Written by Zaha Hassan Zaha Hassan
Published: 05 July 2019 05 July 2019
Live-streamed coverage of the Bahrain “Peace to Prosperity” workshop, phase one in the Trump administration’s release of its peace plan for Israelis and Palestinians, brought to mind a dark, smoke-filled room from an earlier period where other powerful men, British and French, divvied up Arab land after World War I. This time, Arab governments and the U.S. co-hosted the dismemberment of the Palestinians’ national aspirations, while sitting in TED Talk-styled respectability. Just as before, ideas like human rights, self-determination and political and economic sovereignty were completely lost on the architects of this new effort.
The glitzy presentations and marketing materials largely repackage old, failed ideas about the potential for economic development, even while Israel keeps control over Palestinian land. There is no acknowledgment of the existence of an Israeli military occupation, no mention of the likely formal annexation of the West Bank following Israeli elections in September, nor of Israel’s intention to continue its twelve-year isolation and siege of Gaza. Instead, the plan assumes what ails Palestinians is not a lack of freedom and self-determination, but the poor management of their economy and a lack of knowledge about how to run basic municipal services.
Read more: The New Middle East Peace Plan Promises Projects, Not Peace