In an article in the Wall Street Journal last Sunday, Donald Trump’s son-in-law and former senior adviser Jared Kushner described how his diplomatic achievements caused a “geopolitical earthquake” in the Middle East that brought peace to the region and saw a potential end to the Israeli-Arab conflict. Kushner recalled how Dubai in the UAE, one of the Arab countries which signed his “Abraham Accords” to normalise relations with Israel, has become a safe haven for Israelis who once were seen as enemies in the region. He pointed out that more than 130,000 have already visited Dubai since Trump hosted the signing of the “peace deal” in September last year.
“New, friendly relations are flowering,” he claimed, pointing to the potential direct flights between Morocco and Israel. Other Arab countries are said to be on the track waiting for the appropriate time to join this “peace”. The architect of Trump’s peace plan — the infamous “Deal of the Century” — also said that, “We are witnessing the last vestiges of what has been known as the Arab-Israeli conflict.”
Kushner is not shy about being economical with the truth in his article. Nor is he concerned about feeding a few more lies into the hasbara — Israeli propaganda — machine. His intention remains to deceive his audience.
The very claim that the Abraham Accords are an elaborate “peace deal” was debunked by Lora Vonderhaar of the Georgetown University Centre for Security Studies. “[They are a] peace deal in name only,” she said, “… because neither Israel and Bahrain nor Israel and the UAE, have been at war with one another.” Vonderhaar noted the claim that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu abandoned his occupied Jordan Valley annexation plan in return for the Abraham Accords. However, it has been pointed out on many occasions since that annexation has been postponed, not abandoned altogether. This is no peace deal.
“It is unlikely that this agreement will create peace in the Middle East, as President Trump touts,” wrote Alexandra Konn wrote for the Organisation for World Peace. “For some, it is nothing more than an arms deal.” She added that with this agreement, and the potential for future agreements that do not require Israel to discontinue its settlements, “the dream of a Palestinian homeland becomes more unrealistic.”
The Abraham Accords have been imposed on the people of the region. This is clear by the crackdown on those who have opposed the normalisation deal by the authoritarian regimes in bed with the US.
According to Kushner in his WSJ article, “The conflict’s roots stretch back to the years after World War II, 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.” He made no mention of the deliberate ethnic cleansing of the indigenous Palestinians and the destruction of their homes and properties; no mention of the “Jewish terrorism”, as Robin Corbett called it in his book Guerrilla Warfare: from 1939 to the present day, that killed and maimed British Palestine Police officers as well as Palestinians; no mention of the military checkpoints, the apartheid wall, assassinations, drone attacks and military offensives against Palestinian civilians.
This was not, as he claimed in the Wall Street Journal, simply a “real-estate dispute”; it was and remains the Zionist takeover and colonisation of a land already inhabited by the Palestinians. The fact that he can describe it in such a glib fashion is a barefaced attempt to gloss over the war crimes that Israel has committed and continues to commit in occupied Palestine.
Kushner’s article cited Trump’s call during his 2017 visit to Saudi Arabia for “Muslim-majority countries to root out extremist ideology.” He omitted to point out that this was a euphemism for a fight against the main religion in the Middle East, as well as local culture, human rights, preachers, scientists, businessmen and even peaceful activism and resistance against Israel’s brutal military occupation. The American pair’s “extremism” excludes the fanatical Israeli settlers colonising Palestinian land protected by the soldiers of the apartheid state of Israel.
The great “peacemaker” did not mention those locked up without charge in Saudi prisons simply for their opposition to the US-backed ruling family. He did not mention the Saudi regime’s murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the detention and enforced disappearance of Palestinians and the mistreatment of foreign labourers, and repeated violations of international law. Nor did he mention Saudi war crimes in Yemen. He only saw fit to say that the regime in Riyadh “has made significant progress in combating extremism.” His silence makes him complicit in Saudi Arabia’s violations of human rights and international law. Contempt for the latter seems to be a qualification for “leading Zionist” status.
“The Saudi people are starting to see that Israel is not their enemy,” claimed Kushner. What he probably means is that Saudi Arabia will join the normalisation deal when it has locked up, forcibly disappeared or killed any and all opposition figures. With his father-in-law now out of office, Kushner called on his successor in the White House, President Joe Biden, to build on Trump’s legacy.
Unfortunately, this appears to be happening. Biden’s Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, has praised Trump’s efforts and achievements. “The initiatives that led to steps by countries to normalise relations with Israel were a very good thing and something we want to build on,” he said. Blinken has thus exposed US hypocrisy by planning to build the current administration’s Middle East policy on lies and pro-Israel propaganda as propounded by a political novice and avid supporter of the Israeli occupation, Jared Kushner.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.