While Jared Kushner is working on a peace deal between the Israelis and the Palestinians, the Kushner Companies Charitable Foundation is funding a controversial West Bank settlement.
by Justin Elliott
by Justin Elliott
As Jared Kushner leads the U.S. government’s effort to develop an Israeli-Palestinian peace plan, the Kushner Companies Charitable Foundation is funding a hardline Israeli settlement in the West Bank.
The charitable fund made a donation of at least $18,000 at the “Master Builders” level to American Friends of Bet El Yeshiva Center, according to a donor book distributed at the group’s annual gala Sunday evening.
The Kushner family has given money in past years to the group, which funds construction of the Bet El settlement outside the Palestinian city Ramallah, as Haaretz first reported. But this appears to be the first time they’ve done so while Kushner, whose title is senior adviser to the president, is the lead administration official brokering a peace plan.
Advocates of a two-state solution said the donation was troubling given Kushner’s role.
“Under normal circumstances you would expect someone who has a background of activism related to Israel to be working very hard to take a step back from that to show that he can be a credible mediator. Not only is that not the case, it’s the opposite,” said Lara Friedman, president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace.
Israeli settlements in the West Bank, which eat away at any future Palestinian state, are one of the main obstacles to a two-state solution. Bet El, which was built on private Palestinian land seized by the Israeli military in the 1970s, is considered one of the most politically radical settlements. President Donald Trump has changed U.S. policy by saying he does not believe a two-state solution is a necessary part of a peace deal. In a move expected to exacerbate tensions, Trump will reportedly declare Jerusalem Israel’s capital today.
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