Trump’s Peace Plan Is Immoral, Impractical - and Could Blow Up the Middle East


By Ami ayalon, Gilead sher and Orni petruschka, Politico Magazine, June 24, 2019

It sounds great on paper: The U.S. administration will hold a “peace to prosperity” economic workshop in Bahrain on June 25 and 26 to jumpstart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Yet scratch the shiny PR surface and you’ll find a dangerously simplistic approach to a complicated situation. Anybody who followed the last 30 years of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict understands that President Donald Trump’s announcement of this first step on the way to a deal is all form and no substance: a new name for the same failed idea known as “economic peace,” and before that as “a new Middle East.”

Putting economics first, before a political process, is more than a tactical error, yet another in a long line of failed attempts to advance towards a permanent two-state solution. The Trump administration’s focus on economics—led by Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner—is a strategic mistake that could stymie the negotiations before they begin. If Trump and his team studied history, they would know that placing economics before core political issues is a slap in the face to the Palestinians. Of course, the Palestinians want to improve their quality of life; of course they want to build a growing economy. But these are secondary goals, to be pursued after self-determination is achieved. If the Palestinians could be “bought” with economic benefits, we would be long past the need for talks. Trump’s approach is not only immoral, it is impractical.


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