No Kushner, Economic Prosperity Will Not Solve the Israeli Arab Conflict

The rich man’s abundance doesn’t let him sleep Ecclesiastes 5:11 (The Israel Bible™)

The US revealed the economic aspect of their much anticipated Peace Plan on Saturday. The plan which is to be presented in greater depth next week in Bahrain hopes to raise more than $50 billion for the Palestinian Authority (PA). It also aims to create one million jobs for PA residents within a decade and intends on doubling the PA’s GDP.

President Trump’s administration announced that it was seeking massive international investment to the Palestinians and to dramatically upgrade infrastructure as well as internal governance within the Palestinian Authority and Hamas controlled Gaza.

The conference, which was led by Trump’s son-in-law and Middle East adviser Jared Kushner, was the launch of the US administration’s delayed peace effort. Officials said that at a later stage will include a political component.

There’s just one problem: The basic premise of this entire plan is fundamentally flawed. That’s  because this peace plan operates under the idea that economic prosperity leads to peace. But in the framework of the Israeli/Arab conflict, this theory has been disproven time and time again.

Many in the west looking in, see the images in the media of poor, downtrodden Arabs in Judea, Samaria and Gaza and assume that if only they were gainfully employed, the conflict would end. However the reality paints a far different picture. And If Trump’s son -in-law/Middle East adviser dedicated just five minutes of research regarding the correlation between Palestinian economic prosperity and terrorism, he’d cancel the entire economic aspect of the Peace Deal altogether.

For example Gisha, a European funded NGO in Israel reported that the unemployment rate for Arab residents of Judea and Samaria is only 17.6% in 2018. Although not ideal, it’s a far cry from an economic crisis that demands $50 billion. 

Furthermore, many of the terrorists have come from middle – upper class backgrounds. This was highlighted in Mosaic Magazine which cited several studies that failed to link terrorism to poverty. Ironically, the results of the studies showed that terrorists from the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) were more likely to have come from high socioeconic backgrounds, or, at the very least, well above the poverty line. 

It’s a shame that Kushner and company didn’t bother undertake a minimum amount of research before making the effort.  If only Greenblatt did a basic review of the beginning of the year 2000 when the economy in the Palestinian Authority in Judea and Samaria were at their peak. Because in that very same year, a massive terrorist campaign was launched by those same economically prosperous Arabs. That campaign is better known as the ‘second intifada’. The dramatic increase in gruesome terrorist attacks were often depicted as evidence of how wretched Arab living conditions were. However the reality showed the exact opposite as it was the beginning of a period of economic strength for the ‘Palestinian’ Arabss.

Unfortunately, no one in the Israeli government has explained this fatal flaw to Kushner, Greenblatt and everyone else behind the doomed plan. And if this initiative does go through as planned, let’s hope and pray that any boom it contributes to the Palestinian Authority’s economy won’t come at the expense of more Israeli lives. Sadly, I, and many other like minded Israelis are pessimistic.