My changing mind about The Washington Post

I subscribed to The Washington Post in March 2018. I wanted to keep up with reports about U.S. President Trump’s plan for peace between Israelis and Palestinians – his vaunted “Deal of the Century.”

Speculation suggested that the plan would be revealed in November of last year (2018). November came and went, so I recently cancelled my subscription. The cost of 36 cents a day started to seem like a waste.

I just resubscribed when I heard about peace plans coming to the fore, as you see in my previous post.

The irony of losing faith.

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Future of Peace and Security in the Middle East conference: Will Kushner reveal peace ‘deal of the century’?

An international conference for a Future of Peace and Security in the Middle East will meet in Warsaw on Wednesday and Thursday Feb 13 and 14, 2019. White House senior adviser Jared Kushner and other administration officials will attend.

A question arises: Will Kushner reveal U.S. President Trump’s “Deal of the Century” plan for peace between Israelis and Palestinians?

Kushner and other administration officials will also swing through Middle Eastern Arab countries later in February, possibly to garner economic support for Palestinian development.

This report has been gleaned from the AP by way of The Washington Post, “US officials visiting Mideast to seek backing for peace plan,” February 11, 2019. Also from the “U.S. Department of State Weekly Digest Bulletin.”

Macron: ‘Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism.’

French President Emmanuel Macron denounced nationalism: “It’s a betrayal of moral values.”

Nationalism is “the egotism of a people only concerned with their own interests,” Macron said on Sunday, November 11, 2018, at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. He was speaking to a gathering of national leaders to commemorate 100 years since the armistice that ended World War I. The armistice of November 11, 1918, marked a victory for the Allies and a defeat for Germany.

“By putting our own interests first, with no regard for others, we erase the very thing that a nation holds dearest, and the thing that keeps it alive: its moral values,” the French President said.

This vision of France as a generous nation, of France as a project, of France as a bearer of universal values was in these somber hours exactly the opposite of the egotism of a people only concerned with their own interests. Because patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism. Nationalism betrays it. By saying we put ourselves first and the others don’t matter, we erase that which is most precious to a nation — that which gives it life, that which makes it great, that which is the most important: its moral values.

(as translated into English from French)

(As reported by The Washington Post, “Macron denounces nationalism as a ‘betrayal of patriotism’ in rebuke to Trump at WWI remembrance,” in its video stream, and by the Associated Press.)

Demise of the U.S. Consulate General to Jerusalem after 174 years

On October 18, 2018, U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo announced the merger of the U.S. Consulate General to Jerusalem with its Embassy to Israel in Jerusalem.

Citing significant efficiencies and increased effectiveness, Pompeo said that a full range of reporting, outreach, and programming in the West Bank and Gaza as well as with Palestinians in Jerusalem will be conducted through a new Palestinian Affairs Unit inside the U.S. Embassy.

Pompeo added that this action does not signal a change of U.S. policy on Jerusalem, the West Bank, or the Gaza Strip. “As the President proclaimed in December of last year, the United States continues to take no position on final status issues, including boundaries or borders. The specific boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem are subject to final status negotiations between the parties.”

The Consulate General to Jerusalem was established as an independent mission in 1844. Since 1912, it has operated out of a complex on Agron Street in western Jerusalem not far from its earliest location in the Old City.

The U.S. State Department built a contemporary annex in Jerusalem’s Arnona neighborhood. Although styled as an annex, this new campus is larger than the facilities on Agron Street.

In May 2018, the U.S. Embassy to Israel began operations on a small scale in the Arnona annex.

U.S. warns no one will be ‘fully pleased’ by Israeli-Palestinian peace plan

“No one will be fully pleased with our proposal, but that’s the way it must be if real peace is to be achieved,” officials said. “Peace can only succeed if it is based on realities.”

NoOnePleasedPeacePlan

(Times of Israel August 15, 2018)

Proposed U.S. plan to resolve the Israel-Palestinian conflict

The “deal of the century” or “ultimate deal” is U.S. President Donald Trump’s plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This plan is a purported agreement between the U.S., Israel, and the Arab allies Jordan, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Egypt to end the two-state proposal and to divide or share sovereignty over the Palestinian population in the occupied territories between Israel, Jordan, and Egypt.

Jared Kushner, a White House senior adviser (and the President’s son-in-law), has been brokering a deal with Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Kushner and Jason Greenblatt, chief U.S. negotiator for the region, visited both Saudi Arabia and Jordan in June 2018 to prepare to release Mr. Trump’s proposal which, it has been suggested, has been 18 months in the making.

A decision to release the plan comes with no indication that 82-year-old Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian Authority President (and Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization – PLO), will entertain the plan. He has refused to meet with U.S. negotiators since the U.S. president recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

An unnamed senior Jordanian official said, “Arab states will not be the ones to throw a wrench ‎in the wheels of the peace process, and that Abbas’s ‎continued refusal to work with the Americans will ‎lead to a regional peace plan being launched without ‎him.”

One element of the proposal is that Saudi Arabia will control the Temple Mount in place of Jordan’s current custodianship. In addition, the town Abu Dis – adjacent to Jerusalem – will become the capital of the Palestinian Authority. Speculation has it that any Palestinian state would have limited sovereignty.

In related news, Mahmoud Abbas seeks to convene a session of the Palestine National Council (PNC) to break ties with Israel. The PNC, located in Amman, Jordan, has not met since 2009.

The council is:

the legislative body of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and elects the PLO Executive Committee, which assumes leadership of the organization between its sessions. The PNC is [the legislative body] responsible for formulating the policies and programs for the PLO. It serves as the parliament that represents all Palestinians inside and outside the Palestinian territories, and all sectors of the worldwide Palestinian community, including political parties, popular organizations, resistance movements, and independent figures from all sectors of life. (Wikipedia, “Palestine National Council“)

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Gleaned from:

Al Jazeera – beware of malware * – “Four Arab states ‘support US plan’ for peace in the Middle East.” June 25, 2018.

Al Jazeera – beware of malware * – “Palestinian National Council to discuss ending ties with Israel.” April 28, 2018.

James M. Dorsey – academia.edu, “Saudi religious diplomacy targets Jerusalem.” December 2017.

James M. Dorsey, “Trading Jerusalem for Iran.” December 16, 2017.

Goldberg, Jeffrey. “Saudi Crown Prince: Iran’s Supreme Leader ‘Makes Hitler Look Good’.” The Atlantic. April 2, 2018.

Middle East Monitor, “White House senior adviser Jared Kushner discusses ‘deal of the century’ and Gaza siege with Netanyahu.” June 23, 2018.

Middle East Monitor, “Haaretz: Most Arab leaders agree to US ‘deal of century’.” July 2, 2018.

The New York Times, “Talk of a Peace Plan That Snubs Palestinians Roils Middle East.” December 3, 2017.

The Washington Post, “Trump axes the Iran deal and creates a new crisis.” May 9, 2018.

The Washington Post, “U.S. close to releasing Mideast peace proposal that Palestinian leadership may immediately reject.” June 21, 2018.

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* beware of malware – A false Microsoft screen. Perhaps triggered by visiting the site. A Saudi cyber attack comes to mind.