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HomenewsJared Kushner's Middle East actions under spotlight after Israel attack

Jared Kushner’s Middle East actions under spotlight after Israel attack

Jared Kushner, Donald Trump‘s son-in-law and former White House senior adviser, has been criticized in the wake of the large-scale Hamas attack for his attempt to strengthen diplomatic ties between Israel and Arab nations, as well as facing allegations over his links with Saudi Arabia.

In September 2020, the Abraham Accords were signed between Israel and Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates. It aimed to normalize their relations as part of an overall goal to tackle ongoing tensions in the Middle East between Arab countries and Israel. Morocco and Sudan followed suit in signing similar agreements in the following months.

The diplomatic agreements between Israel and the Arab countries were brokered by Trump with the assistance of Kushner, who served as a Middle East adviser. Despite the Abraham Accords being cited as a way to introduce and strengthen Israeli-Arab ties, the historic agreements have also been criticized for so far failing to produce meaningful solutions for Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Now, war has broken out after the Islamist militant group Hamas attacked Israel on Saturday.

On social media, Kushner has now been scrutinized for his role in the Abraham Accords, as well as his close ties to Gulf nations such as Saudi Arabia that have not signed the agreement.

Kushner, who is married to the former president’s daughter Ivanka Trump, runs the private-equity fund Affinity Partners. It received a $2 billion investment from a fund led by the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman six months after Trump left the White House in January 2021.

The United Arab Emirates and Qatar also invested hundreds of millions of dollars into Kushner’s private-equity firm, reported The New York Times in March 2023.

This intensified accusations that Kushner had traded classified intelligence with Mohammed, which the crown prince has denied. In March 2018, he told the Washington Post that it would be “really insane” for him to trade classified information with Kushner, or to try to use him to promote a Saudi agenda within the Trump administration. He also denied media reports that he had said Kushner was “in his pocket.”

Kushner has also denied suggestions he was promised future investment from Saudi Arabia or any other country during his diplomatic efforts. In his book Breaking History: A White House Memoir, Kushner writes that “Saudi reforms were having a positive impact on millions of people in the kingdom—especially women.

“All of these reforms were major priorities for the United States, as they led to further progress in combating extremism and advancing economic opportunity and stability throughout the war-torn region,” Kushner added.

Newsweek has contacted Kushner’s office for comment via email.

However, critics have continued to cast doubt on these denials.

“Jared Kushner shared intelligence with MBS (Mohammed bin Salman) and made extensive requests for classified documents, surpassing most White House officials not on the National Security Council,” Brian Allen, pre-law student at Purdue University and CEO of Lime Funding, posted on X, formerly Twitter.

“Despite concerns that he posed a national security risk, Trump overrode the objections of career officials. That same Kushner is the author of The Abrahams Accord, he will not take credit for it now because it blew up in his face. As we have seen with this new war in Israel.”

Lindy Li, a political commentator, and Democratic National Committee member, wrote: “Jared Kushner shared intel with MBS & requested more classified docs than any White House official not on the National Security Council. He was deemed a national security risk but Trump overrode career officials. This was the unqualified idiot ‘bringing peace to the Middle East.'”

While sharing an MSNBC clip discussing the Middle Eastern countries who have given money to Kushner’s firm, Christopher Webb, who has nearly 87,000 followers on X, wrote: “Jared Kushner never achieved peace in the Middle East but he sure as hell got a boatload of cash as a result.

“In the Trump administration Kushner oversaw foreign policy in the Middle East w/no [with no] foreign policy expertise or even a proper security clearance.”

Hamas’ large-scale attack on Israel has left nearly 1,600 dead on both sides since the incursion from the Islamist group on Saturday, according to the Associated Press.

In a statement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that Hamas will “exact a price that will be remembered by them and Israel’s other enemies for decades to come” following the attack.

“The savage attacks that Hamas perpetrated against innocent Israelis are mindboggling: slaughtering families in their homes, massacring hundreds of young people at an outdoor festival, kidnapping scores of women, children and elderly, even Holocaust survivors,” Netanyahu added.

“Hamas terrorists bound, burned and executed children. They are savages. Hamas is ISIS. And just as the forces of civilization united to defeat ISIS, the forces of civilization must support Israel in defeating Hamas.”

Netanyahu also thanked President Joe Biden for his unequivocal support of Israel amid the conflict.

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