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April 23, 2019 1:34 pm

Kushner: Trump Peace Plan Entails ‘Tough Compromises’ for Both Israel and Palestinians

avatar by Barney Breen-Portnoy

Senior White House adviser Jared Kushner attends a plenary session at the Middle East summit in Warsaw, Poland, Feb. 14, 2019. Photo: Agencja Gazeta / Slawomir Kaminski via Reuters.

The Trump administration’s yet-to-be-unveiled Israeli-Palestinian peace plan entails “tough compromises” for both sides, senior White House adviser Jared Kushner said on Tuesday.

Speaking at the TIME 100 Summit in New York City, Kushner noted that the proposal — which has been molded over the past two years — would be published after the Muslim holy month of Ramadan ended in early June.

President Donald Trump’s son-in-law called resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict “about as tough of a problem set as you can get.”

“We’ve taken, I think, an unconventional approach,” he asserted. “We’ve studied all the different past efforts, and how they failed and why they failed. There’s been some tremendous work done by the people who’ve worked on this before us.”

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“We’ve tried to do it a little bit differently,” Kushner added. “Normally they start with a process and then hope that the process leads to a resolution for something to happen. What we’ve done is the opposite…we started with a solution and then we’ll work on a process to try to get there.”

“We’ve done very extensive research and a lot of talking to a lot of the people,” he said. “We’re not trying to impose our will.”

According to Kushner, the document to be presented was “very detailed.”

“I hope that it’s a very comprehensive vision for what can be if people are willing to make some hard decisions,” he said.

Kushner demurred when asked whether the plan was based on a two-state solution.

“I think that if people focus on the old traditional talking points, we will never make progress,” he replied.

Kushner described the Arab League’s 2002 peace initiative as a “very good attempt” at resolving the conflict, but went on to point out, “If that would’ve worked, we would’ve made peace a long time ago on that basis.”

“So what we’re going to put out is different,” he continued. “Our focus is really on the bottom-up, which is how do you make the lives of the Palestinian people better? What can you resolve to allow these areas to become more investable? We deal with all the core status issues, because you have to do it, but we’ve also built a robust business plan for the whole region.”

For Israel, Kushner pointed out, the biggest issue was security.

Regarding his expectations for how the parties would react to the plan, Kushner said, “I hope that when they look at our proposal, I’m not saying they’re going to look at it and say, ‘This is perfect and, you know, let’s go forward.’ I’m hopeful what they’ll do is to say, ‘Look, there are some compromises here, but at the end of the day, this is really a framework that can allow us to make our lives materially better. And we’ll see if the leadership on both sides has the courage to take the leap to try to go forward.”

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