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Jared Kushner’s new private-equity fund has secured Saudi Arabia’s first ever investment in Israel, with plans to distribute tens of millions of dollars to two Israeli firms.
Affinity Partners, which has raised more than $2 billion of its $3 billion investment kitty from the Saudi kingdom, will make the investment after Prince Mohammed bin Salman and officials agreed that the fund could be given to Israeli firms, the Wall Street Journal reported.
A source knowledgeable on the deal told DailyMail.com that Kushner, a former White House adviser and son-in-law of former President Donald Trump, will pour tens of millions of dollars of the kingdom’s money into the Israeli start-ups to highlight the historic moment between the two countries.
‘If we can get Israelis and Muslims in the region to do business together it will focus people on shared interests and shared values,’ Kushner told the WSJ.
‘We kicked off historic regional change which needs to be reinforced and nurtured to achieve its potential.’
Kushner was heralded for organizing the Abraham Accords in 2020 while working for the Trump Administration. That signaled historic cooperation between Israel and its neighbors Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.
Saudi Arabia didn’t sign the Accord, but Kushner’s newly-announced plan to invest Crown Prince MBS’s money in Israel with Saudi approval signals a historic warming in relations between the two nations.
Middle Eastern nations had previously signaled they’d only consider diplomatic relations with Israel if it agreed to create a state for the people of Palestine.
Jared Kushner’s new private-equity fund Affinity Partners raised more than $2 billion of its 3 billion fund from Saudi Arabia, led by Mohammed bin Salman. Kushner (right) is pictured with the prince in Saudi Arabia in 2017
Kushner is poised to give tens of millions of dollars to two Israeli firms. It will be the first time money from the Saudi government will be invested in Israel, led by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett (pictured), as Kushner hopes it will open diplomatic relations between the countries
The deal is poised to be another win for Kushner in the Middle East, who helped secure the Abraham Accords two years ago to open business relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.
He made considerable progress while in the White House and working alongside Israel’s former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Naftali Bennett was voted in as Israeli PM in 2021, with Kushner’s progress also slowed by Trump’s 2020 election loss. But the newly-announced Saudi investment signals his continued focus on trying to bring peace to the region.
When raising funds in Saudi Arabia, Kushner tapped the Saudi leadership and warned them that the country could lose out on what they called ‘the Silicon Valley of the Middle East’ to competing Arab nations, people familiar with the deal told the WSJ.
They added that when drafting a list of nations that would receive money from Saudi Arabia’s $600 billion Public Investment Fund (PIF), whose board is chaired by the prince, Saudi officials agreed not to exclude Israel, a first since the nation began investing in foreign entities.
Prince Mohammed has previously said a bulk of the PIF would be used to develop a futuristic new Saudi city-state called Neom, which he hoped would receive the backing of Israeli investors.
Kushner said that good and continuing economic relations between the two countries could help open up diplomatic opportunities between them as well.
‘The more that we can create business ties and introduce the innovators from the region to each other the more we strengthen people who want to take this new path while weakening those stuck in the old paradigm,’ Kusher told WSJ.
Kushner reportedly secured a deal with Saudi’s sovereign wealth fund, which also has shares in Uber and Newcastle United Football Club and is headed by Saudi Arabia’s de facto leader Mohammed bin Salman (pictured: MBS, Kushner and his wife Ivanka Trump in May 2017)
After securing the Saudi investment to fuel his fund, Kushner and his team traveled to Israel in March to meet with dozens of companies looking for financial support.
Kushner has yet to name which two firms he has decided Affinity Partners will invest in.
Along with Saudi Arabi, Kushner is looking to raise funds from Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim-majority country, which does not currently have diplomatic relations with Israel.
Kushner had been working to broker a deal between the two countries during his tenure at the White House, but the deal failed to come together before Joe Biden took office.
‘Increasing prosperity in the region and building business bridges across the region has the ability to cement long-term relationships developed when the Abraham Accords were signed,’ Elie Wurtman, co-founder of PICO Venture Partners who helped arrange meetings for Mr. Kushner and his team, told the WSJ.