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Kushner’s ‘immoral’ peace plan torn to shreds by Israeli security experts: ‘It could blow up the Middle East’

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Jared Kushner’s Middle East peace proposal has been widely panned by international relations experts, and now three Israeli security experts have written a scathing editorial for Politico explaining how the plan could “blow up the Middle East.”

The editorial — which was co-written by Ami Ayalon, former director of the Israeli security agency Shin Bet; Gilead Sher, former chief of staff for Prime Minister Ehud Barak; and Israeli tech entrepreneur Orni Petruschka — argues that Kushner’s peace plan is “immoral” and stands a good chance of producing the opposite of its intended outcome.

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In particular, the authors believe that the Trump administration is foolishly assuming it can dazzle the Palestinians with promises of wealth when such approaches have never worked in the past.

“The Trump administration’s focus on economics — led by Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner — is a strategic mistake that could stymie the negotiations before they begin,” they argue. “If Trump and his team studied history, they would know that placing economics before core political issues is a slap in the face to the Palestinians.”

The authors go on to explain how Trump’s peace plan could mean the end of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who is already on thin ice from Palestinians who believe he has been compromised by the Israeli government.

“He will not able to accept a deal that blatantly ignores Palestinian national aspirations, yet rejecting it will paint him as resisting peace,” they write. “Domestic pressure may force him to stop cooperating with Israel on security, which will lead to a hike in terrorism. The path from there to igniting the entire area would be short, as the painful history of the conflict shows.”

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Read the whole editorial here.


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‘A deeply disappointing moment’: Trump’s new national security adviser is ‘big fan’ of John Bolton

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President Donald Trump named Robert C. O’Brien as national security adviser on Wednesday even though his worldview is similar to that of former National Security Adviser John Bolton.

“I am pleased to announce that I will name Robert C. O’Brien, currently serving as the very successful Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs at the State Department, as our new National Security Advisor,” the president announced in a tweet.

O'Brien's appointment comes a week after the firing of Bolton, who was known to clash with Trump because of his hawkish foreign policy positions.

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Christian conservatives are giving Americans an ‘allergic reaction’ to religion: researchers

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The number of Americans identifying as atheists is increasing -- and recent social science research suggests that the Christian Right is playing a key role in making that happen.

As reported by Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight, new research has found that distaste for Trump-loving Christian conservatism has not just turned some Americans off from individual churches but from religion altogether.

"As recently as the early 1990s, less than 10 percent of Americans lacked a formal religious affiliation, and liberals weren’t all that much likelier to be nonreligious than the public overall," FiveThirtyEight notes. "Today, however, nearly one in four Americans are religiously unaffiliated. That includes almost 40 percent of liberals — up from 12 percent in 1990, according to the 2018 General Social Survey."

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Trump taps Mike Pompeo lieutenant as new national security adviser

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President Donald Trump has announced a new national security adviser.

The president abruptly fired John Bolton last week via tweet, and he tweeted out the announcement Wednesday morning of Robert O’Brien as a replacement.

"I am pleased to announce that I will name Robert C. O’Brien, currently serving as the very successful Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs at the State Department, as our new National Security Advisor," the president tweeted. "I have worked long & hard with Robert. He will do a great job!"

O'Brien has worked alongside Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who had been considered for a dual role leading the national security council.

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