Israel may be celebrating the seemingly friendlier relations with Bahrain, but the conference did nothing to solve the Israel-Palestine conflict
The Independent Voices
It felt more like a Ted Talk or an episode of Dragons’ Den than peace negotiations for one of the world’s trickiest conflicts.
Last Tuesday in a five-story hotel in Bahrain, Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, zipped through a blur of graphs and facts that made up his $50 billion economic plan for the Middle East region.
Encircled by banking heavyweights, Gulf officials, and the ubiquitous Tony Blair, the former real estate developer called it the “opportunity of the century”.
He urged the Palestinian leadership, who were boycotting the event on the grounds it was too pro-Israel, to “take a look”. He likened the conflict between Israel and the region to “Silicon Valley [being] cut off from the rest of California”.
The US treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, added he was sure they could raise the funds, comparing the economic plan to “a hot IPO”.
But all the financial similes aside, the US special envoy, Jason Greenblatt, admitted no pledging conference has been scheduled. He told reporters the Trump administration will wait to see if the political tranche of the peace plan, which will be released at an undetermined time in the future, “gets traction” before trying to raise the cash.