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‘Clean Gaza up,’ says Jared Kushner, eyeing ‘waterfront property’

March 20, 2024 at 1:37 pm

Jared Kushner, adviser to former US president Donald Trump, speaks during a panel at the annual Future Investment Initiative (FII) conference in Riyadh on October 25, 2023. [FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images]

The son-in-law of former US President Donald Trump has come under fire for what appears to be an endorsement of the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from Gaza. Jared Kushner was a senior foreign policy adviser tasked with preparing a peace plan for the Middle East during the Trump presidency.

Israel should “move the people out and clean it up,” said Kushner when asked at Harvard University to comment what should happen in Gaza. He went on to state that, “Gaza’s waterfront property could be very valuable… if people would focus on building up livelihoods.”

His comments are seen as an indication of the kind of Middle East policy that could be pursued in the event that Trump returns to the White House after the election in November.

If he was in charge in Israel, said Kushner, his number one priority would be getting civilians out of the southern city of Rafah, and that “with diplomacy” it could be possible to get them into Egypt. “But in addition to that, I would just bulldoze something in the Negev, I would try to move people in there. I think that’s a better option, so you can go in and finish the job.”

He reiterated the point a little later, saying: “I do think right now opening up the Negev, creating a secure area there, moving the civilians out, and then going in and finishing the job would be the right move.”

Asked by Harvard’s Middle East Initiative faculty chair, Professor Tarek Masoud if the Israeli government was thinking about moving Palestinians to the Negev, Kushner replied, “I don’t know,” and shrugged his shoulders.

Kushner’s remarks have been criticised sharply. “They are not even trying to hide their colonialism and racism anymore!” said Palestinian Christian pastor, Munther Isaac on X. “Nothing shocks me anymore.”

Middle East correspondent for the Economist, Gregg Carlstrom, also went on X to slam Kushner’s plan. “Kushner scores a hat trick here with musings that would upset Palestinians (let’s expel Gazans while we build some condos), Egyptians (maybe Sisi will take them) and Israelis (maybe we can stick them in the Negev) all at the same time,” he said.

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