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On Jared Kushner’s Palestinophobia

Opinion
on 12 Comments

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.

Haidar Eid

Haidar Eid is Associate Professor of Postcolonial and Postmodern Literature at Gaza's al-Aqsa University. He has written widely on the Arab-Israeli conflict, including articles published at Znet, Electronic Intifada, Palestine Chronicle, and Open Democracy. He has published papers on cultural Studies and literature in a number of journals, including Nebula, Journal of American Studies in Turkey, Cultural Logic, and the Journal of Comparative Literature.

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12 Responses

  1. just on November 1, 2019, 11:58 am

    ” “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 they destroyed over and over again the infrastructure in Gaza with nary a thought toward rebuilding or even lifting the criminal blockade or giving them their own money. Kushner’s father-in-law slashed all help to the Palestinians and UNRWA, too~ probably on Kushner’s Palestinophobic urging. The house/home demolitions are done by the Israelis. All of it is Israeli terrorism. When countries try to help with infrastructure and other projects, the Israelis destroy them and sometimes steal them. They shoot fishermen and steal their destroyed boats, destroy venerable olive trees, steal water, pollute what little is allowed to trickle, steal land and access, and terrorize people on the land and in their beds. Then there is another grave issue: the flotillas and other boats striving to bring aid to Gaza~ they are always stopped and some crew have been killed, beaten and summarily brought to Israel and deported. Sickening piracy/terrorism at sea.

    Now I will channel my inner child: One of the best things that can come to pass with Trump’s defeat is that he’ll take his spawn and Kushner with him to Mar a Lago and live in faux splendor with his bedbugs.

    Thanks for further exposing this Palestinophobic, Zionist miscreant, Haidar.

  2. Ossinev on November 1, 2019, 2:49 pm

    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 in the barbaric oppression of the Palestinian people.

  3. for-peace on November 2, 2019, 12:53 am

    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 example of racism. Injecting the word “phobia” into Palestinian hatred or Muslim hatred serves as a euphemism to relieve the burden of the hater and shed a cloud of doubt on the victim. This would be similar to referring to slavery as “negrophobia” or antisemitism as judeophobia.

  4. RoHa on November 2, 2019, 3:03 am

    “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.

    (Cough)Brxt(cough)

    • Misterioso on November 2, 2019, 10:04 am

      @Roha

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

      Indeed! And Americans are a classic example, e.g., the election of Trump as president.

      As for Jared Kushner, Trump and Bibi’s errand boy, he will prove to be an obnoxious blip.

  5. just on November 2, 2019, 7:07 am

    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.

    https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2019/nov/02/england-v-south-africa-rugby-world-cup-2019-final-live

  6. Elizabeth Block on November 2, 2019, 10:42 am

    “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.”
    Well, it could. Remember the greenhouses in Gaza, donated by Germany, bombed by the Israelis?
    Let’s call the way Israel treats Palestine what it is: Terrorism. State terrorism. No better than any other kind. Worse, because it has greater resources, and greater international acceptance.

    Anyway, countries develop their economies best not with foreign investments, but with investments by their own people. And the Palestinians are not allowed to do that. Remember the Wanted 18, the dairy cows who were deemed a threat to Israel’s national security?

  7. mondonut on November 3, 2019, 1:14 am

    What a pack of lies…

    Kushner did not make it absolutely clear this week that Israel is not responsible for Palestinian hardship, he made it clear that Israel is not responsible for ALL Palestinian hardship. And yes, it is absolutely correct that the Hamas’ control of Gaza is antithetical to investment.

    As for the Palestinians ability or not to govern themselves, it has nothing to do with race (or brownness) and everything to do with the existing evidence on record.

    And no, there are not 600 military checkpoints in the West Bank, nor does Adalah’s list have anything to do with reality. The blockade is not genocide and neither were the Hamas inspired wars. And for the millionth time, UNGA resolutions do not confer rights.

    • bcg on November 3, 2019, 9:43 am

      @Mondonut: ” In September 2011, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said there were 522 roadblocks and checkpoints obstructing Palestinian movement in the West Bank, up from 503 in July 2010. That number does not include the temporary checkpoints known as “flying checkpoints,” of which there were 495 on average per month in the West Bank in 2011, up from 351 on average per month in the previous two years. ”

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israeli_checkpoint
      https://www.washingtonpost.com/

      You might also like to check out Btselem’s interactive map “Conquer and Divide”:

      https://conquer-and-divide.btselem.org/map-en.html

      You may also want to read some books on life in the West Bank, such as David Shulman’s “Freedom and Despair: Notes from the South Hebron Hills”.

      • mondonut on November 3, 2019, 1:14 pm

        @bcg, In September 2011…

        Really? An eight year old statistic? What is that supposed to prove? In case you were not aware of what year it is, we are now less than 60 days from when Gaza becomes totally unlivable.

  8. Vera Gottlieb on November 3, 2019, 12:14 pm

    Why is so much attention being paid to this nobody? Were it not for the fact that Trump is his father-in-law…

  9. Ossinev on November 3, 2019, 1:34 pm

    @Mondonut
    “he made it clear that Israel is not responsible for ALL Palestinian hardship”

    OMG was he admitting that Israel was responsible for SOME Palestinian hardship ? If so I may have to consider revisiting my previous assessment of this non – event self serving p…k and upgrade him to being just a non – event self serving pillock.

    Wouldn`t it be great if he were to elaborate on the hardships which he admits ? the Israelis have visited on the Palestinians. Not holding my breath.

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