Jan 18, 2021
JERUSALEM WEATHER

On Monday, Jared Kushner, President Trump’s Orthodox Jewish son-in-law and special advisor, participated in a tree-planting ceremony in the Grove of Nations in Jerusalem where he was joined by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in planting 18 olive trees.

“It turns out Jerusalem is not the cause of the problem — it is the core of the solution,” Kushner said at the ceremony, explaining that, contrary to many prevailing opinions, it was the president’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s eternal capital that led to the unprecedented wave of peace washing over the region.

Kushner, who noted that he is the grandson of Holocaust survivors, said that he hopes that the recent peace agreements will continue to bear fruit for the region.

“The peace agreements that we have made are planted seeds that will sustain life and bear fruit if tended to correctly,” he said.

In 2017, President Trump was strongly warned that recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel would set off an explosion in the Middle East,” Kushner said at the ceremony honoring his peace efforts.

“As it turned out, there has been an explosion, just not the kind of explosion the experts thought might happen. President Trump’s bold decisions led to an explosion of peace,” “Some have used the cause of Jerusalem to divide; Jerusalem remains proudly open,” Kushner said, emphasizing that the Abraham Accords have allowed Jerusalem to move towards becoming a House of Prayer for All Nations.

“Over the last four months, we’ve now achieved four peace agreements and thanks to four years of hard work, I do think the benefits of that will be felt for years to come,” Kushner said.

Also participating in the ceremony were US Assistant to the President for International Negotiations Avi Berkowitz, US International Development Finance Corporation CEO Adam S. Boehler and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman.
“We are here in the Grove of Nations for the planting of eighteen olive trees,” Netanyahu said. “Now the numerical value of the Hebrew letters for eighteen is chai, which means life, and the olive branch is a traditional symbol of life and peace. It is fitting that we choose to honor Jared Kushner in this way. Jared, you’ve played a critical role in the inception and in the implementation of the Abraham Accords. These accords have shown the world, and the entire Middle East of course, how to shed hostility and conflict and how to embrace the path of life and peace.
“In the last few months, four Arab states have chosen life and peace over hostility and conflict and more Arab countries will follow as the circle of peace continues to expand.
“From here today, tomorrow you go with my special representative Meir Ben-Shabbat to see the King of Morocco. Please give him my warmest regards and the regards of the entire people of Israel for the brave and important historic decision that he has made, again under the leadership of President Trump and your important personal role in making these things happen.
“You have left through the Abraham Accords a mark on our region Jared. I don’t think it’s a passing mark. I don’t think the seasonal rains will wash it away. I think it’s here to stay. It’s a great thing and something that we truly treasure.
“So in planting the Kushner Garden of Peace as a permanent presence in this Grove of Nations we will ensure that future generations will know what your contribution has been.

The Grove of Nations is found in the Jerusalem Forest and makes up a part of the Olive Tree Route, an initiative led by UNESCO and the Council of Europe to establish an Olive Tree Route around the entire Mediterranean basin expressing the common desire for peace and co-existence.