“Breaking History” for no reason

My first thought after receiving Jared Kushner’s book, Breaking History: A White House Memoir, is to censor it like most others, focusing on ridicule and sarcasm. However, after reading it, I think it’s better for two reasons. First, life is not Twitter. Second, Kushner is a real player in the president’s administration. He deserves to be taken seriously, especially when it comes to the part of the world in which I have expertise, and where the former president’s son-in-law was quite concerned during his four years in the White House: the Middle East.

never had any problems, New York TimesThis Washington postwhile others have gastrointestinal break history More based on who Kushner is — or his caricatures — than his record in administration, his worldview or the assumptions that underpin his efforts in the Middle East. He may be everything his critics say, but he’s also a central figure in the Trump administration on serious issues such as Saudi Arabia and Israel’s relationship with the Arab world, and he’s been part of the Trump White House’s efforts to bridge the gap between Israel and the Arab world. People at the heart of peacemaking. Palestinians.It’s a big deal, and there’s plenty of reason to consider it break history About the case.

Unfortunately, the book neither offers a thoughtful reflection on the Trump team’s encounter with the Middle East, nor does it explain the intellectual base of the “disruption” it claims has brought about the region’s most intractable problems. Instead, Kushner recreated his calendar, leading to a tedious 512 pages of his work at the White House. On replays, attentive readers will notice the book’s central contradiction: the kind that Kushner did nothing, even though the title and narrative were designed to reinforce the idea that Kushner was bold enough to break with long-standing, rigid, and ineffective policies in the Middle East.

My first thought after receiving Jared Kushner’s book, Breaking History: A White House Memoir, is to censor it like most others, focusing on ridicule and sarcasm. However, after reading it, I think it’s better for two reasons. First, life is not Twitter. Second, Kushner is a real player in the president’s administration. He deserves to be taken seriously, especially when it comes to the part of the world in which I have expertise, and where the former president’s son-in-law was quite concerned during his four years in the White House: the Middle East.

never had any problems, New York TimesThis Washington postwhile others have gastrointestinal break history More based on who Kushner is — or his caricatures — than his record in administration, his worldview or the assumptions that underpin his efforts in the Middle East. He may be everything his critics say, but he’s also a central figure in the Trump administration on serious issues such as Saudi Arabia and Israel’s relationship with the Arab world, and he’s been part of the Trump White House’s efforts to bridge the gap between Israel and the Arab world. People at the heart of peacemaking. Palestinians.It’s a big deal, and there’s plenty of reason to consider it break history About the case.

Unfortunately, the book neither offers a thoughtful reflection on the Trump team’s encounter with the Middle East, nor does it explain the intellectual base of the “disruption” it claims has brought about the region’s most intractable problems. Instead, Kushner recreated his calendar, leading to a tedious 512 pages of his work at the White House. On replays, attentive readers will notice the book’s central contradiction: the kind that Kushner did nothing, even though the title and narrative were designed to reinforce the idea that Kushner was bold enough to break with long-standing, rigid, and ineffective policies in the Middle East.

The Trump administration’s efforts in the Middle East bear a striking resemblance to the bipartisan U.S. approach to the region that existed on September 10, 2001: supporting Israel and Washington’s Arab partners—regardless of the nature of their regimes—and Continued pressure on Iran has primarily, but not exclusively, used economic sanctions.

The gap between what Kushner imagines he’s doing and what he’s actually doing isn’t his only weakness break history. Almost all former officials emphasized certain policies or events over others in order to present themselves and the government they served as best possible. Kushner was no exception, but he was eerily silent or barely audible on some key issues. US President Donald Trump’s main interlocutor with Saudi Arabia and its Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman only mentioned the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi in passing.Kushner regrets being dismembered Washington post Columnist But the judge believes that Mohammed bin Salman’s top-down reforms are far more important than condemning the crown prince for crimes that everyone knows were carried out on his orders.

Others have come to this pragmatic but morally questionable conclusion, but Kushner didn’t even stop to offer anything about how Mohammed bin Salman or the crown prince’s savagery compares to the positive changes he has brought about in the kingdom. conflicting views. While Kushner wants to break with history, he accepts the parameters of the U.S.-Saudi relationship as they are and have long been: oil and security. He never considered the possibility that such close ties with the crown prince could pose a risk to Washington.

One of the risks lies in Yemen and its civil war. In 2015, Mohammed bin Salman intervened by deploying Saudi troops on behalf of the Yemeni government, which had just lost control of the capital. In the years that followed, Saudi intervention exacerbated instability and a dire humanitarian crisis in the Arabian Peninsula. It also brings Saudi Arabia’s rival in Yemen, the Houthis, closer to Iran and its regional proxy, Hezbollah, than before the intervention, placing Iranian operatives close to key shipping lanes and not far from the United States. Strategic location partner. On these issues, Kushner has remained silent.

