On Saturday, Donald Trump addressed the Israeli-American Council in Florida, a non-political organisation that brings together the Israeli diaspora in the United States.
The current president referred to a great variety of hotly debated topics during his speech, including the previous administration’s low support for the Jewish state, Ilhan Omar’s championing the movement Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, as well as Tel Aviv’s controversial settlement policy in the West Bank.
The most amusing, however, appeared to be his remark about the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, something that, according to Trump, apparently can only be achieved with the help of his son-in-law Jared Kushner.
Kushner, one of Trump’s political advisers and husband of his daughter Ivanka, is currently one of the leading figures in brokering and drafting a peace plan between the Israelis and Palestinians, the economic part of which was presented this summer.
“If Jared Kushner can't do it, it can't be done”, Trump said during his speech, emphasising that a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinian Authority remains challenging.
The US president’s comment definitely raised some eyebrows, with netizens questioning whether this means that peace between the two sides can ever be achieved, while pointing at Kushner’s apparent lack of qualifications. Others just couldn’t miss the chance to turn this moment into a joke, noting that nothing could be achieved in the White House without Kushner’s involvement.
Most of us would be looking for slightly more conclusive evidence.— Chuck Graef (@chuckgraef) December 8, 2019
They said that about setting a record for most slum apartments in Baltimore, and by God Jared rose to the challenge.— larryleclair (@larryleclair) December 8, 2019
....striking a blow to all hopes of middle east peace— Erin Altman (@AltmanErin) December 8, 2019
Jared Kushner can’t even bring peace to his household.— I’m Sheriff Wyatt Derp (@ChrisWKruse) December 8, 2019
“If Jared Kushner can’t run a four minute mile, it can’t be done”— J.J. (@JJ_J0NE5) December 8, 2019
"Today I asked Jared Kushner to help me find Waldo, and he couldn't find him either! And if Jared Kushner can't do it, it can't be done!"— Trumpy Trumpy (parody) (@outofcontroljb) December 8, 2019
If Jared can’t find a McDonald’s that delivers to the White House, nobody can. $20 minimum order? What a disgrace! Devin Nunes ( a great guy and great Russian asset)told me the secret Big Mac sauce is Thousand island dressing. Treason?— Mike George (@MCGFatherOf3) December 8, 2019
This is not the first time Kushner’s involvement in the Middle East peace process has been scrutinised, with Trump’s political rival Joe Biden previously questioning his son-in-law’s “credentials” in settlement negotiations, saying that it was “improper” for the US president’s children to hold offices in the White House.
Kushner, who earlier travelled to the Middle East to hold talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and then met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in August 2017, did not publicly comment on Biden’s remarks at that time.
Israel and the Palestinian Authority have been in a state of military and political conflict since the middle of the 20th century, with many rounds of negotiations failing to produce a lasting peace. Israel has refused to recognise the Palestinian Authority as an independent state, while the Palestinians have denounced Israel’s settlement policies in the West Bank.