Upon taking office, President Donald Trump took the bold step of giving Jared Kushner an unprecedented amount of power and responsibility based on the sole qualification that he is married to his daughter. Despite being far far far out of his depth, Kushner’s hermit-like public persona has saved him from the scrutiny he deserves in the first year of this presidency. Until now.
This weekend, Trump’s 36-year-old son-in-law Kushner made an appearance at the Saban Forum as part of his role as lead U.S. negotiator for Middle East peace, and it didn’t take long for the obvious truth to be revealed: That’s a job for which he has neither the qualifications nor aptitude.
Speaking on live television with Haim Saban, the forum founder and an Israeli-American telecom billionaire, Kushner seemed as if he thought he was in safe territory. Saban has made clear that his global political priority is Israeli security, and Kushner and Trump have actually sabotaged the peace process in order to give symbolic victories to his home country.
Saban let Kushner play expert for one full minute, listening to him rattle off a laundry list of Middle-Eastern issues — as though he were diagnosing a complex problem when he was really giving a third-grade report — before he had heard enough.
“I understand that,” Saban said with a chuckle. “But, to achieve that, the team has in it an entrepreneur, a real estate lawyer, a bankruptcy lawyer. I don’t know how you’ve lasted eight months in this lineup, but that’s for another day. And it’s impressive that it’s still going! There’s not a Middle East macher (Yiddish for expert) in this group, so, I mean, how do you operate with people who basically, you know…with all due respect, a bunch of Orthodox Jews who have no idea about anything?”
And Saban was just getting started. Sure, he and Kushner may be ostensibly on the same pro-Israel side, but Saban is not an idiot. He understands that putting dangerously unqualified people into positions of real power is a threat to everybody. It’s something only the most deeply entrenched factions of Donald Trump’s base have yet to figure out.
This humiliating episode may help a few of them get there. Watch the video below: