Reuters reports: For many in the Israeli settlement of Bet El, deep in the occupied West Bank, Donald Trump’s choice of Jared Kushner as his senior adviser on the Middle East is a sign of politics shifting in their favor.
They regard Kushner, whose family’s charitable foundation has donated tens of thousands of dollars to their settlement, as part of a diplomatic rebalancing after what they view as eight years of anti-Israel bias under the U.S. administration of Barack Obama.
“He will stand up for our interests. I suppose he will lean in our favor,” said Avi Lavi, 46, who has lived in Bet El for more than 40 years. “He’ll be fair, as opposed to Obama, whose policy leaned always towards the Arabs.”
New U.S. President Trump says his son-in-law Kushner, 36, is capable of brokering the “ultimate deal” to deliver peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
Roi Margalit, manager of the Bet El Yeshiva, a seminary complex with around 400 students, said Kushner, an Orthodox Jewish father of three, understood the position of Israeli settlers better than previous envoys.
“At least now we have someone who knows us,” the 43-year-old added. “He will now have to study the other side (the Palestinians) and see if there is any common ground.”
Trump’s pick for Israeli ambassador has sparked particular enthusiasm in the community: David Friedman, who chairs the American Friends of Bet El Institutions fundraising group. [Continue reading…]