Speaking from Abu Dhabi after disembarking the first ever direct Israeli flight to the United Arab Emirates on Monday afternoon, White House senior adviser Jared Kushner hailed the new relationship his country brokered between the UAE and Israel, and criticized the Palestinians for not doing more in the name of peace.
“We can’t want peace more than they want peace,” he said. “When they are ready, the whole region is very excited to help lift them up and help move them forward. But they can’t be stuck in the past.”
The White House adviser slammed the Palestinians for rejecting the Trump plan for peace even before it was revealed in January. “Certain people like division and the status quo for whatever reason,” he said.
Israel agreed to postpone its plans to apply sovereignty over the West Bank as part of the UAE deal.
However, he added that with regards to the peace plan, “President Trump likes to leave his options open.”
“It’s been suspended so we can focus on [normalization with Arab world],” Kushner said. “But the Trump peace plan is an operative global document for how to make peace. It gives the Palestinians everything they ever asked for.”
The proposal included sovereignty because it was clear, “in the context of any agreement, Israel wasn’t going to give up that territory,” which is inhabited by Israelis.
The U.S. “had to make sure Israel’s security was protected.”
Recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and allowing for the future recognition of Israeli sovereignty over large parts of the West Bank would “take those provocative issues off the table,” he said.
Kushner thanked Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed.
“Mohammed bin Zayed is truly leading the new Middle East,” he said. “The Middle East is filled with brilliant, industrious, tolerant and innovative people, and the future belongs to them,” he added. “I ask everyone today to join us in celebrating this peace, and to help us expand it throughout the region and the entire world.”