Israeli experts doubt Bahrain workshop's chances for success
The major obstacle for success in Bahrain remains the lack of a political road map to compliment economic initiatives since no investments in a Palestinian economy can be made while they themselves reject the effort outright
Observers and former Israeli and American officials express criticism for the economic part of the Trump peace plan to be revealed Tuesday in Bahrain.



Dr. Nimrod Goren, Head of the Mitvim - The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies said in a conference held Sunday in Tel Aviv, that the American proposal promises the Palestinian a better economic future without consideration of the political aspects of a future peace agreement or the Palestinian hopes for Independence.


Jared Kushner in Saudi Arabia (Photo: AP) (Photo: AP)
Jared Kushner in Saudi Arabia (Photo: AP) (Photo: AP)


"If the Americans are trying to motivate Palestinians to reach a peace deal, they are going about it the wrong way" said Goren and added

"the plan must be directly linked to a political solution to the conflict".


Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas  (Photo: AP)
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (Photo: AP)


"The Arab peace initiative tabled in 2002 and the Obama administration's push for a two-state solution, include all these elements and lay-out the benefits that will come after a political agreement is reached."


Goren points to the outright rejection by Palestinians, of the Trump- Kushner, plan that comes after two years of policies aimed at weakening the leadership of the Palestinian Authority and bolstering the policies of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.


For that reason, Goren says "The current proposal is viewed as a humiliating offer of a bribe, to make Palestinians give up their national aspirations in exchange for large sums of money. This will surely increase their animosity towards the administration rather than encourage them to engage in dialogue" he predicted.


Former Chief of Military Intelligence in the IDF, Aharon Ze'evi-Farkash shares these views and adds that Trump administration's proposal to connect Gaza to the West Bank does not factor in the current disconnect between the two. "I see no chance that the Bahrain conference will lead to peace" he added.


Former Chief of Military Intelligence in the IDF Aharon Zeevi-Farkash
Former Chief of Military Intelligence in the IDF Aharon Zeevi-Farkash

Former U.S. ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro concurs and worries about a negative affect that might stem from the workshop "No one will invest in an economic plan that is rejected outright by the side expected to benefit from it." Shapiro said. He added that the United States has not, so far, stated what the goal of the peace plan is. "whether it is a Palestinian state, a two-state solution or autonomy".


Shapiro says he believes 12 to 15 countries will sit around the table in Bahrain and describe the political aspects they hope to see behind these financial initiatives.


Yitzhak Gal, a fellow at the Dayan center for Middle East studies and Mitvim, says that from the economic standpoint the U.S. plan has excellent potential for the Palestinian economy but adds four key point must be included before there can be any movement forward:


"There must be corresponding political steps, strong international and Arab involvement in implementation that will work with the Palestinian Authority, Israeli involvement in facilitating economic plans including removing all obstacles imposed by Israel and mechanisms for implementation".




The “Peace to Prosperity” plan reportedly involves a $50 billion investment of which $28 billion is dedicated to the West Bank and Gaza and the rest to Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon to among other things, pay for resettling Palestinian refugees currently living there. It also includes 179 infrastructure and business projects.




פרסום ראשון: 06.24.19, 11:31
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