Netanyahu v. Kushner’s claims in new memoir on peace deal, annexation

Israeli opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday rejected claims by former White House senior adviser Jared Kushner that Netanyahu’s announced plans to expand sovereignty over Judea and Samaria in 2020 would not Not coordinated with the U.S.

“The allegations about Prime Minister Netanyahu surprise Jared Kushner, [former] president [Donald] Trump’s announcement that Israel intends to apply Israeli law to the 30 percent of the Jewish and Samaritan territories envisaged in Trump’s plan as Israeli sovereign territory is completely false,” jerusalem post quote A Netanyahu spokesman said.

Both Trump and Kushner are reportedly outraged by the former Netanyahu’s “accidental” announcement that Israel will annex large swathes of Judea and Samaria, Kushner reportedly writes in his new book, Breaking History: A White House Memoir.

As Breitbart News reported at the time, Netanyahu announced in January 2020 — shortly after Trump’s peace plan was unveiled — that he intended to consider a strategy for annexing Judea and Samaria, including the Jordan Valley region settlements.

In Kushner’s new book, Breaking History: A White House Memoirhe claimed that then-US ambassador to Israel David Friedman falsely told Netanyahu that the Trump administration would support annexation, according to Times of Israel.

Netanyahu reportedly caught Americans off guard by announcing that he would soon vote for sovereignty in his cabinet shortly after Trump administration officials unveiled the peace plan dubbed “Vision for Peace.”

Shortly after Netanyahu’s announcement, Trump reportedly asked his advisers, “What the hell is that?”

The then ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, told reporters that Israel would soon begin moving forward with its sovereignty plans. However, according to veteran Israeli journalist Barak Ravid, Kushner and Trump were angry that Friedman and Netanyahu did not discuss the matter with them before the announcement.

“As it turns out, Friedman assured Bibi that he would get the White House to support annexation immediately. He did not communicate this to me or anyone on my team,” Kushner wrote.

That means the former Israeli prime minister all but undermined the Abraham Accord – something Netanyahu vehemently opposed.

Israel seized Judea and Samaria, also known as the West Bank, from Jordan in a defensive war in 1967 after Jordan began shelling Israeli targets in West Jerusalem, ignoring behind-the-scenes Israeli pleas to stay away from the conflict.

After the failed attempt to trade land for peace, many on the Israeli right believe that Israel should annex the region — that is, apply Israeli law to the region — either in part or in its entirety. Netanyahu, who faces several difficult elections in 2019-20, wants to do just that.

However, President Donald Trump wants a regional peace deal, and Arab leaders such as the United Arab Emirates have made it clear that if Israel annexes Judea and Samaria, it will jeopardize their ability to strike a deal.

Ironically, the possibility of annexation created a bargaining chip that Israel and the US could then trade for peace after the UAE ambassador, Yousef al Otaiba, published an op-ed in an Israeli newspaper. Say annexation would endanger the peace.

That means avoiding annexation could lead to the peace deal Trump has proposed — and it does.

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