One of the key architects of President Trump’s Middle East peace efforts, his son-in-law Jared Kushner, has embarked on a frontal assault in one of the key Middle East battlefields, media communications. For someone who prides himself on being able to create a “business plan for the region,” Kushner is looking more like an undergraduate student in Business 101 class than someone seriously assembling a plan that can advance peace.
The McClatchyDC news agency recently broke a story that few other Western media outlets have found worthy to cover. Armed with U.S. citizens’ tax dollars and a stillborn economic plan, Kushner is deploying a data operation to sway Arab media on Middle East peace to make the U.S. case.
McClatchyDC journalist Michael Wilner wrote, “At Jared Kushner’s direction, U.S. government agencies have combined data tools and human expertise for the first time to officially rank Arab media outlets over their coverage of the Middle East peace process.”
In what seems like another ill-fated attempt to address the failure of his efforts to date, the latest being his Peace to Prosperity economic workshop in Bahrain, Kushner and company seem willing to go to any extreme to force-feed the Trump administration’s attempt to impose a surrender agreement on Palestinians rather than address the core issues head-on.
The report continued: “Three senior administration officials said the purpose of Kushner’s project is to connect with local populations as effectively as possible – to better understand “what’s driving the street” across the Arab world, so that he and his team can target their communications with greater precision.”
First, why should the “Arab Street” trust anyone from the “DC Swamp?” Second, is Kushner doing a market survey to find out what Arab “customers” want or is his interest merely in how to sell them “junk products” they’ve already created, such as blindly supporting an extremist Israel right-wing political program that is moving the entire region toward another round of violence, not to mention moving Israel closer to its own demise?
One senior U.S. administration official said, “we spent so much time putting together a political plan, and putting together an economic plan, that we wanted to spend the same amount of time understanding the regional media environment…”
Hmm, “understanding the … environment.” It seems not to dawn on any “senior” official to take a deep look at what has shaped the “environment” over the past seven decades. The violent creation of the State of Israel, the violent dispossession of Palestinians, 52 years of a violent U.S.-Israeli military occupation, over 600,000 illegal Israeli settlers in the West Bank, the violent Israeli siege of two million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, and structural and institutional discrimination inside the State of Israel—the list is long.
Wouldn’t it have been more useful to survey to learn the regional opinions and beliefs of the population? Seems not, since the only aim here is to sell, not learn.