The Trump administration is convening an “economic workshop” to be held in Bahrain on June 25 – 26. The purported purpose of this conference is to implement an economic assistance program similar to the “Marshall Plan” with the goal of providing economic development aid to help boost and sustain a viable Palestinian economy. Although fundamentally there is nothing wrong in holding an economic conference by itself, this particular conference is part of Trump’s so called “Deal of the Century”, in which economic aid is contingent on the Palestinian leadership to sign on to such an agreement. The Palestinian people will not be bribed into submission or relinquish their right for full sovereignty over the West Bank and East Jerusalem and to the right of return.
The Trump Administration is putting the cart before the horse because no economic assistance program can ever succeed if the Palestinian people do not have their right to govern themselves in a full sovereign nation with all its institutions. Investors prefer to operate in a stable and predictable legal and political environment with clearly defined processes for the movement of people, goods and capital. Therefore, developing the Palestinian economy would be a positive element in a peace agreement, but cannot be a substitute for it.
The Palestinians in occupied Palestine and in the diaspora have high quality human capital, an educated and resourceful population, a tech-savvy young population and a strong inherent entrepreneurship culture. With these characteristics and an economic environment based on tourism, agriculture, international trade, and hightech knowhow, they can build the Palestinian economy on their own once the barriers of occupation and the repressive system that comes with it are removed.
We call on the faith-based community to join us in demanding the full rights of the Palestinian people to live in their own sovereign state with peace and dignity.
“Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” — Mathew 5:9 v. 10
Board of the Palestinian Christian Alliance for Peace (PCAP)