Trump Administration to Postpone Release of Political Portion of Israeli-Palestinian Peace Plan

The Trump administration has decided to delay the release of the political part of its Israeli-Palestinian peace plan until Israel holds elections and forms a government this fall, according to two sources, who said that the reasoning behind such a decision was that White House adviser Jared Kushner and White House Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt don’t want to influence the Israeli election with the plan.

Greenblatt acknowledged Sunday that the election would change the timing for the release of the political portion of the peace plan, writing, “We know there is no perfect time, and we won’t pretend that the Israeli elections might not have an impact on that timing,” in a piece published on CNN.

That same day, the Middle East envoy told a conference hosted by the Jerusalem Post in New York that the administration was inclined to delay the release of the political part of the plan until after a government had been formed in Israel, somewhere in November. He added that President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign, which by then will already be in full swing, won’t affect the peace plan.

The economic part of the plan, however, will be released at the end of June, at a workshop in Bahrain, the two sources noted, although it remains unclear whether the entire economic plan would be revealed.

“We fully recognize that our economic plan cannot be successful without a political agreement, just as a political agreement would have little chance without an effective economic plan. The elements of the conflict must be dealt with to unlock the incredible potential of the Palestinian and regional economy,” Greenblatt wrote Sunday, amid accusations by Palestinian leaders that the Trump administration is trying to buy the Palestinian people by revealing the political portion of the plan first.

During the conference, the White House envoy likewise backed U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman’s statement that Israel had the right to retain some parts of the West Bank. “David spoke elegantly and I support what he said,” Greenblatt said.

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