President-elect Donald Trump said he is counting on his 36-year-old son-in-law to bring peace to the Middle East. Speaking at a dinner on the eve of his inauguration on Thursday, Trump singled out Jared Kushner as a “special person” in the audience. After praising Kushner as “so great,” he said, “If you can’t produce peace in the Middle East, nobody can.” Whether Trump intended to be hyperbolic with the remark or was simply displaying his own ignorance of the situation in the Middle East is anyone’s guess. But it does serve as an unnerving reminder that the president-elect has tasked a man with no relevant experience who has been accused of bribing his way into Harvard with solving a conflict that generations of diplomats have not been able to. While Kushner, an Orthodox Jew, has strong ties to pro-Israel groups and people within the Israeli government, it remains unclear what qualifications he has to negotiate with Palestine while serving as Trump’s envoy to the Middle East. Trump’s portrayal of Kushner as a peacemaker seems to confirm that his White House will go against the two-state solution in the Middle East, a move experts believe is likely to further fuel tensions.
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