White House Unveils Economic Portion of Middle East Peace Plan
A look at the recently released economic portion of Middle East peace plan, reaction from other countries to the plan, and more news in this week’s bulletin.
Palestinians demonstrating in the occupied West Bank town of Ramallah against the Trump administration’s plan last week. (Abbas Momani/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)
White House unveils economic portion of Middle East peace plan NY Times
“The Trump administration said on Saturday that it hoped to raise more than $50 billion to improve the lot of the Palestinians and their Arab neighbors, releasing an economic plan titled, ‘Peace to Prosperity,’ that reverses the actual sequence of its peacemaking efforts in the Middle East. The blueprint sets the stage for a two-day economic workshop next week to be convened by the White House in the Persian Gulf state of Bahrain. That gathering is meant to lay the groundwork for a subsequent diplomatic proposal to end decades of conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.” Read our press release responding to the Peace to Prosperity economic plan.
Image: Palestinians demonstrating in the occupied West Bank town of Ramallah against the Trump administration’s plan last week. (Abbas Momani/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)
Commentators in Arab world reject US economic plan for Palestinians Times of Israel
“Voices in the Arab world sharply rejected the Trump administration plan unveiled Saturday that would see $50 billion in economic benefits for the Palestinians as part of a larger proposal for regional peace. The ‘Peace to Prosperity’ scheme, which calls for a mix of public and private financing and intends to create at least a million new jobs for Palestinians, was posted to the White House website ahead of a two-day conference in Bahrain that is to be held despite heavy skepticism about its viability and outright opposition from the Palestinians.”
Image: Palestinians sort tomatoes on a conveyor belt at a tomato paste plant in Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip, on June 17, 2019. (Mohammed Abed/AFP)
Lebanon says U.S. peace plan will not lure it into settling Palestinian refugees Haaretz
“Lebanon will not be lured by a U.S. plan to invest billions in the country in return for settling Palestinian refugees, its parliament speaker Nabih Berri said on Sunday. U.S. President Donald Trump's blueprint for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, set to be presented by his son-in-law Jared Kushner at a conference in Bahrain on June 25-26, envisions a $50 billion investment plan to lift the Palestinian and neighbouring Arab state economies. But it has met broad rejection in the Arab world, even as some in the Gulf called for giving it a chance. Lebanese parties have long held that Palestinian refugees cannot be permanently settled in the country, which is widely believed in Lebanon to be a goal of the Kushner plan.”
Image: Palestinians in Lebanon mark the 70th anniversary of Nakba Day at Beaufort Castle near the border with Israel, May 15, 2018. (Bilal Hussein / AP)
Kushner’s Foreign Investment Plan Is No Substitute for Palestinian Freedom: We believe a political solution that grants the Palestinian people their full freedom and right to self-determination is a necessary prerequisite to economic prosperity.
Arab League pledges $100 million monthly in financial aid to the Palestinian Authority Haaretz
“The Arab League announced Saturday that it will be granting the Palestinian Authority financial aid totaling $100 million a month. The declaration was made at an emergency meeting of the league members states’ finance ministers in Cairo, two days before the U.S.-sponsored Bahrain conference. According to the announcement, Arab countries will supply the needed funds either by transferring money directly into the PA’s accounts or by going through the Arab League. Some of the aid will take the form of grants, while the rest will be loans on easy terms that will help the PA implement infrastructure and development projects.”
Image: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas speaks at the Arab League headquarters, Cairo, April 21, 2019. (Amr Nabil/AP)
Kushner says Israeli-Palestinian deal will not adhere to Arab Peace Initiative Reuters
“Reaching an Israeli-Palestinian deal along the lines of the Arab peace initiative will not be possible, requiring instead a stance between that and the Israeli position, White House senior adviser Jared Kushner said in an interview with Al Jazeera. ‘I think we all have to recognise that if there ever is a deal, it’s not going to be along the lines of the Arab peace initiative. It will be somewhere between the Arab peace initiative and between the Israeli position,’ Kushner told Al Jazeera.... As part of the Arab Peace Initiative, Arab states led by Saudi Arabia have called for a Palestinian state drawn along borders that pre-date Israel’s capture of territory in a 1967 war as well as a capital in east Jerusalem and the right of return for refugees, points rejected by Israel.”
Image: White House senior adviser Jared Kushner is interviewed by Reuters at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, U.S., June 20, 2019. (REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)
Long line of Israeli-Palestinian peace bids precede Trump push Reuters
“The United States is holding an economic conference in Bahrain on Tuesday and Wednesday to encourage investment in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.It is billed as an overture to U.S. President Donald Trump’s Israeli-Palestinian peace plan. Palestinians are boycotting the event and Israeli government officials will not be there either, although an Israeli business delegation is expected. The second part of the plan, dealing with tougher political issues, will not be released until later. The initiative follows a history of peace efforts that have failed to overcome decades of distrust and violence.”
Image: Women walk past banners showing pictures of Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and U.S. President Donald Trump and reading "down with the Bahrain conference", in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, June 25, 2019. (REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa)
CMEP's Bulletin is a weekly round-up of news from the Middle East and represents an array of perspectives on the issues we cover. CMEP does not necessarily agree with all the views expressed in the articles, and they do not speak on CMEP's behalf.