No peace without 'Deal of the Century', says Kushner

No peace without 'Deal of the Century', says Kushner
Jared Kushner, White House adviser and son-in-law to President Trump, tried to persuade Palestinians to accept the controversial plan.
3 min read
26 June, 2019
Palestinians worldwide have protested against the deal [NurPhoto]
White House adviser Jared Kushner claimed on Tuesday that his Middle East peace plan was the "opportunity of the century" for Palestinians but that their acceptance was a "pre-condition" for peace.

The so-called "Deal of the Century" has been in the works for years but in recent months Kusher, son-in-law and adviser to US President Donald Trump, has travelled the Middle East in an attempt to sell the controversial plan to neighbouring states.

The plan, finally unveiled by the White House on Saturday, calls for $50 billion in investment over the next decade in Palestine and neighbouring Arab states. 

It has already been rejected by Palestinians as it does not include a political resolution to the long-running occupation of Palestine.

"We don't need money. We are not hungry for bread," Gaza physician Said Jadba told the Associated Press on Saturday. "We are hungry for dignity."

Protesters in the West Bank also chanted: "Palestine is not for sale!" and "From Bahrain to Saudi Arabia, we are not tempted by your millions!".

At the beginning of a two-day meeting held in Bahrain to discuss the Israel-Palestine peace plan, Kushner claimed that the Trump administration's plan was a pre-condition for forging peace in Palestine.

Read more: Who is attending US-led Bahrain summit on Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

"Agreeing on an economic pathway forward is a necessary pre-condition to resolving the previously unsolvable political issues," he said at the meeting, which was boycotted by officials from the Palestinian Authority.

Kushner, however, acknowledged the need to talk about the deal’s political proposals at a later date. US officials have said the political component of the plan may not be released until this autumn.

"To be clear, economic growth and prosperity for the Palestinian people are not possible without an enduring and fair political solution to the conflict - one that guarantees Israel's security and respects the dignity of the Palestinian people," he said.

Kushner admitted that Palestinians had been ill-served by previous peace-making efforts but also acknowledged widespread criticism about the intentions of Trump, who has taken several unapologetically pro-Israel stances including the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the recognition of Israel's illegal annexation of the Syrian Golan Heights.

"My direct message to the Palestinian people is that despite what those who have let you down in the past say, President Trump and America have not given up on you," he said.

Both the Palestinian Authority and its rival Hamas have said that the plan amounts to little more than an attempt to buy off Palestinians in return for them not enjoying their own state.

The Trump administration "is insinuating that they know what is best for the Palestinian people" without addressing the Israeli occupation, Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said in a statement on Tuesday.

"Such inciting campaigns aim at making the people and leadership of Palestine accept the dictations, threats and tyranny of both the US and Israel - and they are doomed to fail," he said.

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