On Jared Kushner’s Palestinophobia

Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr

Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s Middle East adviser and son-in-law is at it again. In June, he cast doubt about the ability of the Palestinian people to govern themselves. And, as if that was not enough, he made it absolutely clear this week that Israel is not responsible for Palestinian hardship.

“Israel is not the cause of all the suffering of the Palestinian people,” Kushner told the Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia. He went on: “If you want to go and invest in the West Bank or Gaza, the issue that’s holding you back is the fear of terrorism and that your investment could be destroyed.”

In my response to his previous racist remarks, I argued that it was racism 101. His biologist approach to race and ethnicity cannot be separated from the orientalist ideology that drove the classical colonialism of the 19th century. Here you have a colonial envoy, not unlike the British and French envoys of the heydays of colonialism, blaming the victims, as Edward Said would put it. Brown, native Palestinians are backward so much so that they should be appreciative of the generosity of apartheid Israel and Zionism and welcome Israeli peaceful soldiers with open arms. Any act of resistance on their side is deemed to failure and amounts to a form of terrorism that destroys any investment made by foreign businesses. 

Forget about Israel’s occupation of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including Jerusalem, forget about the more than 600 military checkpoints slicing what remains of the West Bank, and the more than 60 discriminatory laws against Israel’s Palestinian citizens. Forget about the blockade of Gaza described as “incremental genocide” by Ilan Pappe, and the fact that Gaza, according to a UN report, will become “unlivable” by 2020. Forget about the thousands of deaths in three genocidal wars described by mainstream human rights organizations and UN fact-finding missions as “war crimes” and “crimes against humanity” carried out by the Israeli military against the 2 million civilians of Gaza within a period of six years. Forget about 71 years of dispossession and ethnic cleansing and the fact that there are 7 million Palestinian refugees entitled to their right of return in accordance with UN resolution 194. And of course you have to forget about the increasing number of Jewish-only settlements, that all come with the unconditional support of the United States of America.

But doesn’t Mr. Kushner know this? 

What did he think of the white rule of South Africa under the apartheid regime? Did he also think that “black terrorism” was responsible for the suffering of the majority of the population there? That Africans were to blame for their own suffering?

But you don’t even have to leave the United States. What did he think of the suffering of African Americans under the Jim Crow laws? Judging by the way he has been ranting about brown, native Palestinians, he must have had similar views of the likes of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X. Obviously his role models are Hendrik Verwoerd, P. W. Botha, Ariel Sharon, Menachem Begin—to mention but a few fanatical defenders of racism and settler-colonialism. 

Actually, I imagine Mr. Kushner claims to respect Mandela, King, and even Mahatma Gandhi. And that leaves us Palestinians in a completely separate category where our non-violent, peaceful resistance to occupation, apartheid and settler-colonialism is considered a form of terrorism. Any act of defiance on our part is rejected outright. Unlike Mandela and King, we are Palestinian Arabs with an intrinsic tendency for terrorism. And this, in short, exemplifies Jared Kushner’s Palestinophobia, a combination of racism, orientalism, and colonialism directed toward Palestinians who, for him, should not have been there from the beginning.

Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

” “If you want to go and invest in the West Bank or Gaza, the issue that’s holding you back is the fear of terrorism and that your investment could be destroyed.”” As if Israel would ever allow good folks to invest in Palestine or Palestinian entrepreneurs or anything Palestinian, for that matter. And, by the way, the terrorism that plagues the West Bank and Gaza is purely Israeli and Israel’s alone. Look at how… Read more »

Zioptics are much of a muchness with Afrikaneroptics and Jim Crow optics. Kushner,Friedman and co are irretrievably brainwashed and are nothing more than arrogant t…ds currently blocking the system. As with Apartheid they will in due course be flushed away into the sewer of history where they belong. Hopefully their children and grandchildren in the internet age will grow up to be humane and civilised people who will loath them for the part which played… Read more »

The article is clear in its best intentions. Nevertheless, I would like to express reservations about the use of the phrase “phobia” in this context as well as its more commonplace form “Islamophobia”. There is no phobia. These people are clearly not suffering from an irrational fear of Palestinians. Quite the contrary, they feel empowered to freely victimize them. The condition is one of irrational hatred not different than antisemitism, white supremacy or any other… Read more »

“he cast doubt about the ability of the Palestinian people to govern themselves.”

I have doubts about the ability of the Palestinian people to govern themselves. But the only way to gain that ability is to practise it.

And even people with plenty of practice can cock things up.


South Africa’s Springboks just won the Rugby World Cup!!! Yay! This team is led by captain Siya Kolisi. I am jumping for joy and gladness. It was a sound and amazing trounce. True champions in every sense of the word. England 12, SA 32.