Offer the Palestinian Authority $1 billion that it could use to compensate the families of its terrorists. They’d take it in a second.
Propose $50 billion in infrastructure improvements, economic investment, a transportation corridor linking Palestinian-controlled areas of the West Bank to Gaza. The PA would reject it out of hand.
Once again, as has been less narrative and more historic fact, the Palestinian leaders dating back to the British Mandate for Palestine have chosen not to join the conversation even when it could dramatically improve life for its peoples.
Last week’s U.S.-organized Peace to Prosperity conference held in the Bahraini capital of Manama brought the Trump administration together with Sunni nations Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Morocco along with investors with industry giants in many different areas, including high tech, transportation and even water desalination.
Jared Kushner, who championed the idea, told the conference that “the old way hasn’t really worked.” What he proposed was a hopeful, purposeful paradigm of success for the Palestinians.
The one group that urgently needed to be in the conference room last week refused to attend, choosing to once again turn its back on any hope of prosperity and instead keep its citizens living in a condition of third-world misery.
We’ve watched over the decades as PA leadership turns its back on any peaceful opportunities, without facing the reality that when it refuses to negotiate, to dialogue or even to attend, they are really turning their backs on their people.
At some point, the Palestinian people are going to have to choose leadership that does not give its people compensation for killing Jews. Powerful Sunni leaders and their nations are moving closer and closer to regional normalization with Israel and confrontation with Iran, the PA’s biggest supporter of terrorism.
“If we are going to fail,” Kushner told the media, “we don’t want to fail doing it the same way it’s been done in the past.”
The Trump administration is hoping that energized regional investment for the Palestinians will be a connecting point to the very peace plan that the president has yet to unveil.
The best intentions and plans aren’t enough, it seems, to turn the economic table for a viable Middle East peace when the Palestinians won’t even show up.
We do not think the PA wants such a peace, nor does it want billions of investment dollars to improve the quality of life for its people. The same old, same old keeps Abbas and his cronies in power, with fingers pointing at the Israelis instead of hitting a cultural and societal Palestinian “reset” button that would lead to peace with Israel and further economic regional stability.
Sunni Arab nations see it, they know that Israel is here to stay and they also know that the PA is unstable at best, because they refuse even to take the most minimal part in the process.
That will get them nowhere.