'The new multibillion US investment plan unveiled without the political solution part is beneficial to Israel, but not to Palestine, experts told RT.
The so-called “opportunity of the century,” which US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, presented to media on Saturday, is entitled to create a million jobs in the West Bank and Gaza, while doubling Palestine’s GDP in 10 years. It would be achieved through donors, mainly the Gulf States, pouring $50 billion into the West Bank and Gaza as well as into Jordan, Egypt and Lebanon where several million Palestinian refugees are staying.
There’s, however, nothing new about such a plan, Saad Nimr, professor of political science at Birzeit University, told RT.
“During Shimon Peres as a Prime Minister in Israel (1995-96), he tried that approach of talking economic ease to the Palestinians instead of talking about a political solution,” but no results were achieved.
Nimr reminded of a World Bank report, which said that Palestine would earn $5.5 billion extra every year if it had access to the Mediterranean and Dead Sea, which is now blocked by Israel.
The plan is basically an ultimatum for Palestine, which may be coerced into accepting it due to the lack of other options, former US diplomat Jim Jatras told RT.
“This is depending on the assumption that Palestinians have no place to go. ‘You don’t like this deal? – great. Wait till the next one which is even worse for you. You don’t like that? Wait till the next one, which will be even worse.’”
The Palestinians are rejecting the US plan because “the only purpose for the Americans is Israel’s prosperity,” Nimr said. Jatras agreed that Palestinians understand that it would be skewed in favor of Israel, with not only Israelis retaining settlements in the West Bank, but further expanding their control over land and water resources.'
Read more: ‘Trump’s $50-billion Middle East plan is a win-win for Israel & a loss for Palestine’
Palestine’s ‘opportunity’ or ‘entirely wrong’? Rocky reception for dawn of $50-bn Trump Mideast plan
A $50 billion plan for Palestine’s economy that hinges on peace with Israel has been revealed by Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner. He calls it the “opportunity of the century” but a chorus of Palestinian groups disagrees.
Speaking to Reuters on Saturday, Kushner dangled the multibillion proposal separately from the central –political– part of US President Trump’s Israeli-Palestinian peace deal plan. He said he did so on purpose to let people “digest” the “less controversial” side of the plan before the political details finally land.
The interview, as well as the document shared by the White House, draw an optimistic picture of a million jobs created in the West Bank and Gaza and Palestine’s GDP “doubled” in 10 years with the help of the specially created, multinationally-controlled fund. Donors would pour some $28 billion into the West Bank and Gaza, while further investment would go to Jordan, Egypt and Lebanon, where several million Palestinian refugees live.
Generations of Palestinians have lived under adversity and loss, but the next chapter can be defined by freedom and dignity.
Today, we're unveiling Peace to Prosperity: the most ambitious international effort for the Palestinian people to date. https://t.co/q1pX9yJJzE
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) June 22, 2019
The Gulf monarchies are being eyed as the biggest donors for the plan, while specifics include dozens of development projects, such as one to connect Gaza with the West Bank, and some proposals as ambitious as turning Palestinian land into “a successful global tourism destination.”
The catch is, of course, that without Palestinians agreeing to Trump’s yet-to-be-unveiled political plan, often referred to in the media as the “deal of the century,” there is no flow of US-led investments into Palestine. Preferring the catchphrase “peace to prosperity,” Kushner still played on the widely-mocked label, telling Palestinian officials that “this is going to be the ‘Opportunity of the Century’ if they have the courage to pursue it.”'
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