Palestinians want freedom, not Trump administration bribes

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington last week. (photo: Kevin Lamarque / Reuters)
Instead of offering Palestinians permanent subjugation, the United States and the international community should pressure Israel to permit Palestinians their right to an independent sovereign state.

By Mohammad Shtayyeh | The Washington Post | Jun 24, 2019

Is it any wonder . . . that Palestinians are extremely skeptical of Kushner’s new economic plan? It is little more than a regurgitation of old ideas such as economic peace, advocated by the Israeli right, whereby Palestinians are expected to give up demands for freedom in exchange for investment and other economic inducements.

The Trump administration on Saturday unveiled the economic portion of its long-awaited diplomatic plan for Palestine and Israel. The release preceded a two-day “economic workshop” in Bahrain beginning Tuesday that is intended to drum up regional support for the proposal.

Unfortunately, what has been revealed confirms our belief at the Palestinian Authority that the plan, which is being drafted by White House senior adviser Jared Kushner and other Trump administration officials, is simply a repackaging of a stale, discredited concept known as “economic peace” long advocated by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a longtime friend of the Kushner family.

While short on specifics and totally lacking a political component, the plan calls for a $50 billion investment fund for the Palestinian economy and that of neighboring Arab states, and a $5 billion transportation corridor between the occupied West Bank and Gaza. What Kushner and his colleagues don’t seem to realize is that Palestinians don’t need or want handouts. We need freedom and our rights and for Israel to end its domination over our lives and economy.

Even before details of the plan were revealed, Palestinian political and business leaders were boycotting the Bahrain conference. That’s because since taking office, President Trump has almost completely sided with Israel’s right-wing government, offering us no reason to believe his administration can be taken seriously as an honest peace broker.

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