The decision to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem — a major break from the past — is six pages in all. However, being so bold seems pointless. Kushner recounted how his father-in-law asked him what he would get in return from Israel. In response, Kushner could only muster the “goodwill of the Israelis” so they could make concessions in the future. Kushner apparently knew little about Israel’s political dynamics.

When it comes to building peace between Israelis and Palestinians, Kushner, like many in Washington’s foreign policy community, is conspicuously dismissive and doesn’t even bother to ask: “Why are we doing this?” That would be truly destructive. Instead, like his peace handlers before him, Kushner is locked in an unresolvable conflict. He never considered what the American interest in taking on the task was for and at what cost.

His peace process turned out to be more similar, with one wrinkle being that instead of leaving everything to negotiation, Kushner detailed how it ended. He clearly didn’t understand that there was a reason why all the smart and accomplished people before him didn’t detail the details of the conflict-ending agreement. Isn’t that where the devil lives? Regardless, Kushner has the same grades as his predecessors Dennis Ross, George Mitchell and Martin Indick.

Kushner blamed the failure of his plan, called “Peace to Prosperity: A Vision to Improve the Lives of the Israeli and Palestinian People,” of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas The plan appears to be copied from a proposal drawn up by the World Zionist Organization in 1979. . It was a light play. Abbas is corrupt, fearful of his own people, and comfortable with the status quo.

Throughout, Kushner has used every opportunity to lash out at Abbas and put him in the worst possible situation. In an article about the Palestinian leader, he wrote: “He smoked a lot, so every few minutes he would take a cigarette off the table, put it in his mouth, and wait for the waiter to light it. I think Abbas More like a king than a representative of a historically oppressed refugee population.” This may all be true, but this passage reveals something odd about Kushner’s book. He expended a great deal of energy to reach a peace deal, but he had little to say about the Palestinians, and he had no interest in knowing their version of history or their views on justice.

Unlike other peace envoys before him, however, Kushner never bothered to think about where he and his plans could go wrong. Leaving aside the narrow quasi-sovereign archipelago it leaves the Palestinians on the spine of the West Bank, Kushner and his team seem to believe that if the Palestinians can be convinced that they have failed completely, they will give up. They haven’t and won’t. Perseverance and resistance are now key components of Palestinian identity. Replace Abbas with another Palestinian leader and the result would be the same.

The Trump administration has indeed achieved a major achievement in the Middle East: the Abraham Accords. Through many measures, including reports at the time and the recollections of participants on all sides, Kushner played a major role in the agreement. Afterwards, Arab and Israeli officials praised Kushner’s efforts, arguing that the Abraham Accord could not have happened under any other government.

Much has been written about the normalization of relations between Israel and the four Arab countries — the United Arab Emirates, Morocco, Bahrain and Sudan — including Israel’s continued occupation of the West Bank and blockade of the Gaza Strip despite its continued . The large amount of weapons promised by the Trump administration to the UAE, and the US recognition of Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara in exchange for normalisation with Israel. These are valid critiques of the Abraham Accords, but the peace accords also produced economic benefits, scientific cooperation, security cooperation and, more importantly, increased human connection.

Still, Kushner displayed a lack of self-awareness and depth when it came to his and the Trump administration’s signature achievements in the Middle East. He argues that the normalization of relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates appears to be an astonishing development — similar to the 1977 trip to Jerusalem by former Egyptian President Anwar Sadat — rather than that the two have been gradually normalizing A logical step for the transformation of the country. the first five years.

“I underestimated how insignificant the connection between the two countries was,” Kushner wrote. More likely, he was unaware of the extent of the relationship even before formal normalization. Athletes from Israel took part in international competitions in the UAE. Before Israel set up an embassy there, Israel had a diplomatic office in Abu Dhabi that was officially linked to the International Renewable Energy Agency, but many observers saw it as an unofficial embassy . The UAE’s security cooperation with Israel is also an open secret. When I met a former Israeli minister in Dubai in late 2021, I asked him if this was his first visit to the UAE. He looked at me strangely and said, “Steven, this is my 33rd visit.”

Looking back, Kushner was unable to offer a single view of how the Abraham Accords might or should have affected U.S. attitudes toward the region. Is it easier to move to Asia? Will these agreements further cement America in a region his father-in-law desperately wants to leave? What are the disadvantages of the Abraham Accords? The agreements are historically significant, but Kushner can’t think of anything deeper to convey to his readers than the who, what and when of it all.

The Middle East has occupied most of the Trump administration, but Kushner’s account of these events is hollow. break history Just words on 512 pages, no lessons, no meaning, and no new ways of looking at old problems. If a book can be white noise, Kushner has made it. If it’s for clarification, it fails. This is a layman’s job.

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