Riyadh to invest millions in Israeli technology through Jared Kushner’s new fund

Saudi Arabia plans to allocate millions of dollars in investment in Israeli technology companies through Jared Kushner’s new private equity firm, a statement said. report in The Wall Street Journal citing people familiar with the investment plan.

Kushner, the son-in-law of former US President Donald Trump and an ex-senior adviser, founded Affinity Partners late last year. about $3 billion in dedicated financing from international investors, including the Saudis.

The WSJ report states that Riyadh has been eyeing two Israeli companies for investment, although the names of the companies have not been disclosed, nor the sectors in which they operate.

The report said the investment is “the first known case of money from the Saudi public investment fund to be funneled into Israel, a sign of the kingdom’s increasing willingness to do business with the country, even though they have no diplomatic ties.” .”

Last December, The New York Times reported that Affinity Partners has hired about 20 people and plans to focus on investments in the US and those in the Middle East. The report said the $450 billion Saudi Public Investment Fund was negotiating with Kushner about what could turn out to be a significant investment in Affinity Partners, according to two sources.

The New York Times also said in the report that while Saudi advisers were initially hesitant to contribute to the fund, Saudi Crown Prince and de facto leader Mohammed Bin Salman reportedly intervened and pushed the investment in Affinity Partners forward.

Both Bin Salman and Kushner have very close ties, dating back to the latter’s time in the White House. In 2018, it was widely reported that the Crown Prince had said he had Kushner”in his pocket” amid an “anti-corruption crackdown” in the kingdom targeting dissidents and critics.

Earlier this year, it was reported that Kushner would also open an office in Israel that will further business ties between Israel, India, the Gulf States and North Africa.

One of Kushner’s last acts as an adviser to Trump was to negotiate normalization agreements between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco, the so-called “Abraham Accords.”

Much of Kushner’s emphasis in shaping his father-in-law’s Middle East policy was on peace fueled by investment and economic development, but it did not lead to a breakthrough in Israeli-Palestinian peace.

Kushner also took a leadership role in leading Trump’s campaigns in 2016 and 2020, but has indicated he will not be involved in a potential Trump campaign in 2024.

Kushner is the third generation in a family real estate empire founded by his Holocaust survivor grandfather.

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