By Times Headline Writer
President-elect Donald Trump said Tuesday he would “love” to clinch a deal to end the intractable conflict between Israel and the Palestinians despite the checkered history of US attempts to broker a Middle East peace.
“I would love to be the one who made peace with Israel and the Palestinians, that would be such a great achievement,” Trump said in an interview with The New York Times. A New York Times reporter tweeted that Trump also suggested that his son-in-law Jared Kushner could help broker the deal.
Kushner, who is married to Trump’s daughter Ivanka, is from an Orthodox Jewish family. The businessman and investor was a close adviser to Trump during the election campaign.
After Trump’s November 8 win, Kushner reportedly asked for access to the daily White House security briefings given to his father-in-law.
Kushner and his wife were present when Trump visited with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on November 17, the president-elect’s first meeting with a foreign leader.
Trump has raised Palestinian ire by proposing that Jerusalem should be recognized as Israel’s capital, an idea contrary to traditional US policy.
The Israeli right has expressed particular satisfaction with Trump’s election win, viewing it as a sign to resume or accelerate settlement building in the Israel-occupied Palestinian territories, and even the end of the idea of an independent Palestinian state.
Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman last week said Trump’s aides were urging right-wing Israeli politicians to curb their public jubilation at his election, according to Israeli media.
The US secretary of state, John Kerry, has been trying for months, unsuccessfully, to bring Israelis and Palestinians together for peace talks. Direct talks between the two sides ended two and a half years ago.