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

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We've written recently about how the COVID-19 pandemic will hit poorer countries particularly hard. But the burden of the virus' spread also falls more heavily on working class people even in wealthy countries, particularly in Europe and the United States. This is exacerbating the divide between rich and poor that had already upended the political establishment in countries around the world even before anyone had heard of a "novel coronavirus."

Why?

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Meet Mark Wetton, a Kentucky-based businessman who owns a dust-collection factory in Wuhan. He has been there since the beginning of the outbreak, and describes the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak there, life in lockdown, and what things are like today as the city finally begins to reopen its borders and come back to life. He also shares some lessons learned that he hopes Americans will heed.

The coronavirus is likely to hit poorer countries particularly hard, but it is also laying a bigger burden on working class people even in wealthy ones. As less affluent people suffer disproportionately not only from the disease, but also from the economic costs of containing it, we can expect a worsening of income inequalities that have already upended global politics over the past few years. Here is a look at inequality in some of the countries hardest hit by COVID-19 so far.

500 million: The economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic could plunge 500 million people into poverty, according to a new report released by Oxfam. As incomes and economies continue to contract, global poverty will increase for the first time in 30 years, the report predicts, undermining many of the gains of globalization that have pulled millions out of poverty in recent years.

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