Jared Kushner calls Palestinians 'foolish' for rejecting Trump's plan
Jared Kushner, Donald Trump's son-in-law and architect of the US President's Middle East plan, has called the Palestinians "quite foolish" for immediately rejecting the administration's "deal of the century."
The long awaited 181-page document contained conceptual maps showing how Israel and a future Palestinian state would appear, if the Palestinians agreed to sign up to the plan.
The points laid out in the document allow for Israel to annex illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank, including the strategic Jordan Valley, refer to Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and deny Palestinians the right to return to their ancestral homes in Israel.
Before the plan was released, rival Palestinian factions came out in unison against it, with thousands protesting in towns and villages in the occupied West Bank and in the Gaza Strip.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas gave it "a thousand no's," articulating that Palestinians remained committed to ending the Israeli occupation and establishing a state with Jerusalem as its capital.
On Wednesday, Kushner, who did not include the Palestinians when drafting the agreement, said: "They rejected the plan before they saw it.
"They thought it wasn't going to be as good as it was. I think they look quite foolish today."
'Take a cold shower'
Kushner, who prior to joining the Trump administration had no experience working in policy or politics, also said: "The Palestinians probably need a little bit of time to take a cold shower and to kind of digest the plan."
While the Trump administration, and right-wing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, have lauded the document, Israeli security chiefs have expressed growing concern over it, saying it could cause significant unrest in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
Kushner said the US was willing to engage in some form of negotation of their plan, if the Palestinians were to bring a counter-offer to the table.
"If we feel like there is a good-faith chance or a desire on their side to come with a counter-proposal, we'll figure out the right forum to engage in it to bring about a solution," he said.
"If the Palestinians reject this and they don't do negotiations, they've put themselves in a totally indefensible position."
According to Haaretz, Kushner said in private conversations two years ago that his job was to "make it hard" for the Palestinians to reject the plan, and "not to give them an easy way out".
Abbas is expected to speak at the United Nations within the next two weeks about the plan, according to Palestine's UN envoy Riyad Mansour.
The leader will also be voting on a resolution regarding the Trump adminstration's plan, which Washington will likely veto.