Over the weekend, Jared Kushner resurfaced to write an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal titled “Opportunity Beckons in the Mideast.” In parts, he sounds as though he thinks his single term as an adviser for his father-in-law qualifies him to advise others on foreign policy. At one point, he even deigned to call the Israeli-Palestinian conflict a “real-estate dispute.” And yet somehow, this isn’t the most arrogant thing he said. That came later when he told the Biden administration that if they are “smart,” they will listen to him.
But let's back up: This "advice" came after President Joe Biden offered to work with Europe and rejoin the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, known commonly as the Iran nuclear deal. In short, it is an agreement reached during the Obama administration in 2015 between Iran and the P5+1 — the UN Security Council’s five permanent members: the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, and China, plus Germany — to lift sanctions in exchange for significant restrictions to Iran’s nuclear program. In 2018, former President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the deal. Within the year, Iran began ignoring restrictions; however, last month Biden said the U.S. will return to the JCPOA provided that Iran resumes compliance with the agreed-upon terms.
In his advice column, Kushner praised (yes, praised) the Biden administration's decision as a “smart diplomatic move.” However, naturally, the former first son-in-law believes that Biden was empowered to make this decision thanks to the groundwork laid by the Trump administration. If that seems confusing, it’s because it is. Basically, according to Kushner, Biden could never have had the opportunity to rejoin the agreement had Trump not pulled out of it? We’ll just leave that there.
“Mr. Trump has said that Iran has never won a war but never lost a negotiation,” Kushner wrote. “This negotiation is high-stakes and, thanks to his policies, America holds a strong hand.”
Kushner’s statements continued to grow bolder as he claimed that “we are witnessing the last vestiges of what has been known as the Arab-Israeli conflict.”
“One of the reasons the Arab-Israeli conflict persisted for so long was the myth that it could be solved only after Israel and the Palestinians resolved their differences,” he continued. “That was never true. The Abraham Accords exposed the conflict as nothing more than a real-estate dispute between Israelis and Palestinians that need not hold up Israel’s relations with the broader Arab world.”
A reminder, for no reason at all, that in 2019, Jared Kushner said that in order to bring peace to the Middle East, people must simply stop “doing terrorism.”
“The table is set. If it is smart, the Biden administration will seize this historic opportunity to unleash the Middle East’s potential, keep America safe, and help the region turn the page on a generation of conflict and instability,” Kushner wrote. “It is time to begin a new chapter of partnership, prosperity, and peace."
Take it all with a pinch — handful — of salt, though. After all, this is coming from the person who, last spring, told famed journalist Bob Woodward in an interview that “the most dangerous people around the president are overconfident idiots.” Just a reminder.