So President Trump keeps sending his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, over here to make peace between Israel and the Palestinians. It’s hopeless, but perhaps that’s not the real mission. I discussed this a few minutes ago with host P.J. Maloney on KQV News Radio in Pittsburgh.
Though Trump has called the idea of Israel=Palestinian peace the ultimate deal, his business history is in ties with the Arab world, particularly Saudi Arabia. There is no reason to believe that just because he’s president, his focus has turned on a dime.
So it’s no accident that Kushner always stops off in Riyadh to talk to Saudi leaders when he’s in the neighborhood. It’s also no accident that the Trump administration is trying to heal (not heel) the rift between Saudi Arabia and Qatar–so far with no success, as Qatar moves closer to Iran in response to the Saudi move to isolate the rich little kingdom.
All this makes sense in the context of Trump’s obsession with Iran. In the Trumpified world of black and white, the Iranians are all evil, and anyone who opposes them is all good. Anyone who’s been in the Middle East for more than half an hour knows how simplistic that is, but never mind.
The move that would please the Saudis the most would be the cancellation of the Iran nuclear deal. Trump appears intent on making that happen, even if he has to make up evidence of violations to do it. That would be a disaster, as I have written here and here.
Unfortunately, world media continues to fall into its old patterns of concentrating on the hopeless Israel-Palestinian situation. The Palestinians are reveling in the attention after several years on the back burner–justifiably so, since it’s been shown conclusively that despite years of propaganda, the Israel-Palestinian dispute is not the key to regionwide Middle East peace. The Palestinians are even threatening to dissolve their government (again) and are setting deadlines for the Americans to do something or they’ll go to the UN (again).
It would be funny if it weren’t pathetic. The world has passed them by. Maybe one day a Palestinian will publicly regret how his leaders turned down creation of a Palestinian state twice, in 2000 and 2008. That day isn’t here yet.
But though Jared Kushner’s peace missions appear to be a failure–it’s because we’re looking in the wrong place. As usual.