- The White House senior adviser Jared Kushner on Thursday gifted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a map that showed the annexed territory of the Golan Heights as part of Israel.
- President Donald Trump signed the image and wrote the word “nice.”
- Trump in March overturned decades of US policy by formally recognising the Golan Heights as part of Israel.
- Netanyahu on Wednesday was dealt a devastating political blow when Israeli lawmakers voted to dissolve parliament and hold new elections because he failed to form a coalition government after April’s elections.
- The political chaos in Israel also spells trouble for Kushner’s Middle East peace plan, which he’s attempting to promote during his visit to the region.
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The White House senior adviser Jared Kushner on Thursday gave Benjamin Netanyahu an interesting gift after the Israeli prime minister suffered a devastating political blow earlier in the week.
As the president’s son-in-law visited Jerusalem to promote his Middle East peace plan, Kushner gifted Netanyahu a map that showed the annexed territory of the Golan Heights as part of Israel.
President Donald Trump signed the image and wrote the word “nice” with an arrow pointing to the disputed territory, which Israel seized from Syria in 1967.
#Israel PM Netanyahu has had his worst day in politics, but to make him feel better Jared Kushner hand delivered new US map showing annexed Golan Heights as part of Israel. Trump wrote “Nice”: pic.twitter.com/T2Sh09FwqF
— Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) May 30, 2019
In March, Trump went against decades of US policy and the international community by officially recognising the Golan Heights as Israeli territory. This came just weeks before Israel’s elections, in which Netanyahu’s ruling Likud party won 35 of the Knesset’s 120 seats and set him up for a fifth term.
But on Wednesday Israeli lawmakers voted to dissolve parliament and hold fresh elections after Netanyahu failed to form a coalition government.
This marked the first time in Israel’s history that a prime minister-designate failed to form a coalition, the BBC reported, and thus represented a massive political blow to Netanyahu.
Netanyahu’s rough week also spells trouble for the Trump administration’s Middle East peace plan, which Kushner is spearheading. The Israeli prime minister is a key Trump ally and crucial to his agenda in the region.
Now, however, Netanyahu’s future is up in the air with fresh elections set to be held in September, as well as legal woes and a potential indictment on the horizon.
Kushner’s Middle East peace plan is vague and not centered around a two-state solution, which for decades has been the US goal for ending the Israel-Palestine conflict. Instead, Kushner is focusing on economic development in Palestine, and his approach so far has faced pushback from key US allies in the region, such as Jordan.
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