The White House is concerned about the domestic political implications of unveiling senior advisor Jared Kushner’s long-awaited plan to bring peace to the Middle East, Axios reported Saturday.
“Ahead of the launch of President Trump’s Israeli-Palestinian peace plan, the White House has been engaging with Evangelical leaders to reassure them about the plan,” Axios reported. “Evangelicals are a crucial part of Trump’s political base and senior officials in his administration, like Vice President Pence and Secretary of State Pompeo, are Evangelicals. Most U.S. Evangelicals are strong supporters of Israel, and many Evangelical leaders are stanch allies of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.”
The plan has been panned by Palestinian, who are anticipating a proposal they cannot support, because of Kushner’s close friendship with Netanyahu.
But instead of working to reassure the Palestinians about the plan, Donald Trump’s administration is instead worried about his Evangelical base.
The meeting with Trump’s Middle East envoy, Jason Greenblatt, included Pastor John Hagee, Pastor Paula White and Pastor Jentezen Franklin, who tweeted a photo of the meeting.
“A source who attended the meeting said that several of the Evangelical leaders raised concerns about the peace plan, especially about the possibility it will give the Palestinians a capital in parts of East Jerusalem,” Axios reported.
Joel Rosenberg reportedly attended the meeting and retweeted the Axios account of what transpired.
“Rosenberg, who is also a personal friend of Pence and Pompeo, says he told the other Evangelical leaders in the meetings that Palestinian President Abbas is never going to make a deal, so there is no need to be too worried that Jerusalem is going to be sacrificed,” Axios reported.
“We need to allow the President freedom of movement and latitude to present a plan that would allow those Arab states which are more willing than ever to make peace with Israel to move forward. We need to give the Arab States the ability to support this. If the Saudis, the Egyptian and others can say that this plan is credible it will open the door for, after the Palestinians say no, to talk about how to move forward with Israel,” Rosenberg reportedly said.
Indeed, support from the Palestinians did not seem important to the White House. Greenblatt, the U.S. envoy and former Trump Organization real estate lawyer, repeatedly slammed the Palestinian Authority following the meeting.