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The flaw in Trump and Kushner's 'real estate' school of diplomacy

CNN's Christiane Amanpour talks to President Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner about the President's Middle East plan.

Posted: Jan 28, 2020 10:20 PM
Updated: Jan 28, 2020 10:20 PM

One impeached, the other indicted, they posed as honest brokers with a common vision of a mythical Middle East peace.

US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu both have strong political reasons to use their "deal of the century" to distract from their parlous domestic plights, and as a tool in looming elections. But unlike the ceremony nearly 30 years ago that enshrined the land-for-peace era of Middle East diplomacy that the two leaders are now closing, there was a party missing at the White House on Tuesday -- the Palestinians.

The Trump plan is really neither a deal nor a peace blueprint: It strongly favors Israel and would force Palestinians to cede their aspirations for a state in the West Bank and Gaza drawn around Israeli settlements patched together by bridges and tunnels. The plan's major historic contribution seems to be to clear the way for Israel to annex lands long-considered illegally occupied by the UN and international community, and to align US policy closer than ever before to the most right-wing influences in Israeli politics.

Masterminded by Jared Kushner, it is another example of the real estate school of diplomacy that he and his father-in-law — both property magnates — keep trying to apply to the most nettlesome global disputes.

A similar approach to a "deal" has been tried unsuccessfully with Iran and North Korea. It involves the US adversary agreeing to a set of conditions -- on missiles, nuclear weapons, or Jerusalem, for instance -- that would signify near total capitulation. In return, the other side gets the promise of a massive cash infusion.

When he first met the young North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Trump showed him a corporate-style sales video of gleaming skyscapes -- offering real estate development fantasies in exchange for North Korea's nuclear arsenal.

On Tuesday, the President promised Palestinians $50 billion in investment. "Much-needed hope, joy, opportunity and prosperity will finally arrive for the Palestinian people" if they sign his deal, he promised.

But the Palestinians are not buying it -- pointing to the flaw in Trump's method of putting potential riches before principle. "All our rights are not for sale," Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas said.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 153270

Reported Deaths: 3807
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10249104
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Harrison7173111
Jackson6440124
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Forrest385986
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Clarke92453
Clay92327
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Stone78515
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Walthall76929
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Carroll73815
Lawrence72614
Smith72116
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Jefferson Davis57817
Amite55214
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Quitman4947
Webster45014
Kemper44218
Wilkinson40122
Jefferson35711
Franklin3485
Choctaw3457
Sharkey31717
Issaquena1174
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 247229

Reported Deaths: 3577
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson32718500
Mobile19904362
Madison13425148
Tuscaloosa13167154
Montgomery12380236
Shelby1046577
Baldwin882098
Lee778566
Morgan675150
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Walker3689111
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Jackson327123
Colbert314642
Blount294640
Autauga275142
Franklin254233
Coffee246515
Dale234454
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Russell22313
Covington220334
Escambia198631
Chambers177250
Tallapoosa177091
Pike159214
Clarke158919
Marion141336
Winston134423
Lawrence129636
Pickens124218
Geneva12378
Marengo122524
Bibb118817
Barbour117511
Butler117342
Randolph103821
Cherokee102924
Hale97731
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Clay92024
Washington91619
Henry8676
Lowndes79929
Monroe79011
Cleburne77414
Macon74522
Crenshaw71230
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