Saban and Singer host dinner with Trump peace team
Ahead of the United Nations General Assembly, Haim Saban and Paul Singer convened a private dinner on Tuesday evening in New York City featuring U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, Jared Kushner, and Jason Greenblatt. The kosher-catered dinner, held in a private room at the Pierre Hotel on the Upper East Side, brought together a politically diverse group of twenty Jewish business and communal leaders.
According to sources familiar with the event, the gathering was an opportunity for the senior administration officials to discuss their emerging plans for an Israeli-Palestinian peace process. It isn’t clear what, if any, specific details from their plans were shared during the two-hour-long dinner. However, winning support from influential leaders across the political spectrum has clearly been a priority for the administration. In recent weeks, Greenblatt has been spending a significant portion of his time briefing diplomats and Jewish groups in New York. On Tuesday alone, Greenblatt discussed the peace process at three separate events, including the dinner and two forums.
Attendees at Saban and Singer’s dinner included foreign policy experts Elliott Abrams and Martin Indyk, Patriots owner Robert Kraft, former Time Warner executive Gary Ginsberg, Start-Up Nation author Dan Senor, Israel Policy Forum leaders Charles Bronfman and Susie Gelman, Tikvah’s Roger Hertog, former New York Observer editor Ken Kurson, Guess Jeans’ Maurice Marciano, Ira Rennert, Bob Book, and former Conference of Presidents’ Chair Jim Tisch.
Earlier on Tuesday, Haley told reporters at the United Nations that the timing is “getting close” adding, “I have read the plan. It is thoroughly done. It is well-thought-out from both sides — the Palestinians and the Israelis.”
“The president’s full intent is to completely do everything he can with the peace plan,” Haley added.
In recent weeks, senior administration officials have indicated that while the rollout of Trump’s peace plan is not imminent, it could happen soon. “I hesitate even to put a month on it because it has shifted as we continue to listen and talk to people. So it’s not imminent,” U.S. Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, told leaders of the American Jewish Congress during a conference call last week. Friedman asserted that, contrary to reports, President Trump will not announce the plan during the United Nations General Assembly later this month. “It’s not going to happen,” he insisted.
Also on Tuesday, The State Department denied a report that Trump sought a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York. “The press report that President Trump requested a meeting with President Abbas is untrue and misleading,” State Department Spokesperson Edgar Vasquez said in a statement. According to a report from Hadashot TV News, Abbas sent Trump a list of demands, including ‘significant diplomatic gestures’ and the dismissal of Greenblatt and Jared Kushner from the Middle East negotiation team.