Photo Credit: Miriam Alster/FLASh90
Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said on Monday that only a political solution could guarantee an end to the decades-old conflict with Israel, and not the US-sponsored economic conference which will be held in Bahrain in late June, as part of President Trump’s Deal of the Century.

The economic peace conference to be hosted by the Trump administration in Bahrain at the end of June was apparently designed with the expectation that the PA would refuse to show up, for a variety of ceaselessly cited reasons: the shutting down of the PLO office in Washington, DC, the embassy move, the recognition of Israel’s rule over the Golan heights, and the elimination of US financial contributions. Trump has not been a great friend to the regime in Ramallah, probably because he reads it correctly: they are much more interested in having a “struggle” than in finding reasonable ways to end the “struggle.”

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Which is why Washington has invited private businessmen from the PA to represent their people in the debates on concrete economic solutions to their misery. Indeed, with the right kind of support from the countries represented in Bahrain, these very businessmen would end up as the next leaders of their people, pushing out the gangsters who rule from the Muqata.

PM Shtayyeh confirmed on Sunday that his government had not been consulted in any way regarding the conference, and argued fiercely that “the economic issue should be an outcome of the political solution because the Palestinian people and leadership are not looking to only improve living conditions under occupation.”

He added: “Any solution to the conflict in Palestine will only come through a political solution aimed at ending the occupation and the realization of Palestinian rights in an independent, sovereign and viable state on the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital and the right of return of refugees based on United Nations resolutions and international law.”

Naturally, this “the moon or nothing” approach continues the catastrophic Arab tradition that began with the wholesale rejection of the 1947 partition plan, from which the PLO, like Hamas, have learned absolutely nothing. Nor are they interested in learning anything.

“The Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity,” said Israel’s venerable foreign minister Abba Eban in 1973, during the Geneva Peace Conference, which Syria refused to attend. Since then, several Arab countries—Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf states—have flirted with the opportunities that came their way, and were rewarded considerably: Egypt received every last inch of land it had lost in 1967; Jordan has increased the financial and military benefits it is receiving from the US and other sources; the Saudis and the Gulf states are in the midst of finding solutions to the mortal threat imposed on them by Iran.

Syria never got back its Golan heights, nor will it ever get it as things stand now. And the PLO and Hamas will continue to marginalize themselves to the point of collapse and the renewal of hostilities with Israel. Good luck there.

Bahraini journalist Abdullah al-Junaid on Tuesday told Kan News that he was calling on the Palestinian Authority not to boycott the economic conference in his country. According to al-Junaid, Bahrain and the Gulf states do not want to impose anything on the PA, but it must come to the event and express its views.

“Bahrain is helping the Palestinian issue and is helping to alleviate the suffering of the Palestinian people,” al-Junaid said, and expressed his hope that the conference would “stir the still waters.”

He added that there is no contradiction between the conference and the traditional position of Bahrain and the Arab states regarding the 2002 and 2007 Arab peace initiative. They still support the initiative, which demands Israel’s full withdrawal from every inch of territory gained in the 1967 Six Day War, including eastern Jerusalem, and the full return of all the Arab refugees and their offspring to Israel. In other words, the elimination of the Jewish State as we know it.

Nice idea.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration is much more interested in improving the lives of the Arabs living in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip, by investing billions in their infrastructure, agriculture, industry and commerce. And if the thugs who run things over there wish to write themselves out of the story – that’s even better.

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