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US Embassy in Jerusalem

US Embassy in Jerusalem

Speaking of polarization, few issues are as divisive or intractable as the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. Yesterday’s ceremony marking the openingof the US Embassy in Jerusalem provided a stark and bloody portrait of that divide. Triumphant pomp in Jerusalem, horrific bloodshed at the Gaza border (at least 58 Palestinians killed in the worst violence in years), and outcry internationally.


The crisis will only deepen today as Israel celebrates its 70th anniversary, while Palestinians recall the Nakba (“catastrophe” in Arabic) in which hundreds of thousands of their forebears were displaced during the creation of the Jewish state.

Three lenses through which to look at this.

Middle East Peace — Supporters of the embassy move say that by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital unilaterally, rather than leaving that issue to be negotiated as part of a peace accord, Washington is shrewdly forcing the Palestinians to deal sooner rather than later, lest their scope for negotiation narrows further. But critics say the move undermines Washington’s already dubious status as an even-handed broker between Israel and the Palestinians, and needlessly inflames Palestinian sentiment. The Trump administration may have the “ultimate” peace deal up its sleeve, but it’s hard to see any serious proposals moving forward in the current environment.

The domestic view for Bibi and Trump — Both men face potentially crippling investigations at home, and each is dealing with several foreign policy crises at once. The US embassy move gives both a key boost among their constituents. For Bibi, landing the US Embassy in Jerusalem enjoys broad support among Jewish Israelis, whatever their other divisions and misgivingsmay be. And a huge majority of Jewish Israelis also support the Israeli military’s handling of the Gaza border protests. For Trump, meanwhile, the move is a gift to the evangelical Christian voters who turned out in historical numbers for him in 2016. Trump will need those voters to stay on-side in 2018 and, of course 2020. This helps him do that.

The regional view — To the deepening dismay of the Palestinians, Middle East peace is — for Washington, for Israel, and for other key Arab governments such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the UAE — a less important priority than the region’s primary geopolitical fault line now, which is Iran. Don’t take it from us, take it from the Saudi daily Al-Riyadh which, back when the US first announced the embassy move, ran an editorial which argued that “the Arabs must realize that Iran is more dangerous to them than Israel.”

Meet Alessandra Cominetti, a recipient of MIT Technology Review Magazine's Innovators Under 35 award. As a lab technician at Eni's Research Centre for Renewable Energy in Novara, Alessandra has devoted her career to finding new solutions and materials to optimize solar energy. Much like the serendipitous encounter that resulted in her employment, her eagerness and willingness to try new things allowed her to stumble upon a material for the creation of portable solar panels.

Watch her remarkable story on the latest episode of Faces of Eni.

"If [the election] is very close and it ends up in the courts, that kind of protracted situation I think will lead many Americans to believe that it was an unfair election." Rick Hasen, election law expert and author of Election Meltdown, lays out some of the worst-case scenarios for Election Day, ranging from unprecedented voter suppression to dirty tricks by foreign actors. The conversation was part of the latest episode of GZERO World with Ian Bremmer. The episode begins airing nationally in the US on public television this Friday, October 30. Check local listings.

Joe Biden has vowed to radically change the US' approach to foreign policy and international diplomacy should he win next week's election.

But a lot has happened in four years under Donald Trump that could impede Biden's ability to simply return to the status quo ante. How different would US foreign policy really be under a Biden presidency? What will the two-term former vice president likely be able to change, and what's bound to remain the same, at least for now?

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On Wednesday, November 4 at 11a EST, we're gathering a panel to discuss "What Just Happened" with the US election. GZERO Media's Ian Bremmer, Tony Maciulis and Alex Kliment will be joined by The Washington Post's Karen Attiah and Eurasia Group's Jon Lieber. Watch live at: gzeromedia.com/gzerolive.

Decision 2020: What Just Happened? Wednesday, November 4, 11a EST/8a PST

Panelists:

Bookmark this link to watch live: gzeromedia.com/gzerolive

Add to your calendar:

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Jon Lieber, Managing Director for the United States at the Eurasia Group, shares his perspective on a special US election edition of US Politics In 60 Seconds:

So, we're about five days out from the election right now.

And the story of this week has been the remarkably steady polling lead for Joe Biden that he's had for months now. The other big story is the turnout, massive amounts of turnout. 100% of the 2016 vote already cast in Texas. 60% nationwide votes already cast. We are headed for record shattering turnout, could be around 155 million Americans voting.

On election night, what are we watching for?

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