Palestinians protest US-led conference in Bahrain

The White House has finally announced part one of its long-awaited Middle East peace plan.

With Palestinians absent from the table in the Bahraini capital, few are optimistic about the U.S. plan to attract investments and build a "framework for a prosperous future" in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories.

Palestinians don't need this week's USA -led Bahrain meeting to develop their country, they need peace, Palestinian Finance Minister Shukri Bishara said on Sunday. On Sunday, he toured the West Bank's Jordan Valley with USA envoy Davd Friedman and Trump National Security Adviser John Bolton and vowed to hold on to the strip of land as a security asset.

The boycott and calls for violence rehash the same unproductive methods the Palestinians have used in the past to thwart peace measures, only this time the incoherence of the boycott is made more evident by the fact Israel will not even attend.

"Convincing Palestinians of this is basically convincing them to take economic incentives in exchange for their rights", Hawari said.

The baseline of the philosophy that no one can articulate is that only Israelis or Palestinians can exist in peace, there is no room for both, and economics is not a big enough distraction. Barham calls it insulting. He says that misses the point. Palestinian leadership sees the political capital to be had in human suffering, so any attempts to mitigate such suffering meet serious skepticism from Palestinian officials. We have also laptops. Is Israel going to allow this plan to be implemented? No.

The White House said it decided against inviting the Israeli government because the PA would not be there.

"I think we all have to recognize that if there ever is a deal, it's not going to be along the lines of the Arab peace initiative", Kushner told Qatari network al-Jazeera. Those agreements signed between Israel and the PLO proved self-defeating for Israel, confirming the belief in the eyes of the world that Palestinian actions, no matter how destructive-indeed self-destructive-were a justified reaction to the supposed "root cause" of the conflict: Israel's "occupation" of the West Bank and Gaza.

Kushner said some Palestinian business executives have confirmed their participation in the conference, but he declined to identify them.

His comments came in reference to millions of US dollars that have been deducted by Israel from the Palestinian tax revenues it collects on their behalf, saying it was money paid to families of Palestinian prisoners and those killed or wounded by Israelis. In Netanyahu's view, the direct dialogue with the Palestinians has failed, and therefore relations with the Arab states must be normalized so that they will ultimately force the Palestinians to accept one arrangement or another.

He hopes that the Saudis and Gulf states will like the plan and convince the Palestinians to come to the negotiating table.

ESTRIN: Palestinian leaders accuse the US of offering money but dismissing their demands for independence.

The ambitious economic revival plan, the product of two years of work by Kushner and other aides, would take place only if a political solution to the region's long-running problems is reached.

ASHRAF JABARI: (Through interpreter) We have to look for a life of dignity for our children.

"We will not be slaves or servants" to the American peace team, the Palestinian president tells journalists. It's a philosophy, which remains a mystery to everyone to this day, and cannot be articulated by Palestinians or Israelis in a way that the Western mind can comprehend, is as old as humankind itself. There will instead be a small Israeli business delegation.

Netanyahu, speaking during a tour of the Jordan Valley with U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton, said Israel would "hear the American proposition, hear it fairly and with openness".

"Now having said that, the political process is extremely important". The White House said it didn't want to politicize the conference by inviting them.

  • Leroy Wright