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The relationship between "economic peace" for Palestinians and the events in Syria

Dr.Saleh Al-Naami (Palestinian researcher)
June 11, 2013

There is an indirect but close relationship between the idea of ??"economic peace" which the American Secretary of State John Kerry tried to do a promotion and put pressure on the leaders of the Palestinian Authority to adopt to solve the Palestinian issue and ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and between the developments of the Syrian revolution.

This might be surprising at first glance, but this conclusion was based on discussions and a long process of coordination between the U.S. administration and the Israeli government. Kerry reassured Israel that the Syrian revolution provides an opportunity to adopt the idea of ??"economic peace". Yossi Beilin, former Israeli minister and one of the leading commentators in the newspaper "Israel Today" show the widest spread Israelis newspapers to justify to the Israelis the reasons that make them optimistic about the idea of "economic peace" with the Palestinians at this time. According to Beilin, Kerry believes that the explosion of the Syrian Revolution and the state of strong polarization that dominates the Arab world on the intervention of Iran in Syrian affairs, allows the United States to exercise greater influence and impact during the events in the Arab world, as well as after the invasion of Kuwait in 1991.

According to Beilin, Kerry believes that the current circumstances are similar to the conditions prevailing in the region during the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait, because at that time, was the polarization between Saddam Hussein's Iraq and the rest of the Arab world while the current polarization between the Arab world and between what is called "the Iranian axis" which includes in addition to Iran, Syria w Hezbollah. Beilin noted that he thinks the desire to confront Iran, the Syrian regime and Hezbollah leave many Arab countries, especially the Gulf countries and Jordan more anxious to meet the positions of the United States on all matters relating to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. According to Kerry, the Arab countries, especially the Gulf countries and Jordan ask for help to make progress in resolving the conflict with Israel through two main movements:

First: Put pressure on the leaders of the Palestinian Authority to agree to resume negotiations without preconditions, and financing of economic projects in the plan.

Second: The role of the president of the Gulf States in the funding process, so that the contribution of the United States and Europe would be minimal because of the economic crisis experienced by the country.

Although the Minister Kerry understands that it would be very difficult for the president of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas to retreat from its commitment to the Palestinian people not to resume negotiations before the settlement freeze and stop the conversion.

The compounds have the plan unveiled by Kerry adopts practically the idea of ??"economic peace", advocated by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu since he took office as prime minister for the first time in 1996. The Kerry plan includes economic "temptations" that allow the PLO leadership and its president, Mahmoud Abbas to return to negotiations with Israel without preconditions, in particular cancel the settlement freeze demand and stop the Judaization systematic Jerusalem, as well as giving Abbas about his health with the consent of Israel before the creation of a Palestinian state in 1967.

In the list of economic "temptations" proposed by Kerry, a plan to develop gas fields off the coast of Gaza and allow the Palestinians to exploit potash fields north of the Dead Sea, and allow the Palestinian Authority, the creation and preparation of infrastructure in the region classified as C of the West Bank under Israeli control, with more than 68% of the West Bank. According to the Kerry plan to increase the rate of gross national income (GNI) to the Palestinian Authority by 50% over three years and reduce the unemployment rate by 60% and increase wages by 40% to same step. Knowing that Israel opposes some of the details of the provisions of sections in the plan, the government of Netanyahu opposes the Palestinians allowed to invest in Area C as is the case in the northern Dead Sea, where Israeli officials show their concern that the implementation of the economic plan to transfer parts area C to the rule of the Palestinian Authority. However, Israel has not demonstrated that the Palestinian opposition extracts the gas from the coast of Gaza, and uses the power to terminate the link in the energy field with the Israel Electric Company. He noted that Israel is opposed to the operation of the gas field, which was discovered off the coast of Gaza, about 10 years ago, fear of being tapped to fund acts of "terrorism." And deducted from leaks in the Israeli press that the U.S, in coordination with the Israelis on the map before sharing with the Palestinian side. Kerry asked the coordinator of the Quartet Tony Blair to coordinate with the Israeli government in the implementation of this plan, which has found expression in the meetings held by Blair with the Minister of Strategic Affairs of Israel Yuval Steinitz. Steinitz has already discussed with Blair the opportunity to open the Paris economic agreement signed with the government, and discusses the idea of ??a land port in the region of Janine to receive fuel through the port tube mediation Haifa, in addition to receiving the huge container carrying goods to Palestinians.

It is clear that there is a political price that the Palestinian Authority must pay, it is a return to negotiations without preconditions, but the problem lays in the fact that John Kerry, close your eyes to all the conditions laid down by Netanyahu. Netanyahu said that the achievement of a political settlement of the conflict demands that Palestinians accept two main conditions: The recognition of the Jewishness of Israel and approve the security arrangements to ensure the security of Israel. Obviously, the demand for Netanyahu to Palestinians recognize the Jewishness means not only to renounce the right of return, but the approval of any measures taken by Israel to ensure its Jewish character, whether the population level or in terms of guarantee allow Jews to continue to control the earth.

It is early to judge the success of the new movement Kerry, because the Palestinian side is the party that claims to make concessions, and this part is in front of two choices, either it accepts American conditions and subject strong criticism of the national public opinion or she refuses and is punished by stopping aid. It is clear that the American movement means removing the curtains in the foreseeable future on the possibility to put an end to the internal Palestinian division, where the idea and assisted in the Jordanian capital by the World Economic Forum movement that triggered a war of words between Fatah and Hamas.



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