President Trump fills world leaders with fear: ‘It’s gone from funny to really scary’

Most of the world seems to agree a Donald Trump presidency is a disturbing possibility that would inflict unthinkable damage, Guardian reporters found

Dangerous, foolish, irrational, scary, terrifying, irresponsible, a clown, a disaster. These are just some of the words used to describe the prospect of a Donald Trump presidency by politicians, diplomats and analysts around the world.

As the businessman gave his first major policy address since becoming frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination on Wednesday, Guardian correspondents in Washington and around the globe asked the international community whether it was prepared for the swaggering billionaire to occupy the White House.

Many said they still cannot believe the nation that elected its first black president just eight years ago will now rush to embrace a man who has offended Mexicans, Muslims and others. The possibility that Trump might actually win fills great swaths of the planet with dread with the apparent and notable exception of Vladimir Putins Russia with concerns over everything from trade to the nuclear trigger.

While Trump was delivering his speech in Washington, outlining a doctrine of naked self-interest that would shake the rust off Americas foreign policy, the heads of all the major UN agencies gathered in Vienna, Austria, for a strategy session with secretary general Ban Ki-moon, now in his last eight months in office.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/apr/28/donald-trump-president-world-leaders-foreign-relations

Israel MP benefited from controversial law on illegal Jewish outposts

Activists say Bezalel Smotrich of Jewish Home party lives in one of houses recently legalised by countrys parliament

A far-right Israeli MP who backed a controversial law retroactively legalising illegal Jewish outposts built on privately-owned Palestinian land will personally benefit from the legislation, because his home is one of several thousand covered by the provision, activists have revealed.

Bezalel Smotrich, who represents the Jewish Home party, praised the passage of the law in early February as a historic day for the settlement movement and for Israel.

He did not mention at the time that it would potentially also benefit him, by changing the status of his own home in the settlement of Kedumim. He is reportedly one of the least wealthy members of parliament, with a 15 year-old car, around 30,000 in savings and a house worth just over 200,000.

There are around 150 homes built illegally on private land (in Kedumin), as well as public facilities including road infrastructure, said Dror Etkes, director of the Kerem Navot NGO which focuses on land issues. Smotrichs house is one of them.

The so-called regulation bill passed at the start of February, retroactively legalises the construction of thousands of Jewish settler homes on privately owned Palestinian land. The original landowners are to be compensated either with money or alternative land, even if they do not agree to give up their property.

The international community deems all settlements illegal, but Israeli law distinguishes between the construction of homes on areas that the government deems state land, which are legal, and building projects on land owned privately by Palestinians.

map showing Bezalel Smotrich’s house

A string of court cases in recent years has forced the government to demolish some homes built on private Palestinian land, including nine in a settlement called Ofra this week. The bill effectively removes the threat hanging over other similar homes.

The new law has been dubbed a theft and land grab by opponents, and condemned by the international community including the new UN secretary general, Antonio Guterres. It was even slammed by Israeli right wingers like former Likud Minister Dan Meridor, who called it evil and dangerous.

Palestinian councils and human rights organisations have launched a legal challenge that is expected to have a strong chance of success.

Kedumim was mapped by Israels Civil Administration several years ago, and data provided by Etkes shows Smotrichs home is part of an enclave clearly outside the settlements boundaries.

Aerial photographs show land there was being cultivated from the 1970s to the 1990s, one measure the Israeli government uses to assess Palestinian ownership. Construction on homes began in the early 2000s.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/mar/02/israel-mp-benefited-from-controversial-law-on-illegal-jewish-outposts

President Trump fills world leaders with fear: ‘It’s gone from funny to really scary’

Most of the world seems to agree a Donald Trump presidency is a disturbing possibility that would inflict unthinkable damage, Guardian reporters found

Dangerous, foolish, irrational, scary, terrifying, irresponsible, a clown, a disaster. These are just some of the words used to describe the prospect of a Donald Trump presidency by politicians, diplomats and analysts around the world.

As the businessman gave his first major policy address since becoming frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination on Wednesday, Guardian correspondents in Washington and around the globe asked the international community whether it was prepared for the swaggering billionaire to occupy the White House.

Many said they still cannot believe the nation that elected its first black president just eight years ago will now rush to embrace a man who has offended Mexicans, Muslims and others. The possibility that Trump might actually win fills great swaths of the planet with dread with the apparent and notable exception of Vladimir Putins Russia with concerns over everything from trade to the nuclear trigger.

While Trump was delivering his speech in Washington, outlining a doctrine of naked self-interest that would shake the rust off Americas foreign policy, the heads of all the major UN agencies gathered in Vienna, Austria, for a strategy session with secretary general Ban Ki-moon, now in his last eight months in office.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/apr/28/donald-trump-president-world-leaders-foreign-relations