Affinity Partners, a new private-equity fund started by Jared Kushner, plans to invest money from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund in Israeli businesses, the Wall Street Journal reported Saturday, marking the first time the giant Saudi fund has invested in Israel, with which the Saudi government does not have a formal diplomatic relationship.
Affinity Partners has selected at least two Israeli startups to invest in, people familiar with the plans told the Journal.
Affinity Partners has raised more than $3 billion, which includes a $2 billion commitment from the Saudi Public Investment Fund.
After Saudi officials agreed Affinity Partners could invest in Israel, Kushner, who played a leading role in the Middle East policy of his father-in-law Donald Trump’s presidential administration, met with dozens of companies ranging from agriculture to healthcare to software, people familiar with the meetings told the Journal.
Kushner did not specify which Israeli businesses the firm would be working with, nor how much money will be directed toward Israel, but he told the Journal his work in the White House “kicked off historic regional change which needs to be reinforced and nurtured to achieve its potential.”
A representative for Kushner did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Forbes.
Kushner, who founded Affinity Partners after leaving the White House in 2021, played a significant role in advancing Israel’s relations with its Arab neighbors while serving as a senior adviser, despite having no diplomatic experience. He helped broker the Abraham Accords, which brought a normalization deal between Israel, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates….
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