Donald Trump’s son-in-law and former senior adviser Jared Kushner says Saudi Arabia is a safer place for Jews than college campuses in the United States.
“One of the ironies is that you, as an American Jew, are safer in Saudi Arabia now than you are on a campus like Columbia,” Kushner, who is Jewish, said on “Sunday Morning Futures.”
“They let me speak freely,” Kushner, 42, said of the Saudis after returning from a trip to Saudi Arabia, where he spoke at a conference.
There has been a wave of anti-Semitic incidents across the United States as pro-Palestinian protesters take out their anger on Jewish students on college campuses.
Columbia University had to postpone its Day of Giving fundraising last week, as its campus continues to reel from tensions over the conflict in Israel. Billionaire donor Leon Cooperman He threatened to cut funding to the institution due to anti-Israel activity on campus, including by a professor who called Hamas’s Oct. 7 terror attack on Israel “remarkable.”
On Wednesday night, Jewish students were also forced to remain inside a library in New York City’s Cooper Union while protesters shouted at them from outside.
Some Jewish student demonstrators were heard chanting: “Globalize the intifada from New York to Gaza!” According to New York City Councilwoman Inna Vernikoff (R-Brooklyn).
Kushner, the scion of a wealthy American Jewish family, was particularly friendly with the Saudis. After he left the Trump White House, his private equity firm received a $2 billion investment from a Saudi sovereign wealth fund.
During his time in the Trump administration, Kushner tried to help with normalization between Israel and its Arab neighbors.
A major diplomatic breakthrough came in September 2020, when the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain agreed to normalize relations with Israel.
But an agreement between Saudi Arabia and Israel has remained far from being achieved.
Opinion polls have indicated that the public in the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain are afraid of this step. The Biden administration is still seeking to foster good relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia, but since the sudden bloody attack by Hamas on Israel, there are doubts about any warming in tensions between the two countries.
But Kushner remained optimistic that Riyadh could continue to play ball.
“Yes, I think they would like to move forward with the agreement with America and Israel,” Kushner said in response to a question about whether normalization of relations could still happen.
“The deal being discussed is not just a partnership with Israel. “It also deepens their relations with America,” he said of Saudi Arabia.
He added: “We have to keep in mind that if America is not close to Saudi Arabia [the Saudis] You will go the other way to China. So I think the topic is under discussion.
Before the outbreak of war in Israel, Biden administration officials considered concluding a mutual defense treaty with Saudi Arabia, in addition to sharing nuclear technology with Riyadh for civilian purposes, The New York Times reported.
Under a hypothetical mutual defense treaty, one of the best deals thought to be still under consideration, both the United States and Saudi Arabia would agree to support the other militarily if attacked.
The Biden administration has had a somewhat tense relationship with the Saudis. During his 2020 campaign, President Biden suggested that the oil giant would be relegated to pariah status.
He has openly criticized the brutal dismemberment of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018.
Earlier this month, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has become the kingdom’s de facto ruler, kept Secretary of State Antony Blinken waiting for hours for a meeting and did not show up until the next morning. The Washington Post reported.
On the other hand, Israel began an expanded ground attack in the Gaza Strip to eliminate members of the Hamas movement, as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed on Saturday. To date, more than 1,400 Israelis and 33 Americans have been killed in the conflict.
It is estimated that more than 8,000 Palestinians were killed by the Hamas-controlled Gaza Ministry of Health. This data set has been controversial because of Hamas’s record.
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