Jared Kushner has defended his Middle East peace plan, saying he has achieved clarity on the issue because he’s read 25 books about it.
“I’ve been studying this now for three years,” Kushner said of the conflict in an interview with Sky News Arabia on Wednesday.
“I’ve read 25 books on it, I’ve spoken to every leader in the region, I’ve spoken to everyone who’s been involved in this.”
Kushner immediately had people questioning online whether this could count as credible evidence of his ability to end one of the most contentious issues in modern history. Some think not.
Got it. So, if I read 25 books on the life of a astronaut I can finally fulfill my childhood dream of being an astronaut. https://t.co/ccmKLf8FCa— Karine Jean-Pierre (@K_JeanPierre) January 29, 2020
I've read 25 books on the NBA. I'm available whenever the Chicago Bulls need a new point guard. https://t.co/9g1jvUdSSd— Renato Mariotti (@renato_mariotti) January 29, 2020
Reading 25 books on the Israel-Palestine conflict and becoming an expert on peace in the Middle East is about as likely as reading the Harry Potter series and becoming a wizard. https://t.co/vGHhfdq7Ii— Vicky Ward (@VickyPJWard) January 29, 2020
I've read 25 medical books. Now please let me do surgery https://t.co/DzHsfNyBc4— Adam Blickstein (@AdamBlickstein) January 29, 2020
Is 25 books supposed to be a lot?— Ariane Tabatabai (@ArianeTabatabai) January 29, 2020
I have read more than 25 books on Israel/Palestine and wouldn’t even write an op-ed on the topic let alone a whole plan.
I call Bullsh*t. Kushner hasn't read 25 books on any subject. The mere act of him making such a claim tells us that Kushner feels he's unqualified to be in his position. It's akin to a 16-year old who wants the car on Friday night — reciting all of his chores to his mother. https://t.co/8xN2od2EdK— Dr. Jack Brown (@DrGJackBrown) January 29, 2020
let’s congratulate Jared Kushner on reading 25 books on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and learning nothing from any of them— Chris Mohney (@chrismohney) January 29, 2020
Are people surprised that all of Kushner’s foreign policy experience from reading 25 books didn’t get a Middle East peace deal?— David Yankovich (@DavidYankovich) January 29, 2020
Kushner, a top White House adviser under his father-in-law, Donald Trump, has been tasked with setting out a viable plan to resolve one of the most contentious issues in modern history despite having no notable expertise in foreign affairs, let alone the Middle East.
He appears to have developed a close relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, two major US allies in the Middle East, but has struggled to cosy up to Palestinians.
His peace plan, unveiled on Monday, proposes that Israel annex all its settlements in the occupied West Bank while freezing further settlement activity there for at least four years, in exchange for giving Palestinians limited autonomy, with Israeli security control, and $50 billion in investment incentives.
Palestinians have angrily dismissed the proposals, as they’ve been largely expected, and Kushner was scathing in his criticism:
“If they don’t [accept the deal], they’re going to screw up another opportunity, like they’ve screwed up every other opportunity that they've ever had in their existence.”
“It’s a big opportunity for the Palestinians,” he added. “They have a perfect track record of blowing every opportunity they’ve had in their past.”