Kushner Warns Palestinian Leaders Not To Make Him Read A 26th Book About This Crap
Donald Trump assigned his son-in-law Jared Kushner -- the nearest Jewish person available -- the small task of brokering peace in the Middle East. He didn't even ask him to change a light bulb first as a basic skills test. The president unveiled Kushner's brainchild at the White House Tuesday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. No Palestinian officials were present to hear the details of the deal that would give Israel most of what it wants and Palestinians the lease to own a well-maintained 1982 Buick Century.
Palestinians broke off direct talks with Kushner in 2017 after Trump moved the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. They also realized they were talking to Jared Kushner, which didn't help matters. Kushner is keeping the lines of communication open, however. He went on CNN and Fox News this week to discuss how much Palestinian leaders suck. It was similar to the "motivational speech" Alec Baldwin gives in Glengarry Glen Ross.
KUSHNER: What [Trump] has been able to do today is deliver for the Palestinians a pathway to a state, a contiguous territory, and conditions where they can earn their way to their independence, their dignity.
Wait, so Palestinians, who are human and all, have to "earn" their way to "independence" and "dignity." That's incredibly condescending. Once they "earn" this "independence" and "dignity," Trump and Kushner's proposed Palestinian state could have no standing army and would have to meet benchmarks that the Israeli government oversees. Palestinian leaders aren't thrilled with the offer.
"We reject it, and we demand the international community not be a partner to it because it contradicts the basics of international law and inalienable Palestinian rights," Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said on Monday. "It is nothing but a plan to finish off the Palestinian cause."
From the AP:
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas doubled down Wednesday on that rejection.
"After the nonsense that we heard today, we say a thousand no's to the 'Deal of The Century,'" he said
Trump insists his deal is in the Palestinian people's best interests, and if you can't trust an impeached, corrupt president, well, you're someone with serious trust issues. Kushner, the master diplomat, helped smooth things over on CNN.
KUSHNER: Perhaps their leadership will read the details of [the deal], stop posturing, and do what's best to make the Palestinian people's lives better.
Tough-talking Jared Kushner is gonna show those Palestinians who's boss. They better put down that coffee, too. It's for closers only. He implied, as in outright stated, that Palestinian leadership is "illogical" and "corrupt" and there was a question of how long the international world was going to "tolerate" their hot mess. Kushner also bizarrely kept insisting that now was the best time for a deal because Israel "continues to grow and grow." If only someone had suggested not to do that!
Kushner felt big sads for the Palestinian people but if they want to show that they are "ready" to have a state, they need to start acting like it. They should at least try to model themselves after our amazingly functional democracy. Trump had given them a great opportunity, but he frankly wasn't confident that their leaders wouldn't just screw it up again like they do everything else.
KUSHNER: You have 5 million Palestinians who are really trapped because of bad leadership. So what we've done is we've created an opportunity for their leadership to either seize or not. If they screw up this opportunity — which again, they have a perfect track record of missing opportunities — if they screw this up, I think they will have a very hard time looking the international community in the face, saying they are victims, saying they have rights. This is a great deal for them if they come to the table and negotiate I think they can get something excellent …
The Palestinian leadership have to ask themselves a question: Do they want to have a state? Do they want to have a better life? If they do, we have created a framework for them to have it and we're going to treat them in a very respectful manner. If they don't, then they're going to screw up another opportunity like they've screwed up every other opportunity that they've ever had in their existence.
Again, don't the Palestinians have rights because they're human beings? Kushner at least believes their track record of failure is "perfect." He sweetened the vinegar with a dash of honey.
What even qualifies Kushner to disparage the Palestinian leadership and condescend to its people? Well, he boasted to Sky News Arabia that he's read a whopping 25 books on the Israel-Palestine conflict. (They were probably part of a Time Life set that included a series on the Old West.) That might make him an "expert" in a functionally illiterate presidency, but his impressive Goodreads list isn't going to make Trump's self-proclaimed "deal of the century" a success.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."