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GOLAN GOALS: NETANYAHU GETS A BOOST FROM TRUMP

GOLAN GOALS: NETANYAHU GETS A BOOST FROM TRUMP

Yesterday afternoon, US President Donald Trump scrapped five decades of US policy by officially recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, a swath of water-rich, strategically important land seized from Syria when the two countries went to war in 1967.


The biggest beneficiary of the move is Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was standing by President Trump's side as he signed the order.

The US decision will give Bibi a boost ahead of his bid to win re-election next month. After all, securing US recognition of Israeli sovereignty over Golan has long been a symbolic goal for Israeli politicians.

Netanyahu needs all the help he can get right now. He's running against a strong opposition alliance led by his former army chief, Benny Gantz, and he's facing multiple corruption investigations.

Recent days have brought two more challenges. First, a rocket fired from Gaza on Monday struck a house in central Israel, injuring seven people. Shifting the election campaign focus toward security might help the famously hardline prime minister, who cut short his DC trip to oversee Israel's response to the attack. But it could also expose him to criticism: after all, Netanyahu serves as defense minister as well as prime minister. If rockets from Gaza can still hit Israeli homes, how effective has his hardline policy been?

Second, Netanyahu faces fresh allegations that he personally profited from a transaction in which he improperly authorized the sale of advanced German-made submarines to Egypt without the approval of top military officials.

The clear signal: Trump considers Netanyahu a close ally and is doing all he can to help him win re-election. Netanyahu, for his part, has put his relationship with Trump at the center of his campaign. Will it work?

Bigger picture: Recognizing Israeli sovereignty over Golan sets a welcome precedent for other countries maintaining occupations that are illegal under international law. Not surprisingly, Russia leapt to make the comparison with Crimea, which it annexed from Ukraine in 2014.

Khant Thaw Htoo is a young engineer who works in Eni's Sakura Tower office in the heart of Yangon. As an HSE engineer, he monitors the safety and environmental impact of onshore and offshore operations. He also looks out for his parents' well-being, in keeping with Myanmar's traditions.

Learn more about Khant in the final episode of the Faces of Eni series, which focuses on Eni's employees around the world.

On his first day as president, Joe Biden signed a remarkable series of executive orders. Boom! The US rejoins the Paris Climate Accord. Bang! The United States rejoins the World Health Organization. Pow! No more ban on immigration from many Muslim-majority countries. Biden's press secretary reminded reporters later in the day that all these orders merely begin complex processes that take time, but the impact is still dramatic.

If you lead a country allied with the US, or you're simply hoping for some specific commitment or clear and credible statement of purpose from the US government, you might feel a little dizzy today. The sight of an American president (Barack Obama) signing his name, of the next president (Donald Trump) erasing that name from the same legislation/bill, and then the following president (Biden) signing it back into law again will raise deep concerns over the long-term reliability of the world's still-most-powerful nation.

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"There needs to be a dramatic and deep reduction in the amount of debt on the poorest countries. That's clear." As the world's poorest nations struggle to recover from a devastating pandemic, World Bank President David Malpass argues that freeing them of much of their debt will be key. His conversation with Ian Bremmer is part of the latest episode of GZERO World.

Listen: Renowned tech journalist Kara Swisher has no qualms about saying that social media companies bear responsibility for the January 6th pro-Trump riots at the Capitol and will likely be complicit in the civil unrest that may continue well into Biden's presidency. It's no surprise, she argues, that the online rage that platforms like Facebook and Twitter intentionally foment translated into real-life violence. But if Silicon Valley's current role in our national discourse is untenable, how can the US government rein it in? That, it turns out, is a bit more complicated. Swisher joins Ian Bremmer on our podcast.

Ian Bremmer discusses the World In (more than) 60 Seconds:

Biden's first scheduled call with a world leader will be with Canada's Justin Trudeau. What's going on with the Keystone Pipeline?

Well, Biden said that that's it. Executive order, one of the first is that he will stop any construction or development of the Keystone Pipeline. This is of course an oil pipeline that would allow further oil sands oil to come to the United States. The infrastructure is significantly overstretched, it's led to backlogs, inefficiency, accidents, all the rest, but it also facilitates more energy development and keeps prices comparatively down if you get it done. So, there are lots of reasons why the energy sector in Canada wants it. Having said all of that, Trudeau, even though he's been a supporter of Keystone XL, let's keep in mind that he did not win support in Alberta, which is where the big energy patch in Canada is located. This is a real problem for the government of Alberta, Canada is a very decentralized federal government, even more so than the United States. The premier of Alberta is immensely unhappy with Biden right now, they've taken a $1.5 billion equity stake in the project. I expect there will actually be litigation against the United States by the government of Alberta. But Trudeau is quite happy with Biden, his relationship was Trump was always walking on eggshells. The USMCA in negotiations ultimately successful but were very challenging for the Canadians, so too with the way Trump engaged in relations on China. All of this, the fact that Trump left the nuclear agreement with Iran, the Paris Climate Accords, WHO, all of that is stuff that Trudeau strongly opposed. He's going to be much more comfortable with this relationship. He's delighted that the first call from Biden is to him. And it certainly creates a level of normalcy in the US-Canada relationship that is very much appreciated by our neighbors to the North.

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The GZERO World Podcast with Ian Bremmer. Listen now.

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