozens of trips to the region and spent hours on listening tours, working to gain the trust of the Palestinians and the broader Arab world.

[...] a person close to Kushner said he was forceful in his backing of the move. “Encouraging would be an understatement,” the person said. “It was him.”

Kushner has been hemmed in since the arrival of chief of staff John Kelly, losing his free-floating “first among equals” status in the White House while wrestling with increased scrutiny from special counsel Robert Mueller. These days, close associates said, Kushner is primarily driven by one goal: to prove himself by delivering a Middle East peace deal many skeptics doubt he can close.

He is banking on the hope that the opposition is just a facade — and that, privately, after a “cooling-off period,” Arab allies will continue to work with him on a peace plan he still expects to announce at some point in the early months of 2018.

He also sees the decision, people familiar with his thinking said, as one of the most significant moves by the Trump administration — something that will have repercussions on the region for years to come.

(Jeeves: that's certainly true.)

For Kushner, the Jerusalem issue also provided a chance to reassert some of his lost authority in the White House. Privately, he told the president he backed the move, even as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary James Mattis voiced their opposition, according to multiple officials and outside advisers involved with the administration’s Middle East plans.

But Kushner’s internal backing of the Jerusalem deal — contradicting advice of senior Cabinet secretaries — puts him on the line once again with high-risk political advice. Kushner is still closely associated with his support, last May, of Trump's decision to fire his FBI Director James Comey – which lead to the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller and was widely seen as the biggest unforced error of Trump’s first year in office.

“Urging Trump to fire Comey may go down in history as the dumbest piece of political advice ever offered,” said Dan Pfeiffer, a former adviser to President Barack Obama.

But Kushner’s view was not a hard sell for a president eager to claim victory on a campaign promise while winning praise from big pro-Israel donors like Sheldon Adelson. Trump first promised he would recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital when he delivered a campaign speech — written with heavy input from Kushner — in front of the hard-line pro-Israel lobbying group AIPAC on March 21, 2016.

Trump's Jerusalem announcement Wednesday collected quick accolades from powerful Jewish interests at home. The Adelson-funded Republican Jewish Congress, for example, said it planned to run a full-page ad in The New York Times on Thursday, under the banner headline: “President Trump: You Promised. You Delivered.”

From Kushner’s perspective, according to people familiar with his thinking, the hope was that the announcement would fulfill a longstanding promise but do little damage to the relationships he has forged with players in the Middle East, like the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, widely referred to as “MBS.”

“I think [Trump] and Jared figure that after all the posturing and a few days of riots, things go back to normal when it comes to the negotiations,” said a person close to the administration.

Basically, it's a self-serving policy pushed by political neophytes for personal advantage, regardless of the effect on US or world affairs.

  • Erdogan isn't (in my estimation) bluffing when he threatened to cut off Turkey's diplomatic relations with Israel if this happens. Those relations were only re-established a few years ago, and this... more
    • It's not meant to " help the United States" — Jeeves, Thu Dec 7 6:56am
    • One interesting thought I heard fromSprout, Wed Dec 6 12:53pm
      some analyst a few months ago... The suggestion was not so much to succeed in finalizing a shift of the capital, but rather an effort to break the status quo. An attempt to force the Palestinians to... more
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