The outgoing U.S. ambassador to Israel, David Friedman (David Friedman), told the new National Security Adviser Jack Sullivan during a private hearing in the Knesset on Monday that Jared Kushner (Jake Sullivan) briefly introduced the Trump administration’s Middle East policy.
Why it matters: Friedman said that Kushner has briefed Sullivan on the “Abraham Agreement” process. According to lawmakers participating in the hearing, four Arab countries have used the process to normalize relations with Israel. Trump’s advisers hope that President-elect Biden will continue this process and encourage other countries such as Saudi Arabia to sign.
Push the news: The conference call took place about two weeks ago, just a few days after Kushner went to Saudi Arabia to attend the Gulf Leaders Summit. It is not yet clear whether Kushner has conveyed a message from Sullivan to any leaders.
- A Trump administration official told me that the White House special envoy Avi Berkowitz also introduced the standardization agreement to a former Obama administration official who may be engaged in Middle East-related work under Biden̵
- According to Israeli lawmakers who attended Monday’s briefing, Friedman said he recently met with former Obama-era President Dan Shapiro and introduced him to the Trump administration’s Work in the Middle East. Shapiro made it clear to Friedman at the meeting that he does not belong to the Biden transition team.
Behind-the-scenes: The MPs who attended the briefing said Friedman briefed the Knesset Foreign Relations Committee on how and what actions the Biden administration should take against Israel and the region.
- Friedman said Biden is a friend of Israel. He also said that he hopes that the Biden administration will put pressure on Israel on the issue of settlements in the West Bank, resume assistance to the Palestinian Authority, and continue to improve Israel’s ties with China. Friedman said Israel should pay more attention to this issue .
Friedman also said that Biden May try to revive Iran’s nuclear deal.
- An Israeli congressman said that he was particularly concerned about the impact of former Secretary of State John Kerry and former National Security Adviser Susan Rice on Biden’s Iran policy, despite the fact that neither party would participate in Iran’s investment.
- Friedman said that Israel should not immediately confront Biden on the Iran issue, but should ask the Biden government to start dialogue with Israel, the United Arab Emirates and other Arab countries before deciding to return the nuclear agreement.
Not surprisingly, Friedman said Biden shouldn’t Cancel Trump’s policy on Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem or the Golan Heights. He also argued that no progress will be made in the settlement struggle with Israel.
- Friedman claimed that Saudi Arabia will have realized that within a year, if Trump wins re-election, Israel.
- But he did criticize the boss, saying that Trump’s relationship with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was sometimes “too enthusiastic”, and Biden criticized Turkey more.
deeper: Netanyahu demanded full control of Israel’s Iran policy, which triggered a counterattack.