Trump Administration unveiled on Saturday a $50bn Palestinian economic proposal aimed at supporting its “Opportunity of the Century” Middle East peace plan.
The plan, which many compare to the ‘Marshall Plan for Europe’, calls for a mix of public and private financing and intends to create at least a million new jobs for Palestinians, was posted to the White House website before a two-day conference in Bahrain.
The Marshall Plan (officially the European Recovery Program, ERP) was an American initiative passed in 1948 to aid Western Europe, in which the United States gave over $12 billion (nearly $100 billion in 2018 US dollars) in economic assistance to help rebuild Western European economies after the end of World War II.
Speaking to Reuters on Saturday, Donald Trump’s adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, who is one of the architects of the plan, said:
“I laugh when [Palestinian leaders] attack this as the ‘deal of the century’. This is going to be the opportunity of the century if they have the courage to pursue it.”
Calling it ‘Peace and prosperity, a new vision for Palestinian people and the Broader Middle East’, the White House plan aims to “empower the Palestinian people to build a prosperous and vibrant Palestinian society,” explains the White House on its website.
“It consists of three initiatives that will support distinct pillars of the Palestinian society: the economy, the people, and the government.
With the potential to facilitate more than $50 billion in new investment over ten years, Peace to Prosperity represents the most ambitious and comprehensive international effort for the Palestinian people to date. It has the ability to fundamentally transform the West Bank and Gaza and to open a new chapter in Palestinian history—one defined, not by adversity and loss, but by freedom and dignity.
These three initiatives are more than just a vision of a promising future for the Palestinian people—they are also the foundation for an achievable plan.
If implemented, Peace to Prosperity will empower the Palestinian people to build the society that they have aspired to establish for generations. With the support of the international community, this vision is within reach. Ultimately, however, the power to unlock it lies in the hands of the Palestinian people. Only through peace can the Palestinians achieve prosperity.”
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
But not everyone is excited about the plan. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday rejected the economic plan. “The economic situation should not be discussed before the political one,” Abbas said on Saturday. “As long as there is no political solution, we do not deal with any economic solution,” reported Al-Jazeera.
“The economic situation should not be discussed before a political situation, and so long as there is no political situation, we cannot deal with any economic situation.”
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Kushner Mideast economic plan pic.twitter.com/OQlLXbKV7K
— TRT World Now (@TRTWorldNow) June 22, 2019
Palestinian Authority has decided not to attend the Manama workshop, and the ‘Jerusalem Post’ is reporting that ‘Fatah’, the ruling party of the Palestinian Authority, has called for days of violence against Israel in response to the Bahrain Conference, where the economic part of President Trump’s Middle East plan will be unveiled.