With the American public and the rest of the world focused the Russian election meddling saga, on the sidelines remains another country the Trump administration seems to have deep – financial and other – ties with: Israel.
In February 2017, the New York Times released a special report on Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser. In 1998, along with thousands of Jewish teenagers, Jared visited the Auschwitz-Birkenau crematory. The group flew to Poland, and then to Israel, “to complete the journey from slaughter to Zionist rebirth,” as the New York Times put it.
Back then, the NYT noted, Kushner was a high school basketball player, a carefree teenager like his peers. What separated young Jared from others were his personal ties to the man who had led the teenagers through the Auschwitz-Birkenau crematory, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu and Kushners are so close that the Israeli Prime Minister once stayed in their New Jersey home, in Jared’s bedroom.
Netanyahu may have slept in Jared’s bed, but Jared seems to be in bed with various Israeli banks and businesses, according to a report released by the Washington Post today. Currently on a tour of the Middle East, Kushner and the Trump campaign have, once again, come under scrutiny.
According to recently released disclosure reports obtained by WaPo, the Kushners have made numerous substantial investments with Israeli businesses and banks, which have expanded and exponentially grown along with Jared’s White House tenure. For instance, Jared and his father, Charles, increased their line of credit with an Israeli bank to as much as $25 million.
Similarly, Jared Kushner and his wife Ivanka Trump, made at least $82 million in outside income in 2017 as they served as senior White House advisers, the Washington Post added, referencing recently published filings of one of America’s most powerful couples.
This Friday, the Washington Post noted, Jared met with Israeli officials, on a mission to fulfill his father-in-law’s promises of peace in the Middle East. While the trip could prove significant to Kushner’s reputation as a peace negotiator, Palestinians question Jared’s objectivity or lack thereof.
“Everybody knows he has deals with Israeli banks and insurance firms,” Hanan Ashrawi of the Palestine Liberation Organization said in a statement to WaPo.
The Kushner family foundation is known to support Israeli causes, according to the Washington Post, including Israel’s army, the Israel Defense Forces.
“He has a conflict of interest. By funding the Israeli army with $315,000, it has permitted senior army officials to allocate other funds to criminal activity like maiming and murdering Palestinian farmers,” Martin McMahon, a Washington lawyer who represents Palestinians concluded in a statement supplied to the Washington Post.