Kushner’s Economic Plan for Middle East Faces Rejection

President Donald Trump’s economic plan to help resolve the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been met with much disdain and repudiation in the Arab world.

The $50 billion plan was outlined by the White House Saturday and is set to be presented by White House senior advisor Jared Kushner at an international conference in Bahrain next week. The Palestinians are boycotting the event and have refused to have contact with the Trump administration since it recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in 2017.

The “peace to prosperity” plan would create a large global investment fund to lift Palestinian and surrounding economies into prosperity, and the plan would fund a $5 billion transportation corridor to connect the West Bank and Gaza. The plan, which took Kushner and other aides two years of work to create, would only take place if a political solution to the region’s problems could be achieved.

Palestinian officials believe the U.S. led deal is heavily slanted in Israel’s favor and Palestine is very likely to deny Israel to be a fully sovereign state. Additionally, many Arab politicians have criticized the plan for being a one-sided deal. For example, Kuwaiti parliamentarian Osama al-Shaheen claimed: “The deal of the century is a… one-sided concession, the Arab side, while the occupier wins everything: land, peace and Gulf money.”

Kushner claims that if the deal is executed then the plan would create a million jobs in the West Bank and Gaza, cut Palestinian poverty in half and double Palestine’s GDP. He believes this plan is similar to the Marshall Plan, which helped to rebuild Western Europe after World War II.

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