The Trump administration held a closed-door meeting with more than 70 Jewish and pro-Israel leaders at the White House on Tuesday ahead of the highly-anticipated Mideast peace plan between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
The meeting was “a feel-good thing” where the administration’s support for Israel was celebrated, an attendee told JNS.
U.S. Ambassador Ron Dermer said that he is not afraid of the peace proposal, saying that “we know we have a friend here” at the White House in U.S. President Donald Trump.
“I know a lot of people are concerned that the peace plan is going to be coming out soon,” said Dermer, reported Jewish Insider. “But I have to say, as Israel’s ambassador, I am confident that this administration — given its support for Israel — will take Israel’s vital concerns into account in any plan they will put forward.”
“So, while I will never blame any American president or secretary of state or envoy for the failure to achieve peace — anyone who does that doesn’t understand why we don’t have peace. The Palestinians have to cross the Rubicon. It’s going to be up to them,” he added. “But what you can be is better or worse facilitators to get them to that point. And I could not think of better facilitators, with better relations both with Israel and the Arab world, to take advantage of this historic opportunity. I know that you all join me in wishing the best for the initiative that will come in the weeks and months ahead.”
The administration’s accomplishments have included, but are not limited to, recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017 and relocating the U.S. Embassy there from Tel Aviv in May 2018, the U.S. withdrawal from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal as well as both reimposed and fresh sanctions against Tehran; and recognizing last month Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.
In attendance from the administration were U.S. Special Envoy for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt, U.S. Special Envoy for Monitoring and Combating Anti-Semitism Elan Carr and deputy assistant to the president Avi Berkowitz, neither of whom spoke, according to two people who were in the room.
In addition to talking about the Trump administration’s fight against Jew hatred, Carr announced that he will travel to Eastern Europe and the United Kingdom after Passover. Anti-Semitism has been on the rise throughout Europe.
The U.S. State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The meeting did not consist of a question-and-answer session, according to an attendee, who mentioned that afterward there was a reception with kosher-for-Passover food.
The leaven-free holiday begins at sundown on Friday and ends at nightfall on April 27.