KUSHNER: UNRWA 'CORRUPT' AND DOESN'T HELP PEACE

Jared Kushner, senior advisor and son-in-law to President Donald Trump, wrote in a confidential email that the United Nations Relief and Work Agency (UNRWA) is "corrupt" and "doesn't help peace."

UNRWA provides services, including education and health care, to Palestinian refugees and their descendants who reside in the Middle East. The Trump administration announced it would cut US funding to the agency on August 31, 2018.

Kushner's letter, sent January 11, 2018, was revealed on Friday by Foreign Policy magazine. Kushner forwarded it to various current and former government officials, including former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, former national security advisor H. R. McMaster, and Special Envoy to the Middle East Jason Greenblatt.

"It's very important to have an honest and sincere effort to disrupt UNWRA [sic]," wrote Kushner. UNRWA "perpetuates a status quo, is corrupt, inefficient and doesn't help peace."

He continued, "Our goal can't be to keep things stable as they are, our goal had to be to make things significantly BETTER!

"Sometimes you have to strategically risk breaking things in order to get there."

Kushner also suggested that former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (who was not among the recipients of the letter) read an op-ed in the January 10 edition of the Wall Street Journal, applauding the Trump administration's decision to freeze funding for UNRWA. 

The Trump administration has changed a number of US policies regarding Israel, the Palestinians and the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Besides refusing to fund UNRWA, the US recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and subsequently moved its embassy there, and also recognized the Golan Heights as part of Israel. 


Joan Lurie