President Donald Trump’s first diplomatic visit to Israel, his son-in-law and chief Middle East negotiator Jared Kushner’s family received $30 million in investment from a prominent Israeli firm.
Shortly before last May’s official visit Kushner’s family real estate company received the multi-million dollar investment from the insurance broker Menora Mivtachim, one of the country’s largest financial institutions, for 10 Maryland apartment complexes, according to a report in The New York Times. According to the Times, the transactions do not appear to break federal ethic laws that would require Kushner, who has been given a critical diplomatic brief as White House adviser on the peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians, to recuse himself. The ethics rules require officials to step back from government decisions that would have a “direct and predictable effect” on his financial investments. However, the deal with Menora shows how the Kushner Companies' ties to Israel continue despite Jared Kushner’s sensitive work in the region. Observers have commented Kushner’s ongoing ties to the business could undercut his ability to be seen as an independent broker. In the wake of president Trump’s announcement last month that the U.S. would
move its embassy to Jerusalem and recognize the disputed city as the capital of Israel, Palestinian leadership has already said it no longer views the United States as a possible broker in the peace deal. “I think it’s reasonable for people to ask whether his business interests are somehow affecting his judgment,” Matthew T. Sanderson, a lawyer at Caplin & Drysdale in Washington told the Times. The deal between Kushner Companies and Menora Mivtachim was not made public but funneled investment into apartment buildings in and around Baltimore. While Kushner has sold parts of his business since his move into the Trump administration last year, he retains financial stakes in the business. Source