US President Donald Trump waves to the media before boarding Air Force One in Maryland on April 27.
(photo credit: YURI GRIPAS / REUTERS)
The late Shimon Peres talked repeatedly about the “new wars” of the 21st century taking the form of economic, media, ideological and proxy wars. President Donald Trump’s plan for an economic conference in Bahrain on June 25 and 26 will include government and industry leaders. Conference organizers will attempt to mobilize nations from the Middle East, Asia and Europe in order to work on an economic plan for the Palestinian Authority. This is a genius approach by the president.
The first issue that must be addressed is money. If there were such a thing as a Palestinian state devoid of an economic plan, it would be catastrophic. One need only look at Gaza and the current events there to realize the truth in that.
The current Palestinian generation deserves an opportunity to have autonomy and dignity. A proper economic plan can provide both, if the funds provided are not placed in the hands of the PA leadership.
Many of those leaders planning to attend the conference are not happy with how the PA has spent its funds in past years. I’ve heard personal statements from some of these men such as “They have wasted our money” or “Instead of fighting Israel, the Palestinians should be emulating Israel.”
Those same men abhor Mahmoud Abbas’s obsession with picking a fight with Trump and his “Deal of the Century.” What could possibly be the PA president’s motivation? It certainly can’t be his concern for the prosperity of the Palestinian people.
The five-ton elephant in the room is this: What form would a Palestinian state take? There are three things that such an entity would never possess:
1. Israel could never allow the PA to have airspace, as it would be an existential threat to Israel’s survival.
2. A PA state could never be permitted to raise an army, as a military threat that near Jerusalem would be deadly to the Israelis.
3. A PA state would never be allowed to establish treaties. For example, a treaty with Iran would be a devastating threat to Israel.
What, then, would a Palestinian state be without any of the above? Truthfully, it would not be a state. What the Palestinians deserve is homes, jobs, governance and security. Israel, and indeed the world, could assist the Palestinians in having magnificent lives.
The dilemma that must be resolved is rabid racism. Would these same leaders have funded the Ku Klux Klan in the days when blacks were being hanged? Would you have given it a portion of the United States? Never!
Gaza has become the new al-Qaeda. Not only do Israelis suffer from post-traumatic stress in the South because of the rockets fired from Gaza, but now the terrorists there are using every trick imaginable to try to burn Israel down. There is absolutely no possibility that a rational person would reward such conduct.
According to an unnamed senior Trump administration official, “This [Bahrain summit] will hopefully give the people in the region the potential to see what the economic opportunities could be, if we can work out political issues that have held back the region for a long, long time.”
The writer is a #1 New York Times best-selling author with 89 published books. He is the founder of Friends of Zion Museum in Jerusalem, of which the late president Shimon Peres, Israel’s ninth president, was the chairman. He also serves on the Trump Evangelical Faith Initiative.
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