Marshall Plan could solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict - WJC president

US President Joe Biden has a "great opportunity" to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Lauder argues. Here's how.

 A MAN displays a Palestinian flag across from celebrants holding Israeli flags in Jerusalem’s Old City during Jerusalem Day festivities, last week. (photo credit: JAMAL AWAD/FLASH90)
A MAN displays a Palestinian flag across from celebrants holding Israeli flags in Jerusalem’s Old City during Jerusalem Day festivities, last week.
(photo credit: JAMAL AWAD/FLASH90)

The United States must establish a Marshall Plan to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder said in an Arab News column published on Saturday.

Lauder wrote that US President Joe Biden's upcoming visit to the Middle East, which includes stops in Israel and Saudi Arabia, presents a "great opportunity" to finally solve "one of the longest-running historical conflicts" in the Middle East.

"I believe this visit presents an even greater opportunity which could solve one of the longest-running historical conflicts... the Israeli-Palestinian struggle"

Ronald S. Lauder, World Jewish Congress president

What is the Marshall Plan?

A Marshall Plan, similar to the original European Recovery Program enacted by the US to provide economic aid to Western Europe post-World War II, could be the best solution for Palestinians, Lauder argued.

Enacted by the Truman administration, the Marshall Plan saw the US transfer more than $13 billion (about $85 b. in 2021) in economic aid to Western Europe over four years. The plan modernized the European industrial and business sectors, reduced trade barriers and attempted to instill self-reliance.

The plan was named after General George C. Marshall, who advocated for it as US secretary of state at the time.

A deal the Palestinians can't turn down

According to Lauder, the Marshall Plan "formed the basis for rebuilding a shattered Europe" after WWII, calling it the most successful foreign policy initiative in history.

He argues that a plan offering Palestinians "a future of wealth, success and self-reliance" is a deal Palestinian leaders cannot turn down.

The Palestinian plan "should focus on the creation of small businesses, home building, hotels, restaurants and job creation," the WJC president suggested. That would allow for a "positive future" for the next generation of Palestinians.

"A fixed sum of money could be given to young entrepreneurs to create new businesses, which would be closely monitored," Lauder explained. "If they prove to be viable but need a financial boost after a year, another small infusion could be given."

"In other words, provide Palestinians with all the things that made Israel and other countries financially viable, which would help create a new and successful Palestine."

"Provide Palestinians with all the things that made Israel... financially viable"

Ronald S. Lauder, World Jewish Congress president

 World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder (credit: World Jewish Congress/Shahar Azran) World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder (credit: World Jewish Congress/Shahar Azran)

Per-capita wealth would double annually within three to five years, Lauder claimed.

He called on the US, EU, Saudi Arabia, Israel and other Middle East countries to contribute to funding the suggested plan.

However, Lauder did warn that the new plan "would have to be closely monitored by an organization that is trusted by all sides." In the past, there has not been adequate responsibility in terms of the aid money given to Palestinians, He wrote.

What's planned for Biden in the Middle East?

The Palestinian leadership will present five demands to US President Joe Biden during his upcoming visit to the region, a Palestinian official told The Jerusalem Post

The official also called on Prime Minister Yair Lapid to immediately meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to revive the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.

On Thursday, Biden said further integrating Israel into the Middle East is a central objective of his visit.