Mahmoud Abbas again said Saturday that he is not interested in the Bahrain economic workshop, saying that there can be no economic progress without a diplomatic solution fo rpeace.
The position is, frankly, ludicrous.
After looking at the vision document for the Bahrain economic workshop, I see very little that anyone could object to.
Israel is barely mentioned except as a neighboring country with which Gaza and the West Bank could trade.
There are thirteen “breakout” program ideas, including:
Startup Equity-Matching and Lending FacilitiesFINANCING:
$100 million in grant equity funding
$300 million in concessional financing
PROJECT OVERVIEW:This project will support the creation of equity-matching and lending facilities focused on Palestinian startups and emerging technology companies. The equity-matching component will encourage venture capital and private equity firms to invest in Palestinian startups.
“Power Gaza” Power Plant UpgradeLOCATION:
Up to $590 million in grants and concessional financing
PROJECT OVERVIEW: Stage One of this project will provide up to $90 million in grant funding to support the conversion of the Gaza Power Plant from diesel fuel to natural gas and connect it to a natural gas supply. This will increase electricity supply in Gaza by approximately 70 megawatts (MW) and significantly reduce the cost of electricity for Palestinians. In Stage Two, an additional investment of $500
million will expand the production capacity of the Gaza Power Plant by an additional 400 MW
West Bank and Gaza, Egypt,Jordan, Lebanon
Up to $1.5 billion in concessional financing
Up to $500 million in grants
PROJECT OVERVIEW: With its culture, natural beauty, and historical and religious sites, the region has extraordinary tourism potential. This project will support private-sector domestic businesses and public-private partnerships to develop tourism sites and infrastructure in West Bank and Gaza, Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon.
New Palestinian UniversityFINANCING:
Up to $500 million in grants
PROJECT OVERVIEW: To prepare Palestinian students to join the workforce of the 21st century, this project envisions the construction and development of a new flagship liberal arts and sciences university in the West Bank and Gaza. The project will incorporate input from Palestinian academic leaders to construct facilities that use the latest technology to deliver the highest-quality education.
Career Counseling and Job PlacementFINANCING: Up to $30 million in grants
PROJECT OVERVIEW: Peace to Prosperity envisions women within the West Bank and Gaza receiving the financing, market opportunities, and workforce training to succeed as entrepreneurs and private business owners. As a part of promoting the adoption of a comprehensive strategy to advance economic opportunities for women, this project will support the development of a central institution to facilitate career counseling and job-placement services for women and young Palestinians throughout the West Bank and Gaza.
Abbas is saying that there can be no university, no tourism initiatives, no job programs for Palestinian women, no fixing the Gaza power plant – until Israel gives in to his blackmail.
Who exactly is suffering in the meanwhile? Of course, only Palestinian Arabs. There is precisely zero relationship between most of these initiatives and progress in moribund peace talks.
Abbas doesn’t want the world to realize that he could have worked himself to help his people in the years since he has been in office, because he could have gotten Arab and EU money to do these exact things if he wanted.
Allowing the US and Arab countries to work on these things shows how poor a leader Abbas has been, and it highlights how easily he throws his own people under the bus to achieve his own selfish political aims.
We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.