Jared Kushner Pens Love Letter To MBS In Wall Street Journal
Oh, thank Christ! The gaping void left when Jared Kushner fucked off and stopped blessing us with his foreign policy insights has been filled. This morning, the Royal Consort graced the world with an opinion piece on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the Wall Street Journal.
Spoiler Alert: It's RIDICULOUS.
Naturally Kush starts off praising himself, saying, "The geopolitical earthquake that began with the Abraham Accords hasn't ended." The so-called Abraham Accords are the series of normalization agreements in 2020 between Muslim countries and Israel putting an end to decades of open hostility "when Arab leaders refused to accept the creation of the state of Israel and spent 70 years vilifying it and using it to divert attention from domestic shortcomings," as Kushner puts it. It came about after the Boy Wonder persuaded his pal Mohammed bin Salman that it would be better for the Sunni Arab powers to forget about the Palestinians and ally with Israel against Iran.
And Kushner's not wrong from a geopolitical standpoint. It's certainly better for Israel and the Sunni states to be able to coordinate trade and defense, each legitimizing the other in their respective spheres. Who doesn't want more friends with shaky democratic bona fides who'll never call you out on human rights violations, right? But it's not better for the Palestinians, who are clearly going to get hosed here.
Just look at this a-historical bullshit.
One of the reasons the Arab-Israeli conflict persisted for so long was the myth that it could be solved only after Israel and the Palestinians resolved their differences. That was never true. The Abraham Accords exposed the conflict as nothing more than a real-estate dispute between Israelis and Palestinians that need not hold up Israel's relations with the broader Arab world. It will ultimately be resolved when both sides agree on an arbitrary boundary line.
A real estate dispute? SERIOUSLY?
This isn't some condo board showdown about trash in the common hallways. The Palestinians lost their land. You can believe — as I do — that Israel has a right to exist and historical claim to exist in the Middle East without pretending Palestinians aren't getting screwed here.
And waving your hands dismissively over an inevitable "arbitrary boundary line" is a weird way to admit Israel is going to annex great chunks of the West Bank now that its Arab neighbors have signaled that they no longer give a shit about the Palestinians.
"[E]very deal is a blow to those who prefer chaos," the feckless dilettante says, breezily branding the Palestinian desire for self-determination as stochastic terrorism. Yes, the Palestinians have terrible leaders who spent two generations making disastrous, maximalist bets. But blithely dismissing the fate of millions of desperate Palestinians who have grown up believing that somehow, someday, they'd get all the land, won't make them disappear.
"As the custodian of the two holiest sites in Islam, Saudi Arabia has made significant progress in combating extremism, which has greatly reduced America's risk of attack and created the environment for today's new partnerships," Kushner writes. Which is true if you ignore the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi, the killing of three American sailors in Florida by a radicalized Saudi soldier in 2019, and MBS's campaign of kidnapping and hacking against dissidents worldwide. Also his crackdown on critics at home, including jailing women who demand the right to drive. Not to mention the horrible war in Yemen that has brought the entire country to the brink of starvation and the Saudis' role in overthrowing the Lebanese prime minister. There was also that business in 2018 when MBS locked up hundreds of members of his own family and used various methods of persuasion to get them to hand over their cash to prop up his own power. But other than that, no extremism whatsoever!
For people who insist the Iran nuclear agreement was shit because it was focused solely on uranium enrichment and failed to address Iran's other malign activities, Republicans have a broad tolerance for their Saudi pals' bad behavior. And while we're on the subject of Iran, it should be noted that a good piece of the op-ed is spent praising the Biden administration for being very smart about negotiating with Iran — just like the Trump administration was! — because those mullahs are going to buckle under to sanctions any second now, just you wait. Because foreign policy is so much easier once you've discovered the one weird trick of sticking your fingers in your ears and singing lalalala I can't hear you!
I don't know what the answer is to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is. Ditto for the North Korean nuclear problem, and the Iranian nuclear problem, and Russian annexation of the Crimea, and the immigration crisis. Because hard problems are HARD. And they don't get magically easy by closing your eyes and pretending that complexity and four million human beings don't exist.
This ain't it.
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.