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Kushner on Israeli annexation plans: not now

To understand Jared Kushner's comments in a broader context, here are a few things to consider:

What are the settlements? In the 1967 Six Day War, Israel captured the West Bank from neighboring Jordan, and soon after began setting up communities of Jewish settlers on this land. The West Bank is now home to over 400,000 Jewish Israelis, living in settlements among some 1.9 million Palestinians who, in turn, are not considered citizens of Israel and who must regularly pass through Israeli military checkpoints.


Palestinians see the Israeli settlements as an illegal development of land under military occupation, and much of the international community agrees. Defenders of the settlements say they are important for Israel's security, and that they are on land that is historically Jewish.

What would annexation mean? Right now, the settlements are not technically part of the state of Israel. But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that he wants to change that by annexing them outright. About half of Jewish Israelis support that idea.

Trump's Mideast proposal paves the way for Israel to annex Israeli settlements in the West Bank and to link them with special corridors, leaving the remaining territory for a future Palestinian state. Because some of the outlying settlements would be enclaves of Israel within Palestinian territory, a territorially contiguous Palestinian state would be virtually impossible.

But in his interview with Ian Bremmer, Jared Kushner says that while the Trump administration clearly supports annexation, it also wants Israel to wait until after the upcoming (Israeli) election to move ahead with any annexation plans.

GZERO WORLD with Ian Bremmer airs nationwide on public television Fridays beginning at 11 a.m. ET. Check local listings. The interview will also be published in full on gzeromedia.com on Monday, February 3, at 6 a.m. ET.

Watch more: Kushner to Palestinians: 'Put up or shut up' on peace plan

Read more: Trump's Middle East peace plan isn't meant to be fair

Wales, early 19th century: During breaks from his law studies, William Robert Grove indulges in his passion for science to become an inventor. On his honeymoon in Europe, he learns about the new energy source everyone's talking about: electricity. After learning that electricity allows water to be broken down into its two components, hydrogen and oxygen, his intuition leads him to an idea that ends up making him a pioneer of sustainable energy production.

Watch the story of William Robert Grove in Eni's MINDS series, where we travel through time seeking scientists.

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Hi, everybody. Ian Bremmer here, and as we head into the weekend, a Quick Take on, well, the first bombing campaign of the new Biden administration. You kind of knew it was going to happen. Against some Iranian-backed militias in Syria, looks like a couple of dozen, perhaps more killed, and some militia-connected military facilities destroyed. I think there are a few ways to look at this, maybe three different lenses.

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Afghanistan frustrated nineteenth-century British imperialists for 40 years, and ejected the Soviet army in 1989 after a bloody decade there. And though American and NATO forces ousted the Taliban government in 2001 over its support for al-Qaeda, there's no good reason for confidence that nearly 20 years of occupation have brought lasting results for security and development across the country.

But… could China succeed where other outsiders have failed – and without a costly and risky military presence? Is the promise of lucrative trade and investment enough to ensure a power-sharing deal among Afghanistan's warring factions?

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Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden, shares his perspective from Stockholm on Europe In 60 Seconds:

Is there a military coup ongoing in Armenia?

Well, it isn't a military coup as of yet, but it's not far from it either. This is the turmoil that is resulting from the war with Azerbaijan, which Armenia took a large death loss. What happened was that the head of the armed forces asked for the prime minister to resign. That was not quite a coup, but not very far from it. Now, the prime minister sacked the head of the armed forces, there's considerable uncertainty. Watch the space.

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In the fall of 2019, weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic would change the world, Ian Bremmer asked Dr. Fauci what kept him up at night and he described a "a pandemic-like respiratory infection." Fast-forward to late February 2021 and Dr. Fauci tells Ian, "I think we are living through much of that worst nightmare." Dr. Fauci returns to GZERO World to take stock of the nightmare year and to paint a picture of what the end of the pandemic could look like—and when it could finally arrive.

Catch the full episode of GZERO World, where Dr. Fauci discusses the latest in vaccine roll out, schools re-openings, and plenty more, on US public television stations nationwide, beginning Friday, February 26. Check local listings.

The GZERO World Podcast with Ian Bremmer. Listen now.

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