WashPost Under Fire For Kushner, Greenblatt, Freedman Op-Ed

Published July 22nd, 2018 - 11:13 GMT
(From L) Trump's special envoy Jason Greenblatt, US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and Jared Kushner with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in June 21, 2017, (Matty Stern/US Embassy Tel Aviv)
(From L) Trump's special envoy Jason Greenblatt, US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and Jared Kushner with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in June 21, 2017, (Matty Stern/US Embassy Tel Aviv)

Randa Darwish

In a joint op-ed published by the Washington Post, Trump’s senior adviser, Jared Kushner co-wrote an article with Jason Greenblatt, Trump’s assistant and U.S. representative for international negotiations and David Friedman, U.S. Ambassador to Israel, which aimed to “guide Palestinians in the right direction toward peace”.

The article titled: “Help is at hand for Palestinians. It’s all up to Hamas,” argues Hamas (de-facto power in Gaza Strip) and its radical approach is the one responsible behind the suffering of Palestinians in Gaza. This is ironically the “one real fact” observed by the officials in their last “productive” six-day trip to the region in June 2018.

But the article has been criticised for overlooking the fact that Gaza has been suffering from an ongoing blockade imposed by Israel since 2007. The blockade resulted in the deteriorating economy for the Strip because of the border crossings being repeatedly shut and decline in imports and exports this created. The trio argued Hamas’ corruption and hateful leadership is what provoked conflict, reduced opportunities and increased poverty and “hopelessness” among Gazans.

Kushner, Greenblatt and Freedman confirmed there is “no good option” for Palestinians in Gaza until either Hamas recognizes the state of Israel and renounces violence, or the governance of the Gaza strip changes. “Life could significantly improve in short order for the Palestinian people if Hamas allowed it.”

The trio advised Hamas to focus more on improving its people lives rather than weaponizing everything from kites to mirrors to terrorise Israel, or in exploiting the Strip’s crossings to smuggle weapons, or using tax revenues for their personal enrichment.

“Hamas’ acts of aggression have only produced misery for the people of Gaza.”

On top of that, the diplomats blamed the international community for not doing anything to confront reality, and they proposed solutions to stop Hamas from holding Gazans captive. They also called for Hamas to hand its role in Gaza over to the Palestine Authority so they can help the people of Gaza to get over the miserable current living conditions.

“This problem must be recognized and resolved or we will witness yet another disastrous cycle.”

In response, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri wrote on Twitter, condemning the US officials’ adoption of the Israeli narrative for what is happening in Gaza currently, saying: “The US administration officials have become spokespersons for the Israeli occupation,”.

Translation: “Greenblatt and Kushner’s adoption of the Israeli narrative and their continuous attack against Hamas only reflect how dumb the US administration has become and how its officials have only become spokesperson for the Israeli occupation.”

In an earlier tweet on the same topic, Abu Zuhri also said:

The Op-ed recieved mixed reactions from Palestinians and international analysts as well.

Many opinions attacked the Washington Post for promoting the US administration “propaganda”, and questioned the “irresponsible” step of publishing this article.

Many tried to correct the misrepresented facts by the three diplomats on the topic.

Others also accused the writers of lacking the courage to mention the Palestinian point of view on the matter.

The current US administration’s position on the Israel-Palestine conflict is still uncertain, for many reasons including Kushner’s family business ties with the Israeli government. However, Kushner’s sponsorship of the US proposed peace plan for Middle East, known as the “Deal of the Century”, has been widely criticized inside and outside the Middle East.

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