A pro-Israel activist says the Trump administration deserves praise for its effort to broker peace in the Middle East but warns only new leaders will help.
It has been more than two years in the making but the Trump administration is now revealing the first phase of the president's plan to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
The president's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is the primary architect of the plan unveiled June 24 at the “Peace for Prosperity” summit in Bahrain.
According to the Reuters news service, the plan takes an "economy first" approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by calling for a $50 billion investment to boost the Palestinian and neighboring Arab state economies.
The price tag includes 179 business and infrastructure projects including a transportation corridor, estimated to cost $5 billion, to connect the West Bank and Gaza, Reuters reported.
The hope is that wealthy Gulf states such as Saudi Arabia and private investors will foot most of the bill.
Laurie Cardoza-Moore, president of Proclaiming Justice to the Nations, says the idea is to give dignity to Palestinians and their families.
“If this is what Trump is putting forward,” she says, “I could very easily see how it could be something he would do to help the people…”
But the idea is expected to hit a dead end with Palestinian leaders such as Mahmoud Abbas (pictured at right with Trump), president of the Palestinian Authority. He and others boycotted the Bahrain announcement over the close U.S.-Israel partnership.
“Money is important. The economic is important,” Abbas told the media. “But politics is more important.”
A spokesman for Hamas, the terrorist group, declared that “Palestine is not for sale.”
Abbas has held onto power as president since 2005 and now has an estimated net worth of $100 million.
Yasser Arafat, the famous Palestinian leader, amassed a fortune of more than $1 billion by reportedly funneling aid money into his own bank accounts.
The biggest help for the Israel-Palestinian conflict, Cardoza-Moore says, is a change in leaders who don’t keep preaching hatred toward Israel.