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Israel, UAE Deal ‘Breaking The Ice’ for Other Gulf Countries

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Israel and the United Arab Emirates have normalized diplomatic ties in a deal brokered by the Trump administration and the announcement came Thursday.

The last time there was an agreement of this magnitude, it was in 1994 when Jordan and Israel signed a joint peace agreement, President Trump’s Senior Advisor Jared Kushner noted during a Thursday news conference after the deal was announced.

It’s certainly the start to peace in the Middle East and Kushner made it clear that the UAE would be the first, but not the last country to make such a momentous deal with Israel.

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“This historic diplomatic breakthrough will advance peace in the Middle East region and is a testament to the bold diplomacy and vision of the three leaders and the courage of the United Arab Emirates and Israel to chart a new path that will unlock the great potential in the region,” a joint statement by President Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, UAE Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamad Binh Zayed Al Nahyan released Thursday read.

They added, “All three countries face many common challenges and will mutually benefit from today’s historic achievement.”

As part of the deal, Israel has agreed to “suspend declaring sovereignty over areas outlined in the President’s Vision for Peace and focus its efforts now on expanding ties with other countries in the Arab and Muslim world.” That was at the request of the UAE.

“The region has witnessed many political initiatives and stations from Camp David to Madrid to Oslo, Wye River, Annapolis and others, and we are seeking today for Israel to freeze the annexation of Palestinian lands as a new opportunity to revive peace,” said Anwar Gargash, UAE’s Minister for Foreign Affairs

Last month, a UAE official said that the annexation of parts of the West Bank, part of Trump’s plan, would hold up the prospect for peace with the Gulf state and urged Israel not to move forward with the plan.

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President Trump told reporters Thursday that the deal will include establishing embassies and ambassadors, creating tourism channels, and creating trade, security, and educational ties.

“By uniting two of America’s most closest and capable partners in the region, something which said could not be done, this deal is a significant step towards building a more peaceful, secure and prosperous Middle East. Now that the ice has been broken, I expect more Arab and Muslim countries will follow the United Arab Emirates’ lead,” Trump said.

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Shanghai: China’s Potemkin Village

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Following a recent outbreak of COVID-19, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has imposed a month-long draconian lockdown on the residents of Shanghai. The CCP has used the outbreak to persecute its own citizens, including through forced evictions and quarantines, and placing alarms on doors to prevent COVID-19 people from leaving their homes. The harsh measures have resulted in food and healthcare shortages and separation of families.

But of course, we wouldn’t know that by reading the CCP-run press readily available in the United States. Instead of presenting the facts, the CCP engages in a comprehensive propaganda campaign that props up Shanghai as a Chinese Potemkin village. The CCP media asserts that China’s actions in Shanghai are benevolent and wise, while Western criticism is a product of malice. Chinese state-run media also insists that the Shanghai lockdown promotes economic stability in China and the world.

Claim 1: China Has the Best Policy for Combating COVID-19

The CCP media portray the Shanghai lockdown as the best and ideal policy. As cited by a XinhuaNet editorial, “China’s dynamic zero-COVID approach” is “the best option to save lives,” according to a “Rwandan researcher and publisher,” “…a miracle for us to learn,” according to a Kenyan scholar, and “a very ideal response,” according to Ethiopia’s National COVID-19 Response Task Force Coordinator. According to CCP media, Chinese citizens have greeted the Shanghai lockdown warmly, even with “[a] mixed sense of intensity, unity and hopefulness,” according to China Daily.

Claim 2: The West Hypocritically Defames China

The CCP press also accuses the West of lying about the Shanghai lockdown, and using COVID policies for nefarious ends. According to XinhuaNet, “Shanghai…has never imposed what Western media described as a ‘lockdown.’” Other CCP editorials actually accuse the West of malice. One Global Times editorial claims that the lockdown “has been deliberately exaggerated by the West.” Another Global Times editorial asserts that the Western approach of “coexisting with the virus” amounts to a way “…to drive out a large number of the vulnerable people with low immunity,” and a form of “cruel social Darwinism.”

Claim 3: China’s COVID Policies Result in an Economic Windfall to China and the World

The CCP also portrays the lockdown as necessary to achieve great economic growth in China and beyond. One Global Times editorial, while conceding that the lockdown amounted to a “sealing-off,” it is “a temporary measure to better resume work and production and to make the economy and society function more effectively. Its effectiveness has been proven.” According to another Global Times editorial, China’s policy is “widely considered to be the best strategy…to both contain the epidemic and ensure stable economic development.”

In an Orwellian fashion, Chinese press claims that China is solving, not causing, the world’s economic problems. According to XinhuaNet, “China has played a decisive role in stabilizing the global economy and resuming the supply chain disrupted by COVID-19.” Citing a Bloomberg article, the same XinhuaNet editorial claims that China “has prevented a huge number of deaths at home and ensured that everything from iPhones and Teslas to fertilizer and car parts continues to flow to the rest of the world.” Chinese citizens, of course, are collateral damage: Ji Qiwei, vice-general manager of SAIC Motor Passenger Vehicle, stated that “The domestic market may be impacted a little by the COVID-19 outbreak this year, but our export market will continue to see strong growth,” according to China Daily.

While the world continues to suffer economic and human damage as a result of COVID-19, China continues to revise history regarding its role. Through its propaganda in its English publications of Xinhua, China Daily, and Global Times, China seeks to portray itself as a benevolent force in the fight against the virus.

You can follow Steve Postal on Twitter @HebraicMosaic

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