Economic Progress a Precondition to Peace

Jared Kushner and Benjamin Netanyahu

Credit:US Embassy Jerusalem

Today, the American “workshop” in Bahrain began, in hopes of at last reaching peace between Israel and the Palestinians. The Times of Israel’s Raphael Ahren reports that Trump adviser Jared Kushner is calling his plan the “opportunity of the century” while also lamenting the Palestinians’ lack of cooperation:

“Agreeing on an economic pathway forward is a necessary precondition to resolving the previously unsolvable political issues,” Kushner said as he opened the workshop in the Bahraini capital of Manama, which is being boycotted by the Palestinian Authority…

“To be clear, economic growth and prosperity for the Palestinian people are not possible without an enduring and fair political solution to the conflict — one that guarantees Israel’s security and respects the dignity of the Palestinian people,” he said.

Kushner said the political talks would come, but asked his audience to focus at the summit on the region’s economic potential.

“Imagine a bustling commercial and tourist center in Gaza and the West Bank, where international businesses come together and thrive,” he said.

Kushner acknowledged widespread skepticism about the intentions of President Donald Trump, his father-in-law, who has taken an unapologetic pro-Israel line, including recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

But he said that the Palestinians have been ill-served by previous peace-making efforts.

“My direct message to the Palestinian people is that despite what those who have let you down in the past say, President Trump and America have not given up on you,” Kushner said…

Tags: Bahrain Donald Trump Israel Jared Kushner Palestinians Peace Process Raphael Ahren Times of Israel United States US-Israel Relations

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