Douglas MacKinnon
Former White House and Pentagon Official and author
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Jared Kushner is worthy of a Nobel Peace Prize

His work on the UAE-Israel deal should put him in the running for the Prize. But with Trump as his father-in-law, the chances are zero
White House senior adviser Jared Kushner speaks at a press briefing at the White House in Washington, following the announcement  of Israel's normalization agreement with the UAE, August 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
White House senior adviser Jared Kushner speaks at a press briefing at the White House in Washington, following the announcement of Israel's normalization agreement with the UAE, August 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The resounding scream of “no” from those who can’t stand Jared Kushner’s father-in-law might be loud enough to split the atmosphere or set-off earthquake warning seismometers the world over. Leaving that predictability aside, an unbiased and honest assessment would determine that Kushner should at least be in the conversation.

If we use the Nobel Prize Committee’s very own template that “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples” are a qualifier for the prize, then Kushner would at least make the first cut. There is no denying that he has been at the epicenter of some truly critical international diplomacy.

But does his being US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law stop such consideration dead in its tracks? It should not. Most especially in light of what he just helped to pull off, namely the announcement that Israel and the United Arab Emirates are going to normalize diplomatic relations. Democrat, Republican, liberal, or conservative, this is a significant and real step forward in the Middle East peace process and must be acknowledged as such.

For over three years now, Kushner has worked that territory as President Trump’s point person. While many have bristled at the phrase “Kushner’s Peace Plan” to describe the ongoing negotiations, there is no denying that he has become one of the lead architects.

Day by day and little by little, Kushner has been pushing Arab normalization with Israel. His premise was that if he could get one of the Arab countries to the table and sign, then others might eventually follow.

Well, Kushner, along with our State Department and key officials from Israel and the UAE, just pulled off an historic agreement. A major Arab player came to the table. Surely, that’s at least worth inserting Kushner into the conversation for the Nobel Peace Prize.

The case for Kushner is bolstered by the fact that in 2009, the Nobel Committee curiously seemed to waive a requirement any accomplishments or demonstrable efforts when it awarded the then recently-elected President Barack Obama the Nobel Peace Prize for literally…doing nothing.

The liberal and admittedly star-struck Nobel Prize Committee gave Obama the award in the hope – simply and only, the hope — that he would make “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.”

Obama being nominated for that once venerable award barely ten days into his job was too much even for a number of liberals. In fact, even Barack Obama joked about it years later with CBS talk show host Stephen Colbert. Asked why he was selected, Obama laughed, “To be honest, I still don’t know what my Nobel Peace Prize was for.”

Eventually, the Nobel secretary at the time admitted that breathlessly handing the award to Obama for doing nothing was a “mistake.” But, if we use those watered down and arbitrary standards as the benchmark, then Kushner is already way ahead of the curve.

Beyond the critical Israel-UAE agreement, Kushner has also played an essential role in the negotiations between the United States, Canada, and Mexico to replace the highly-flawed North American Free Trade Agreement with the US-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement. It’s an agreement highly-praised on both sides of the aisle and one that US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said “would not have happened if it wasn’t for Jared.”

Aside from that is Kushner’s work with regard to the US-China Trade negotiations. These are critically important talks covering a wide-range of complaints from the US Government and US companies regarding China’s suspect trade and subsidy practices as well the forced transfer of American technology to Chinese companies along with outright Intellectual Property theft. The negotiations are even more important in light of the world-wide pandemic.

Additionally, Kushner was instrumental in inviting Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan to the White House last year to meet with President Trump and engage in conversations related to ending the conflict in Afghanistan.

Barack Obama was handed the Nobel Peace Prize in the hope he might do something. Kushner has done something. Over the last three years, he has dedicated a significant part of his life to actually strengthening international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.

And, as that is the standard the Nobel Prize committee set, it is fair to ask if Kushner should be in the running for a Nobel Peace Prize.

While the animus and even admitted hate many on the left feel toward his father-in-law have most likely doomed his chances, he has proven himself worthy of consideration.

About the Author
Douglas MacKinnon is a former White House and Pentagon official and author of the book: The Dawn of a Nazi Moon: Book One.
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