Bahrain’s failed economic conference & Israel’s economic success
So here’s the deal.
Trump says to the Palestinians: “I will get you peace and a homeland. The route starts at a conference in Bahrain, where I will deliver to you a US$50 billion economic package.”
President Abbas – in his mid 80s, last elected nearly 20 years ago and now for funding the Munich athletes massacre – responds with a ‘no way’. In fact, he even arrests a businessman from Hebron, who attended in a private capacity.
It is not clear what will be the outcome of the conference, where neither the Israeli nor the Palestinian governments were in attendance. Israel scored a few cheap PR points by claiming it was prepared to go along with the concept. However, with more elections coming up in Israel and also the midterms in the USA, further progress will probably be limited for the next few months.
And yet, Israel seemingly does get quite a bit out of ‘these silent changes’.
First, we know that the Bahrainis welcomed Israel pretty openly. Interviews were awarded to journalists from the Holy Land. An isolated moment? No, because second, Israel’s Foreign Minister, Yisrael Katz, popped up at a conference on climate in the United Arab Emirates.
Do not kid yourselves! Trade between Israel and the Arab block is taking another move forward. There are no official numbers, but they must be in the billions, bilaterally. So much for BDS.
And as for the conference itself? I do not believe that individual Israelis sat around politely and interested parties from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE, et al also sat around politely without talking to each other and without discussing some numbers. The Palestinian issue may hold back full disclosure between the parties but their are rumours of tech deals and more.
A shame for all nations and their economies that President Abbas prefers antagonism and hatred to some definitive initial steps towards mutual recognition.