Not Only Americans Milk Saudis, ‘Israelis’ Do Too
By Staff | Haaretz
After the New York Times published a report that Saudi Arabia put $2 billion into Jared Kushner's investment fund despite objections he was too inexperienced, the matter raised a big question for Etyan Avriel who asked: Does the deal have an ‘Israeli’ angle – and could former Mossad head Yossi Cohen be involved?
In an analysis entitled “Trump's People Pocket Saudi Billions. What about Top ‘Israeli’ Officials?”, Avriel, the co-founder of TheMarker, the business newspaper of the Haaretz Group, tackled the ‘Israeli’ angle of the story. He uncovered that like Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, in the ‘Israeli’ entity, too, politicians and senior officials receive payments for the “public service” they provide for tycoons.”
“We could fill an entire newspaper with examples, which raises the question of whether the Kushner deal has an ‘Israeli’ angle,” Avriel noted as he started to explain the following:
Kushner, who promoted ties between Saudi Arabia and the United States, is also the person most responsible for the Abraham Accords, the 2020 agreement between ‘Israel’ and the UAE and Bahrain. He obviously had ‘Israeli’ partners, including the former Mossad chief, Yossi Cohen, and the US ambassador to Tel Aviv at the time, David Friedman [this according to foreign reports].
The author then asks: Did they also get something like the generous investment received by Kushner from Bin Salman?
There may be no definitive answer to this question. But one could point to several facts that raise some questions. According to several media reports, Cohen, for example, had planned, to join former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s fund. Instead, he was appointed head of the ‘Israeli’ operations of SoftBank’s $100 billion Vision venture capital fund.
The Saudi sovereign wealth fund is the anchor investor in the Vision fund, after putting at its disposal no less than $45 billion in 2017, with the UAE state investment company Mubadala providing a further $15 billion [SoftBank itself invested $28 billion].
In other words, the Vision Fund, which is funded almost exclusively by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, appointed to an important position that no doubt comes with a hefty salary and other perks Kushner’s partner in warming relations with the US and ‘Israel’, even though Cohen has no experience in business, high-tech or capital markets. Is this a coincidence?
There’s more. Last December, ‘Israeli’ Channel 12 television revealed that Cohen, while still chief of Mossad, helped his daughter Achinoam get a job as a director in a company controlled by Tahnoun bin Zayed, the UAE national security adviser, a counterpart to the head of Mossad in that country. One of bin Zayed’s companies has opened an office in Herzliya for the company employing Cohen’s daughter, but Cohen denies any improper ties. “I never turned to Sheikh Tahnoun on any topic connected to my daughter or her employment,” he claimed in comments to 'Israeli' Channel 12.
Other senior officials in the ‘Israeli’ Middle East diplomacy are linked to the same businesses. Friedman, for example, is a partner in the same Mnuchin’s fund that has received billions of dollars from the Saudis and Emiratis.
“Kushner, Mnuchin, Friedman and Cohen may have made ‘peace’ between ‘Israel’ and several Arab states, but they also leveraged the ‘peace’ into millions of dollars for each one of them personally, and in very short order,” the author concluded.