Jared Kushner

Jared Kushner, son-in-law of former President Donald Trump, participates in a discussion in Washington, D.C. on September 12, 2022.

(Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc. via Getty Images)

Trump Son-in-Law Jared Kushner Calls for Ethnic Cleansing of Gaza to 'Finish the Job'

Kushner, who served as a key Middle East adviser to Trump, said that Gaza's "waterfront property could be very valuable" and urged Israel to "clean it up."

Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of former president and presumptive 2024 Republican nominee Donald Trump, said in a recent interview that if he were in charge of Israeli policy, he would push Gaza civilians into Egypt or Israel's Negev desert—a proposal that critics denounced as ethnic cleansing.

"You want to get as many civilians out of Rafah as possible," Kushner told the faculty chair of Harvard University's Middle East Initiative, Tarek Masoud, in a March 8 interview that was first reported widely on Tuesday. "I think that you want to try to clear that out. I know that with diplomacy maybe you get them into Egypt."

"I know that that's been refused, but [with] the right diplomacy I think it would be possible," Kushner added. "But in addition to that, the thing that I would try to do if I was Israel right now is I would just bulldoze something in the Negev, I would try to move people in there. I know that won't be the popular thing to do, but I think that that's a better option to do so you can go in and finish the job."

Kushner played a central role in crafting Trump's Middle East policy during his first four years in the White House, and the former president's son-in-law's remarks provided a potential glimpse of how the U.S. would approach Gaza if Trump wins another term in November.

Earlier this month, Trump said he wants Israel to "finish the problem" in Gaza—a remark that Kushner echoed just three days later in his March 8 interview.

In addition to advocating the removal of civilians from Rafah—which is currently packed with more than 1.5 million people, including hundreds of thousands of children—Kushner said Gaza's "waterfront property could be very valuable."

"It's a little bit of an unfortunate situation there, but from Israel's perspective I would do my best to move the people out and then clean it up," Kushner said.

Kushner responded flippantly to concerns that if Gazans were forced out of their territory, the Israeli government wouldn't let them return—something that top Israeli officials have publicly advocated.

"Maybe," he said, "but I'm not sure there's much left of Gaza at this point."

Kushner also claimed that Israel has gone "way more out of its way" than other countries would to protect civilians—despite the abundance of evidence to the contrary.

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