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The Trump Effect? Peace in the Middle East?

This article is very important.  I believe Trump will bring peace to the Middle East.

Don't Ignore Kushner's Quiet Mideast Gains

Behind the scenes, he is making surprising progress.

January 29, 2018

It is hardly an understatement to say that Jared Kushner, a baby-faced real-estate magnate and presidential son-in-law, didn’t send expectations soaring when he was named to supervise Israel-Palestine peace efforts.

Lacking years of diplomatic experience and advanced degrees in Near Eastern politics, his appointment seemed more like favoritism than a confirmation of expertise, more a presidential gift to his daughter than a strategic decision.

What little coverage Kushner has received has varied from skeptical to scornful. And, tellingly, he hasn’t tried to dispel the pundits’ prejudices. He doesn’t travel with reporters or invite press attention. His few appearances are fleeting and uneventful.

Still, his frequent visits and stray public remarks reveal a surprisingly sophisticated understanding of the region. Behind the scenes, he is making surprising progress.

First, he recognizes that Iran now matters more to the Arabs than Palestine. With Iran and Islamic militants threatening the survival of major Arab states, many Arab leaders have quietly decided to align with Israel—dialing down their interest in the Palestinian drama. Consider that President Trump’s plan to move the United States’ embassy in Israel to Jerusalem did not touch off huge protests in Arab capitals or angry editorials in the Arab press. Kushner was one of the strongest voices inside the White House in favor of the long-promised move. Any other mediator would fret that the move would needlessly complicate his job. Kushner knows that Iran has replaced Palestine as the center of Arab interest, and he spotted an opportunity that few in Washington saw.

Second, Kushner realizes that younger Arab generation has a fundamentally different perspective from that of its elders. More than 60 percent of Arabs are too young to remember the 1967 and 1973 wars with Israel, and many more regard them as ancient history. Consider an American equivalent; how many millennials are outraged at the fate of South Vietnam? As a result, younger Arabs largely accept Israel’s existence as a settled fact, and generally see trading with its prosperous economy as essential to their own economic growth. I know. I have heard them tell me these things in the privacy of their living rooms. Their septuagenarian leaders do not share their views, and punish younger leaders who try to independently engage with Israelis—which only deepens the divide.

The generation gap is based on practical economic concerns. Young Arabs want well-paying jobs that allow them to marry and start families. They want good schools for the children. Many see no issue with taking an ambulance across the border to an Israeli hospital, unlike their retirement-age relatives who say that they would rather die.

Kushner correctly captured the sentiment of the new Arab generation when he said in July 2017, “We don’t want a history lesson. We’ve read enough books. Let’s focus on, How do you come up with a conclusion to the situation?”

To be sure, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one of the longest and thorniest conflicts in history. It cannot be resolved quickly or easily. Kushner has publicly acknowledged this, usually adding the idea that new approaches are more likely to bear fruit than old ones.

And he is trying a new approach, completely at odds with the conventional wisdom among diplomats. Kushner, speaking at the Saban Forum in Washington, said, “The most important thing was to focus on the final status issues, not on daily distractions that come up along the way.”

This signals a sharp break with the conventional State Department view that it is better to start modestly, focus on building trust, build the capacity of the Palestinian Authority, foster economic ties between the parties and lay a foundation for still greater capacity on the Palestinian side. Only then, after years of “capacity building,” can the final-status negotiations start.

Kushner blunted turned this upside down, adding that it had been tried for decades with little success. In the absence of a political horizon to steer toward, he said, people make decisions based on who is holding guns now. And that cements the current impasse.

Finally, Kushner has three key relationships that make progress possible.

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Comment by SGT William A. Geresy (ret) on February 3, 2018 at 12:41am

I think you are commenting on the previous administration.

I am not saying President Trump is a savior in the Biblical sense.  He is like us a mere mortal.  

President Trump has already done more for Israel than Barry did in 8 years.  

Barry illegally used our tax payer money to interfere in their last election for PM.  Barry hated their current PM.

In my military service, I have been to the Middle East twice.  The first was Saudi.  The second was Kuwait and Iraq.  I think Kushner has it about right.  The way to end this isn't militarily, but by creating economic interdependence.  Both sides would greatly benefit from trade and with that will come peace.  Together they can become a significant economic player in the world with far more than Arab oil.  With much less spent on military stuff, look out!!!! 

Comment by Robert A Kaufman on February 2, 2018 at 2:39am

I just wonder when all The Christians who voted for Donald J Trump will take the blinders off of their eyes and acknowledge they have been deceived & played by a ConMan because what Donald J Trump & Jared Kushner are doing by promoting a so called middle east deal between Israel & The Palestinians is something that The Anti-Christ would do and some Christian Conservatives are saying that Donald J Trump is The Anti-Christ because of this while some other Christians are saying that Jared Kushner is The Anti-Christ and I have been learning more & more that there could be two Anti-Christs and no Donald J Trump is not some Savior or Messiah sent by God to Save America if anything it maybe to Judge America!!!

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