HISTORIC: In The Wall Street Journal report those familiar with the Saudi Public Investment Fund said thus far, two Israeli firms have been chosen to be invested in and that this is the first known instance of money from the fund being directed to Israel.
A new private-equity fund run by Jared Kushner intends to invest millions of dollars raised from Saudi Arabia in Israeli start-ups, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.
The fund, Affinity Partners, has already raised over $3 billion, including a $2 billion commitment from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign-wealth fund.
People familiar with the fund’s investment plan told The Wall Street Journal that the fund has already selected two Israeli firms to invest in. The sources added that Saudi officials agreed that the fund could invest in Israeli firms.
This would mark the first known instance of money from the Saudi Public Investment Fund being directed to Israel.
Israel and Saudi Arabia do not have diplomatic relations, although the Gulf kingdom has shown openness to establishing ties with Israel after a peace agreement is reached between Israel and the Palestinians. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman stated in March that Israel can become “a potential ally” of Saudi Arabia if the conflict with the Palestinians is resolved, according to Reuters.
According to the report, Kushner and his team warned Saudi officials that they could lose out on access and opportunities in the “Silicon Valley of the Middle East” to states in the region that had joined the Abraham Accords. Saudi Arabia could also open its economy to Israeli businesses via work with Kushner, sources familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal.
Kushner has pitched Affinity Partners to other Arab and majority Muslim states, including the UAE, Qatar and Indonesia. Qatar and Indonesia both do not have diplomatic relations with Israel.
In April, The New York Times reported that a panel that screens investments for the Saudi Public Investment Fund expressed concerns about the intent to invest $2 billion in Affinity Partners, including “‘the inexperience of the Affinity Fund management’; the possibility that the kingdom would be responsible for ‘the bulk of the investment and risk’; due diligence on the fledgling firm’s operations that found them ‘unsatisfactory in all aspects’; a proposed asset management fee that ‘seems excessive’; and ‘public relations risks'” from Kushner’s prior role as a senior adviser to former president Donald Trump.
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This show of economic cooperation with Israel was neither initiated by, nor involved anyone in the Biden Administration in any fashion.
– Sad. (Still not pro-Israel.)
Here’s a reminder of pro-Israel actions taken by the Trump administration:
In the year and a half since the Democrats have taken control of American politics, what new, unique action has the Biden admin done to protect American Jews or eliminate existential threats at Israel?
‘as a light unto the nations’