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Deal — or Opportunity — of the Century for Mideast peace released ahead of Bahrain conference

The first part of the long-awaited American peace plan has been revealed and, as previously reported, it involves an “economy first” approach to the plight of the Palestinians.

Details of the plan have emerged including $50 billion in aid, the creation of a global investment fund for Palestinians and neighboring states and the construction of a corridor to connect the West Bank and Gaza.

President Donald Trump has been hailing the “plan of the century” for well over a year now. This week his advisor and son in law Jared Kushner called it the “opportunity of the century.” Kushner will officially present details of the plan at a conference in Bahrain this week.

The second part of the plan is expected to include a political solution.

According to news reports, the economic portion of the plan calls for 179 infrastructure and business projects. More than half of the $50 billion would be spent in Palestinian territories over 10 years while the rest would be split between Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt, where investments could benefit Palestinians living in adjacent Gaza. Also proposed is nearly $1 billion to build up the Palestinians’ tourism sector.

Trump is hoping that wealthy Gulf states and private investors will help foot much of of the bill.

While the primary target of the plan is to boost the Palestinian economy, Palestinians are boycotting the event and refuse to accept any proposal from the Trump administration since the president recognized Jerusalem as the Israeli capital in late 2017.

But we are not stupid. The Palestinian leadership does not want peace. They have gotten rich on war. They are corrupt government that has used the plight of their constituents to line their pocket. The last thing they want is prosperity for their people. Prosperity would lead to better education and better education would lead to the people wanting a real democracy. The PLO could have had many peace deals, but in the end, they always choose war and terrorism. And who suffers? Not Israelis so much—but the Palestinian people.

On Monday, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said the plan was “simply nonsense.”

“I have not seen in the document any reference to occupation. I have not seen in the document any reference to settlements,” Shtayyeh said. “A Palestinian-Israeli solution has only to do with ending the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.”

When the plan was first revealed this week, leaders from several other Arab states rejected it immediately.

“Homelands cannot be sold, even for all the money in the world,” said Egyptian analyst Gamal Fahmy. “This plan is the brainchild of real estate brokers, not politicians. Even Arab states that are described as moderate are not able to openly express support for it.”

The Palestinian Liberation Organization said the American proposal amounted to no more than a bribe for the Palestinian people.

This is opinion is nonsense! Without a functioning economy, there can be no real peace. While I don’t see it succeeding, but the economy first, is the right move.

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