President Donald Trump will welcome delegations from Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain to the White House Tuesday to sign a historic peace accord. It’s just the beginning to peace in the Middle East, Trump told Fox & Friends Tuesday morning, revealing that other countries are in talks with his administration to sign similar deals and he expects even the Palestinians and Iran to join in.
The Palestinian leadership has expressed condemnation and Palestinian Authority prime minister Mohammad Shtayyeh called the signing of the Abraham accords Tuesday “a dark day in the history of the Arab nation and of the Arab League.” The Palestinians said they will also boycott the Dubai world fair next year.
The Arab League, which infamously said ‘no’ to peace with Israel with the 1967 Khartoum Resolution, has now two member countries making peace with Israel. That support, however, has led the Palestinian leadership to ‘reconsider’ its relationship with the Arab League.
Still, President Trump says the Palestinians are quietly cozying up to a similar peace deal and are changing their tune with the United States after U.S. aid was scaled back. That has been central to the Trump administration’s foreign policy agenda to ensure that the U.S. is spending money wisely and that other countries are paying their fair share.
“The Palestinians are very difficult to deal with and we paid them a tremendous amount of money for many decades,” Trump told Fox & Friends Tuesday. “We paid them money, It was almost like hostage money, It was bribe money and it was foolish, and I took it away. A year and a half ago, I said, why are we paying when they say terrible things about us, ‘death to America,’ all of these things they said and we’re gonna pay them $750,000,000, yeah, it’s a lot of money.
He added, “We pay them all this money and they speak badly about us. I said I’m gonna end the money, let them know we’re not gonna pay it anymore. We didn’t pay it anymore. But, other countries were paying, other very rich countries would pay, but we don’t pay it anymore.”
As more and more countries signal they will sign onto deals similar to Tuesday’s accord, Trumps says, the Palestinians will certainly come to the negotiating table, adding that Iran may too.
Like the Palestinian leadership, Iran has condemned the Abraham accords. But the Gulf countries, including the UAE and Bahrain, said Iran must not interfere with any talks with Israel.
“When we start getting the rest of the countries in, they will come to the table 100%,” Trump said. “They’re actually getting to a point where they’re gonna want to make a deal. They won’t say that outwardly, they want to make a deal, ok. And I’ll tell you who else wants to make a deal, Iran wants to make a deal… They’re hoping that Biden gets in…”
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Shanghai: China’s Potemkin Village
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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