'White House envoy Jared Kushner stands accused of “racism” for answering a question about Palestinians’ ability to self-govern by expressing hope they’ll be capable of this in the future – implying they’re incapable of this now.
In a sit-down interview with Axios on HBO, the son-in-law of US President Donald Trump and his charge d’affaires for brokering an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal triggered a storm of anger when he equivocated about Palestinian competence. “We’ll have to see,” said Kushner. “The hope is that they [Palestinians], over time, will become capable of governing.”
Kushner’s comments – called “racist” by some observers – put in doubt the possibility that the so-called “deal of the century” he has been hawking for over a year and a half stands a chance of meeting the minimum expectations of Palestinians, let alone cracking the code for a peace agreement that has long eluded the land’s inhabitants.
His remarks elicited scorn from Twitter users, especially from Palestinian figures. “One of the painful things to listen to is Jared Kushner pretending that he knows – or cares – what the ‘Palestinian people’ want,” wrote Palestinian-American professor Shibley Telhami.
“The Palestinian people don’t need half a man to decide if they are capable of governing themselves,” wrote US-based Palestinian analyst Mohammad Oweis, in a tweet dripping with rage. “We have seen enough sh*t like him since 1948,” he said, a reference to the year the State of Israel was founded.
Matt Duss, a foreign policy adviser for US Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, argued that Kushner’s comments unwittingly revealed that he views Palestinians through a prejudicial lens. “This is the racist subtext of so much conservative pro-Israel advocacy, but Jared is too inexperienced to know it’s supposed to stay subtext,” tweeted Duss.'
Read more: Imagine suggesting Jews couldn't govern themselves? Kushner's remarks on Palestinians slammed
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