Juan Cole on Jared Kushner

Juan Cole is an American academic, a professor of history at the University of Michigan. He is the author of the blog Informed Comment. Cole is an expert on the Middle East — the real kind, the kind who has earned the designation “expert” through years of study and involvement in the region.

Jared Kushner is the spoiled son of a wealthy family who married a Trump and won a policy making position in the White House, then was given the charge to solve the Israeli-Palestinian dilemma.

Here, according to Cole, is Kushner’s solution:

“According to Jared Kushner and other hard line Zionists, the Palestinian people don’t exist. Ever since they ethnically cleansed the majority of Palestinians, the Israelis have been hoping that they will just go away. They look out on Galilee, the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, and Lebanon, and ask, “why are you still here?” as though the Palestinians were a houseboy in their mansion that they had fired last week.

According to Foreign Policy, Kushner has bought into a theory that Palestinian identity, and Palestinian desire to return home to what is now Israel, have been artificially kept alive because millions of Palestinians are recognized by the UN as refugees. And the UN Relief and Works Agency provides schooling, vocational training, and sometimes makeshift housing to these families that the Israelis forced into tents in the wilderness.

So if you wanted to wipe Palestine off the map, you’d want to decertify the Palestinians as refugees and destroy UNRWA.

Without that infrastructure, the spoiled rich bigot Kushner thinks, why the Palestinians will fade away and stop asking to go home.


Arbitrarily destroying the refugee status of displaced Palestinians , the heart of the Trump administration’s “peace plan” is both arbitrary and cruel, and ignores centuries of legitimate Palestinian claims to land in what Israel now asserts belongs only to the Jewish people: all of historic Judea and Samaria. Denying funding for UNRWA will vastly increase the suffering of this displaced people.

As we know from the Trump administration’s policy toward desperate people from Central America seeking safety at our borders, Trump feels no compunction about treating families, children, with shocking cruelty.

I hope this plan is dead on arrival, that Arab nations will continue to support the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people. Whatever the solution to this longtime dilemma, it needs to be negotiated between Palestinians and Israelis, not be imposed by the likes of Kushner, Greenblatt, and Bibi Netanyahu.

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