Jared Kushner under fire for highlighting value of Gaza’s ‘waterfront property’

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By journalsofus.com

Jared Kushner, son-in-law and former senior adviser to former President Donald Trump, is facing a wave of scrutiny over comments he made about the Gaza Strip.

Kushner, who was put in charge of the Trump administration’s peace planning efforts in the Middle East by his father-in-law, spoke at an event in February hosted by Harvard University. Middle East Initiativethe Ivy League school’s policy forum and academic center focused on the Middle East and North Africa.

Kushner was interviewed by Professor Tarek Masoud, chair of the Faculty of the Middle East Initiative, as part of the forum’s “Middle East Dialogues” series because of his role in shaping that administration’s foreign policy in the region. , his role in the creation of the Abraham Accords and, in a small part. due to his status as a Harvard student.

Almost from the beginning of his comment, Kushner waded into the controversy, prominently arguing that Israel should evacuate the remaining Palestinian civilians in Rafah and forcibly resettle them in an area of ​​the Negev Desert that spans most of the South of the country.

“What I would do if I were Israel is, number one: get as many civilians out of Rafah as possible. I think you have to try to clean that up,” Kushner explained. “Maybe with diplomacy you can get them to Egypt. I know that has been rejected, but with the right diplomacy I think it would be possible.”

“On top of that, what I would try to do if I were Israel right now is try to take down something in the Negev; I would try to move people there. I know that won’t be the most popular thing.” but I think it’s a better option to be able to go in and finish the job.”

While this comment was made with skepticism, pointing out that the Negev is a desert, the real outrage was reserved for Kushner’s subsequent comment praising the economic viability and potential of the coastal areas of the Gaza Strip.

“Gaza’s waterfront property could be very valuable if people focused on creating livelihoods,” Kushner said later in the talk. He also stated earlier in the conversation that “from Israel’s perspective, they would do everything possible to get people out and then clean them up.” While he admitted that Israel has not explicitly stated that it will not allow Palestinians to return to Gaza if there is a mass exodus, he qualified this by saying: “I’m not sure there is much left of Gaza at this point.”

This comment was met with harsh criticism from online figures, such as Dylan Williams, vice president of government affairs at the Center for International Policy, a left-wing think tank, who claimed that Kushner was openly promoting the ethnic cleansing of Gaza’s Palestinians. .

“Just days after @ADL’s @JGreenblattADL gave him an award for “his record of political work,” Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner is openly advocating ethnic cleansing of Gaza,” Williams wrote. in X, formerly Twitter. Here he was referring to the Anti-Defamation League which recently praised Kushner for his “vital and deeply impactful work on the Abraham Accords.”

Other uses offered similar, if not harsher, criticism, with X users such as Jeffrey Evan Gold, a legal analyst for companies such as CNN and Fox News. writing“So, he wants Gaza to be razed, all Palestinians deported, Israel to annex the land and build condos on the waterfront…

Kushner insisted his comments were taken out of context, noting in a post on

However, his comments have stoked fears among Palestinians and pro-Palestinian activists, who believe Israel is “exaggerating” – to quote President Joe Biden – military operations in the Gaza Strip that have displaced more than 85%. of the population amount to an attempt land grab for Israel.

Others worry that Kushner’s comments represent a possible indifference by US lawmakers toward possible ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, with episodes featuring Republican representatives from Tennessee. Andy Ogles and Chuck Fleischman. The latter told a Palestinian activist “goodbye to Palestine” during an interaction earlier this month and Ogles said he believes “we should kill them all” in a similar confrontation.

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