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Trump’s ambassador to Israel flips out on Haaretz newspaper

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The American ambassador to Israel attacked an Israeli leftwing newspaper Friday, questioning whether it had any “dignity” after a vitriolic column.

The quarrel erupted after Haaretz newspaper criticised US Ambassador David Friedman, personally selected by President Donald Trump, for his support of settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.

In the wake of the murder of an Israeli rabbi and father of four from the Har Bracha settlement on Monday, Friedman tweeted that he had provided an ambulance for the community 20 years ago.

Friedman then criticised Palestinian “leaders” for praising the killing, although Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas said nothing about it.

In response Haaretz, which opposes settlement building in the Palestinian territories, ran a column by commentator Gideon Levy saying that “with Friedman’s ambulance or without it, Har Bracha (literally, ‘Mountain of Blessing’) is a mountain of curses.”

It accused Friedman, who was Trump’s personal lawyer before being confirmed as ambassador in May 2017, of “encouraging and funding war crimes and violations of international law”.

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“What has become of [email protected] ? Four young children are sitting shiva (mourning) for their murdered father and this publication calls their community a ‘mountain of curses.’ Have they no decency?” Friedman tweeted on Friday.

In a reply on Twitter, Haaretz publisher Amos Schocken said on Twitter that “Gideon Levy is right” and that the US administration’s support for Israel and its settlement policies was causing bloodshed.

“As long as the policy of Israel that your Government and yourself support is obstructing (the) peace process, practical annexation of the territories, perpetuating apartheid, fighting terror but willing to pay its price, there will be more Shivas,” Schocken wrote.

More than 600,000 Israelis live in settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem that are considered illegal under international law.

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Relations between Washington and the Palestinians have been severely strained since Trump’s December decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the US embassy there.

In remarks published Friday, Trump called the Jerusalem move “a very big point” in his first year as president.

Speaking to the Israel Hayom daily, Trump said that both Israel and the Palestinians “will have to make hard compromises to reach a peace agreement.”

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A historian explains why 2019 marks the beginning of the next 74-year cycle of American history

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A century ago, historian Arthur Schlesinger, Sr. argued that history occurs in cycles. His son, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., furthered this theory in his own scholarship. As I reflect on Schlesinger’s work and the history of the United States, it seems clear to me that American history has three 74-year-long cycles. America has had four major crisis turning points, each 74 years apart, from the time of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 to today.

The first such crisis occurred when the Founding Fathers met in Philadelphia in 1787 to face the reality that the government created by the Articles of Confederation was failing. There was a dire need for a new Constitution and a guarantee of a Bill of Rights to save the American Republic. The founding fathers, under the leadership of George Washington, were equal to the task and the American experiment successfully survived the crisis.

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Self-preservation fuels the Democratic base’s lurch to the left — before the rich take it all

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In 2016 all the corporate news media outlets, NPR included, predicted that Trump would lose. They just did not recognize the discontent in America’s rust belt because the economic dislocation that had, and continues to define life there, was just not part of their personal frame of reference.

They thought the country was several years into a recovery and the national aggregate unemployment data they had commissioned confirmed it. But nobody lives or votes in the aggregate. And it wasn’t until Trump flipped the 200 counties that Obama had carried twice, that the corporate news media started paying some attention.

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Experts discuss the distorted impeachment debate at a propaganda forum — and how real debate can untangle it

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“Would you be upset if the Democratic nominee called on China to help in the next presidential election?” That’s the concrete question we should ask ourselves about Robert Mueller's report and the issue of impeachment, according to University of California, Santa Cruz, social psychologist Anthony Pratkanis, speaking at a recent Zócalo Public Square event, “Is Propaganda Keeping Americans From Thinking for Themselves?

This was a week before President Trump’s interview with George Stephanopoulos of ABC News, apparently welcoming foreign interference in the 2020 election. Impeachment wasn’t the ostensible subject of the event — which also featured Texas A&M historian of rhetoric Jennifer Mercieca and UCLA marketing scholar and psychologist Hal Hershfield — but it was never far from mind.

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