My only interaction with Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor, was a letter I wrote to him shortly after Trump’s inauguration as president of the United States.
At that time, Steve Bannon was the chief strategist in the Trump administration. He was a strong supporter of the “alt right,” a loose network of individuals and groups that promote white identity, embrace racism, anti-Semitism and white supremacy.
Before joining the Trump Administration, Bannon headed Breitbart News, an online news organization. “We are the platform for alt right,” he proclaimed in an interview.
Numerous leading white supremacists celebrated Bannon’s appointment as Trump’s chief strategist. It was expected that Bannon’s influence would stretch through the administration.
This is why I wrote my letter to Kushner. I noted that I am a Holocaust survivor and I hoped he would play the role that Esther played in the court of Ahasuerus, the King of Babylon.
It was a reference to the Book of Esther, which describes how Esther saved the Jews from annihilation at the order of Haman, King Ahsuerus’s prime minister.
In August 2017, Bannon was dismissed from his duties at the White House. Many Washington insiders believe it was Kushner who held the door open for him.
Another loser in the power struggle was former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who had been fired from his position leading the administration’s transition. As a U.S. attorney in 2005, Christie jailed Kushner’s father on tax evasion, election fraud and witness tampering charges.
Many believe Kushner’s power and influence don’t derive from being the son-in-law of the president. Rather, they say his presence is due to the fact that he is considered to have been instrumental in delivering the presidency to Donald Trump.
According to Forbes magazine, Kushner ran the Trump campaign’s secret data operation, a logarithmic system that tipped the states that swung the election. The Trump campaign, under Kushner’s direction, also perfected message tailoring, sentiment manipulation and machine learning.
The final result of the 2016 presidential elections showed that Hillary Clinton received about 3 million more direct votes than Donald Trump. But in the Electoral College, Trump received 304 votes; Hillary Clinton 227. Trump was elected president of the United States thanks to Kushner’s logarithmic system.
President Trump now has tasked Kushner with leading negotiations with Arab leaders to come up with a peace plan between Israel and the Palestinians. A breakthrough, where many other American presidents have failed, would be, in Trump’s word, “the deal of the century.”
According to press reports, Kushner’s peace plan is based on an offer of autonomy for Palestinians, not an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel. As an incentive, Kushner’s strategy offers the Palestinian people so many financial rewards, paid for mostly by Saudi Arabia and the oil-rich Emirates, that they will turn on their corrupt leaders and accept the peace plan.
In fact, the quest for peace between Israel and the Palestinians has been going on for half a century. Cynics say the Hundred Year Religious Wars, in the Middle Ages, lasted 100 years, but the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is only 50 years old.
Actually, the Kushner peace plan has many variations, offering the Palestinians territorial swaps, integration into the Israeli economy and even an oil pipeline from the Saudi oil-fields to ports in Gaza, built with Saudi funds, for trans-shipment to Europe.
Kushner’s Middle East peace plans are ridiculed by many Middle East experts. But so was his logarithmic system that secured Trump the presidency.
Shatz is a Williamsburg resident. He is the author of “Reports from a Distant Place,” the compilation of his selected columns. The book is available at the Bruton Parish Shop and Amazon.com.