By Stephen Lendman
A peace conference without participation of warring sides is an affront to what the process is supposed to be all about.
Trump’s no-peace/deal of the century peace plan was partly introduced at the so-called June 25-26 “Peace to Prosperity Workshop” in Bahrain.
A fascist dictatorship was appropriately chosen to host a scheme Palestinians, the Arab street, and activists for peace, equity, and justice categorically reject.
The common theme of participating nations was their abhorrence of rule of law principles and democratic values. Representatives from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, Oman and Morocco attended.
So did reinvented war criminal Tony Blair, along with US officials, others from the predatory World Bank and IMF, business interests as well showing up.
Palestinians boycotted the conference. Israel didn’t attend because of their absence. Nor Iraq and Lebanon.
Many participating representatives were mid-level officials, indicating lack of enthusiasm for the Trump regime’s dog and pony PR show — a scheme going nowhere.
Deceptively billed as “a vision to empower the Palestinian people to build a prosperous and vibrant Palestinian society,” the plan is all about serving privileged US/Israeli interests at their expense.
It has nothing to do with peace, equity and justice for long-suffering Palestinians, nothing to do with resolving irreconcilable Israeli/Palestinian differences, nothing to do with fundamental Palestinian rights affirmed under international law.
The economic portion of the plan discussed is all about serving US-led Western and Israeli monied interests, neoliberal harshness intended for Palestinians – how ordinary people are mistreated throughout the West and for the majority of Israeli Jews.
UK-based Palestinian academic Kamel Hawwash said holding the workshop without Palestinian participation showed its true goal — exploiting, not helping them, adding:
Palestinian self-determination and other rights affirmed under international law are fundamental.
Without achieving them, the peace process is stillborn — the way it’s been for the past half-century, the greatest hoax in modern times, along with the US global war OF terror, not on it.
Trump’s no-peace/deal of the century ignores fundamental final status issues, including Palestinian self-determination, illegal Israeli occupation, settlements, borders, air and water rights, other resources, the right of diaspora Palestinians to return to their homeland, and East Jerusalem as exclusive Palestinian capital.
The plan ignores US/UK responsibility for over a century of harshness imposed on Palestinians, over 70 years of Israeli viciousness, and over half a century of militarized occupation — their land stolen, their fundamental rights denied.
Longstanding Israeli land theft is fundamental, what the Trump regime supports, including Jewish state annexation of West Bank settlements on stolen Palestinian land.
The plan treats Palestinians as “customers,” not afforded the right to be citizens of their own country, free from oppressive occupation.
The scheme involves securing a $50 billion investment fund for infrastructure and business projects. It’s unclear where most of the money is coming from and under what terms — whether it’s a gift, a loan, or combination of both, and what return on investment donors/lenders expect.
Without resolving key political issues, the economic proposal is meaningless. Who’ll invest billions of dollars for development in a de facto war zone?
Undeclared Israeli war on Palestinians remains ongoing throughout the Territories, no end of it in prospect.
The Trump regime showed contempt for their rights by illegally recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s exclusive capital, moving the US embassy there, and cutting off all funding for millions Palestinian refugees considered nonpeople.
Over $200 million in US aid for the West Bank and Gaza was “redirected” elsewhere “to ensure these funds are spent in accordance with US national interests (sic) and provide value to the US taxpayer (sic).”
The Trump regime’s vision of “a new reality in the Middle East” is old wine in new bottles — Palestinians still denied their right to live in peace on their own land in their own country, Israel’s repressive boot no longer stomping on them.
The bottom line of what went on in Bahrain and may follow is that Trump’s no-peace/deal of the century peace plan was dead before arrival — leaving oppressive Israeli apartheid rule in place.
Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”