Jared's Most Excellent Middle East Adventures Continue On Our Dime

Jared Kushner and his team are traveling to Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar this week. It's about trying to get support for what he calls a mideast peace plan, which has already been rejected by Palestinian leaders. This trip is just one month after a previous trip he took to Bahrain to sell interest in his plan.

Hani Abu Aker, a political analyst, told The Media Line from Gaza City that the Bahrain workshop failed to yield the results Kushner was hoping for, and the upcoming visit could be an attempt to keep whatever momentum the presidential adviser thinks he has going.

...The Palestinians boycotted the Bahrain conference and harshly criticized President Trump’s approach to the conflict....Fatah leader Rafaat Elyan told The Media Line that the US administration had no credibility and was “incapable” of conducting any mediations between the Israelis and Palestinians.

...Defense and government analyst Amir Oren told The Media Line... “Nothing is expected to come out of this mission, as [with] all others in this futile effort,” Oren said. ‘The only purpose is to show motion – even if without movement – and score political points with Donald Trump’s Evangelical base.”


Even more concerning than the cost of this seemingly unnecessary trip for which we the taxpayers are footing the bill, is this McClatchy report on hundreds of man-hours being spent by Jared to monitor opinion in the Middle East in order to increase the chances of his peace plan being accepted:

At Jared Kushner’s direction, U.S. government agencies have combined data tools and human expertise for the first time to officially rank Arab media outlets over their coverage of the Middle East peace process.

Roughly 50 regional media organizations have been assessed by the government for their influence and attitudes toward U.S. policy in the Middle East, according to sensitive interagency reports exclusively reviewed by McClatchy....Three senior administration officials said the purpose of Kushner’s project is to connect with local populations as effectively as possible – to better understand “what’s driving the street” across the Arab world, so that he and his team can target their communications with greater precision.

Kushner ordered the project in 2018:

The reports break into two categories. One product assesses the public consumption of news in each country in the region, including a breakdown by age, internet usage, and the percentage of people getting information on mobile devices, newspapers, or television.

The second type of report examines specific media outlets, assessing the neutrality of each organization in how it portrays U.S. policy, rating its influence and listing its ownership, based on analyses from two government agencies examining publicly available material.

The reports are highly detailed. For example, Kushner’s team discovered that cell phone penetration among Palestinians is so high that a majority now get their news on mobile devices while waiting in line to go through an Israeli checkpoint.

...Regional U.S. embassies and Arabic language spokesmen from the State Department participate in the outreach effort, officials said.

How can this possibly be an acceptable use of taxpayer money? It seems geared toward putting a feather in Trump's cap for the 2020 election, another venture Kushner is heavily involved in. Anytime I hear the term "digital strategy" associated with Trump, it always leads back to Jared's good buddy Brad Parscale, who Kushner picked to run Trump's 2016 "digital strategy team" and who is now Trump's 2020 campaign manager(assisted by Trump's daughter in law Lara, married to son Eric.)

I get that Kushner is wealthy and can spend his money however he wants. But he shouldn't get to spend our money however he wants, especially on efforts that are inseparable from Donald Trump's reelection campaign. No one but Trump asked Jared to solve the middle east peace problem, a task for which he has absolutely no prior qualifications or experience. If Kushner gets support for even 1 minor point of a 50 point plan, even if it's on an economic issue rather than a peace issue, you know Donald Trump will claim to his underinformed base during the 2020 campaign that he made more progress towards middle east peace than any other president in history and they would foolishly believe him.

Congress or someone needs to put the economic brakes on Jared Kushner's spending on whimiscal "opinion mining among data scientists" as well as his repetititive cruising through the middle east and elsewhere on our dime.

Our mainstream media is not even covering this McClatchy article. It's far more interested in writing about the reputation of the Kushner family business in Baltimore.

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    ... here's a shoutout to the folks at NASA for this just-released satellite image of Earth from a million miles away, in which you can clearly see southern Europe, the Mediterranean Sea, all of Africa and the entire Middle East. (Sigh!) It looks so peaceful down there.

    Further, on a related Middle East note, ... (none / 0) (#1)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jul 29, 2019 at 01:48:57 PM EST
    ... why in the world was US Ambassador David Friedman in attendance at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's weekly cabinet meeting this past weekend?

    Never mind the fact that Israeli police have recommended that Netanyahu be criminally indicted for his role in a major public corruption scandal. (His wife Sara has already been convicted by an Israeli court for the misuse of public funds.) He's presently facing a new general election on September 17 after failing to put together a coalition government following last March's contest. What does Friedman think his standing will be with a new government and prime minister, should Netanyahu's government fall in September?

    Do any of Trump's people think of the future beyond next week?

    Somehow, I don't see the Great... (none / 0) (#2)
    by desertswine on Mon Jul 29, 2019 at 03:42:08 PM EST
    Slumlord of Baltimore (and other places) "connecting" with people local or otherwise.

    Oh, c'mon! That's not fair. (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jul 29, 2019 at 08:03:20 PM EST
    Jared has not only managed to connect with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, but he did so in between the latter's busy schedule of summary executions of his country's dissidents.

    That relationship undoubtedly led to this brilliant bit of insight, which Jared shared with other Middle east despot-- uh, excuse me, I mean, leaders in Bahrain last month:

    "If we have a real peace, and there's not a fear of people doing terrorism, then things will improve."

    Gosh, if only we thought of that!


    Jared of all trades, (none / 0) (#3)
    by KeysDan on Mon Jul 29, 2019 at 04:03:42 PM EST
    has to wrap this Middle-East peace up this week. He is now moving on to Trump's re-election campaign, regularly giving counsel to the 2020 Trump re-election.

    The Kushner family are psychopaths (none / 0) (#6)
    by Dadler on Tue Jul 30, 2019 at 10:48:32 AM EST
    Just like the Trumps. Except for the one marginally humane brother who hates Jared. What would anyone else expect from a criminal family? Insight? Humanity? Grotesque state violence is coming quickly, inflicted upon all of us. Get ready. Peas & Loaves to everyone. XO.

    "adlerpoems" (Link)