Jared Kushner is way out of his depth. When he was first appointed to the White House as one of Donald Trump’s key advisors, he was handed a ridiculously broad portfolio of responsibilities. Although those responsibilities have now been scaled back, he’s still tasked with something nobody else has been able to do, much less an unqualified real estate manager: Bringing peace to the Middle East. For some reason, being the son-in-law to the president doesn’t help much when it comes to solving complex conflicts.
Haim Saban, an Israeli-American billionaire, brutally reminded Kushner of how little he knows in a recent interaction which appeared on Fox News. Speaking on stability in the region, Kushner said,
‘You’re now seeing a lot of leaders in the Muslim world try to restore the religion to what it always has been, and to try to eliminate the ability for people to pervert it in the way you have. And then you have the Israeli/Palestinian issue.
‘I think that if we’re going to try and create more stability in the region as a whole, you have to solve this issue. And so the president sees it as something that has to be solved, that he very much wants to be solved, and it’s something he’s personally put a lot of time into trying to see happen.’
It’s important to note that Kushner has previously financed an illegal settlement on Palestinian territory, and hid that fact when filing for security clearance. In fact, it was only recently discovered, thanks to an investigation by journalists.
Saban’s reply to Kushner was nothing short of glorious:
‘I understand that. But, to achieve that, the team has in it an entrepreneur, a real estate lawyer, a bankruptcy lawyer. I don’t know how you’ve lasted eight months in this lineup, but that’s for another day. And it’s impressive that it’s still going! There’s not a middle east [expert] in this group, so, I mean, how do you operate with people who basically, you know…with all due respect, a bunch of Orthodox Jews who have no idea about anything? What are you guys doing? No, seriously. I don’t understand this.’
Kushner replied, “I’ll definitely say it’s not a conventional team, but…”
He was immediately cut off by Saban, who said “You can say that again.”
Kushner, growing obviously uncomfortable, says “That’s what I said.”
Saban, not to be outdone, tells him, “Well, say it again.”
The exchange really has to be watched to be fully appreciated. Here’s the video:
Kushner has no idea what he’s doing, and neither does his team. He is in the position for no reason other than the fact that he’s loyal to his father-in-law, which is the trait that Trump values most highly. Competence, diplomatic skill, and knowledge of the region are not important factors to Donald Trump. His administration is not going to solve any conflicts for that reason – if anything, they will exacerbate them.
Of course, getting humiliated on television is the least of Jared’s concerns right now. If the Mueller probe keeps heading its current direction, Kushner might need to start trying to negotiate himself a plea deal:
Featured image via Drew Angerer/Getty Images