ANALYSIS: PA’s Deceitful Opposition to Trump’s Bahrain Peace Summit

As expected, the Palestinian Authority has refused to join a US-led peace summit with Israel and regional Arab powers

By Yochanan Visser | | Topics: Peace Process
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas Photo: Flash90

The Palestinian Authority (PA) just started a new public relations offensive to attack the Trump Administration over its attempt to create an alternative path to the solution of the 100-years-old conflict between the Palestinian Arabs and Israel.

The offensive came after the US announced it would hold a “Peace to Prosperity economic workshop” in Manama the capital of Bahrain at the end of June.

The ‘workshop’ will focus on measures to improve the economic situation in the territories under PA control and not on new negotiations about the so-called two-state solution.

The PA claims the conference is a strategic stage in the Administration’s “efforts to undermine both international law and the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people” and decided to boycott the summit.

Two high-ranking PA officials subsequently submitted opinion articles in which they attacked the Trump Administration for attempting to ‘bribe’ the Palestinian people in exchange for them giving up their rights.

Denying the Palestinian Arabs their rights would be “a recipe for further entrenching the Israeli occupation,” Nabil Shaath the international relations adviser to PA-leader Mahmoud Abbas and former PA Minister for Foreign Affairs wrote in an op-ed for the Israeli leftist paper Ha’aretz.

Shaath claimed that for the Palestinian Arabs in order to reach ‘economic prosperity’ they would have to be able “to control its economy, including its borders, natural resources and electromagnetic sphere, among others.”

“It is precisely because we believe in a just and lasting peace for our region that we say no to the Manama meeting. Only a political solution that ends the Israeli occupation and fulfills the rights of the Palestinian people, in accordance with international law, can promote sustainable economic prosperity. There can be no “prosperity” without freedom,” according to Shaath.

Saeb Erekat, the chief negotiator of the PA and secretary general of the Palestinian Liberation Organization used similar language in an op-ed for the New York Times to express his opposition against the Bahrain summit and claimed “there will be no economic prosperity in Palestine without the end of the occupation.”

Erekat, who has been exposed as the chief liar of the PA by current New York Times columnist Bret Stephens a long time ago, again claimed Israel had created an Apartheid system in Judea and Samaria.

He conveniently forgot to mention that it is the Palestinian Authority which has Apartheid-like laws which, for example, forbid the sale of properties and land to Jews.

The claim that it is the so-called Israeli occupation which is preventing Palestinian Arabs to obtain ‘economic prosperity’ isn’t true either.

First, the PA spends a significant part of its budget on the so-called ‘pay to slay’ policy, the monthly stipends to Palestinian terrorists and their families.

The PA stubbornly insists on continuing this policy despite international and Israeli pressure to cancel the payments altogether.

Israel recently decided to deduct 502 million NIS per month in tax revenues it collects on behalf of the PA because of the refusal to end the pay-to-slay policy.

PA leader Mahmoud Abbas then decided to return all tax revenues which Israel tried to transfer to the PA and claimed that continuing the policy was a matter of national interest.

Israeli experts now warn that the PA could collapse because of a mounting financial crisis but the watchdog organization Palestinian Media Watch claims the crisis is “fake” and published data supporting this claim.

Then there is the rampant corruption in the PA which has been documented not only by pro-Israeli organizations and media but also by the European Union and pro-Palestinian media.

For example, in the period 2008 to 2012 a total of 2 billion Euro’s in foreign aid to the PA disappeared.

The new Palestinian government led by Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh, who is an economist, is also “beleaguered by corruption, nepotism and ineptitude” according to Israeli experts.

The son of PA leader Mahmoud Abbas, Yasser, is furthermore involved in financing terror networks, including Hezbollah and Hamas, and money laundering, according to a secret internal PA document.

“Businessmen from several Arab countries conspired with PA officials, including from the PA’s foreign ministry, to launder funds for terror groups, including Hamas, Hezbollah and armed militias in Syria,” the Jewish Press reported this week.

The main actors in Yasser Abbas’ criminal network were no Arabs living in the territories under PA control but were nevertheless provided with official diplomatic PA passports by PA leader Mahmoud Abbas.

PA embassies around the world were, furthermore, used to help Yasser Abbas’ group which had its headquarters in Kazakhstan.

A former senior PA official commented on the new revelations about corruption in the PA and said, “corruption is killing the PA, even before Abbas leaves office.”

Another PA official said the PA’s resources “have become private property and are exploited by a group of corrupt leaders.”

“The future of thousands of (Palestinian) Arabs is now in danger” because of the widespread corruption in the PA the same official said.

Palestinian businessman Ashraf Jabari from Hebron has now decided to join the initiative to achieve at least economic peace in Judea and Samaria.

Jabari together with Jews living in Judea and Samaria established “The Judea and Samaria Chamber of Commerce” and says he can no longer wait for the establishment of a Palestinian state.

“We have to think about this area as one entity, not two entities and two realities,” according to the Palestinian businessman who also founded a new political party to advance economic peace last month.

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