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Palestinian leader to reportedly ask Biden to move U.S. embassy to Tel Aviv

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is reportedly thinking about asking President-elect Joe Biden to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv, i24 news reported on Sunday, following Biden’s victory in the U.S. presidential election on Saturday.

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Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is reportedly thinking about asking President-elect Joe Biden to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv, i24 news reported on Sunday, following Biden’s victory in the U.S. presidential election on Saturday. The report was originally published in Israel Hayom.

According to the i24 report, a Palestinian Authority senior adviser named Nabil Shaath told the Israeli newspaper that President Abbas, in an effort to reverse many of the pro-Israel policies of President Donald Trump, has been secretly communicating with Biden to get him to move the embassy from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv and to rescind the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Abbas, it is worth noting, has sent a public message of congratulations to Biden like many other world leaders have already done, but only 15 hours after the race was called by many mainstream media outlets for Biden on Saturday. President Trump has yet to concede the race and has said that the election is far from over and that he will continue his battle in the courts.

Additionally, according to The Jerusalem Post, Abbas is reportedly willing to U.S.-brokered peace talks with Israel. This, Shaath noted to Israel Hayom, would require the U.S. to reopen the Palestinian Authority’s diplomatic mission in Washington, DC and to renew U.S. financial aid to Ramallah and UNWRA. Shaath added that these U.S.-brokered talks will need to start from where they left off in 2016, when President Barack Obama was in charge.

Back in a September speech to the United Nations, Abbas called for an international conference to hash out a new “genuine peace plan” between the Palestinians and Israel.

RELATED: Palestinian leader calls for new peace plan, scolds new countries recognizing Israel

During his administration, President Trump and his team have achieved many foreign policy victories for his agenda when it came to Israel. Most notably through U.S.-negotiated deals, three countries once hostile to the State of Israel have now recognized the country and have worked to establish regular diplomatic relationships with it—the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Sudan. The deals with the UAE and Bahrain were known collectively as the Abraham Accords.

The outcome of the U.S. presidential election on Saturday has certainly left Middle East policy up in the air as Biden begins to assemble his transition team but also as Trump keeps soldiering on in his legal battle against the results.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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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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