Jared Kushner’s economic blueprint for Palestinians faces boycott and derision
Trump son-in-law’s plan, which ignores the key political issues, is dismissed as ‘a fantasy that is completely divorced from reality’
Julian Borger in Washington
Tue 25 Jun 2019
Palestinian demonstrators carry caricatures, during a protest in the Israeli-occupied West Bank city of Ramallah against the US-led Peace to Prosperity conference on Monday. Photograph: Abbas Momani/AFP/Getty Images
A US-designed economic blueprint for Israeli-Palestinian peace will be launched in Bahrain on Tuesday, without the participation of either Palestinian or Israeli officials.
The Palestinians are boycotting the conference and a late decision was taken not to invite Israelis. A relative handful of Palestinian business leaders are expected in Bahrain, for what is widely seen as a “vanity project” for Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
Kushner’s “peace to prosperity” plan envisages $50bn being spent on investments in the occupied territories and neighbouring countries. The plan includes a $5bn transportation corridor joining the West Bank and Gaza.
Kushner told Reuters on Saturday the plan would create a million jobs, halve Palestinian poverty and double the size of the Palestinian economy.
However, the whole plan is contingent on a political solution to the seven-decade conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, which looks further away than ever. The Palestinians have rejected the US as a broker because of the Trump administration’s unequivocal support for Israel, and in particular the rightwing government of Benjamin Netanyahu.
“We have realised that this economic workshop in Bahrain is going to be really nonsense. It is just simply a theoretical piece of work calling for $50bn,” Mohammad Shtayyeh, the Palestinian authority prime minister, said.
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