A week before a U.S.-led “economic workshop” in Bahrain where the economic section of Washington’s so-called “Deal of the Century” will be unveiled, the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah continues to call upon the international community to boycott the American initiative. The two-day summit is scheduled for June 25-26, and with both official state representatives and global business leaders in attendance to discuss U.S. President Donald Trump’s financial vision for the region in general, and the Palestinians in particular. According to President Trump’s Special Representative for International Negotiations, Jason Greenblatt, “the workshop is a pivotal opportunity to convene government, civil society and business leaders to share ideas, discuss strategies and galvanize support for potential economic investments and initiatives that could be made possible by a peace agreement.” In an Op-Ed published by CNN, Greenblatt asserted that the conference “will facilitate discussions on an ambitious, achievable vision and framework for a prosperous future for Palestinians,” while further insisting that “the results of those discussions could lead to significant investment in the talented Palestinian and regional population.” Despite repeated efforts by the Trump Administration to convince the Palestinian leadership of the pivotal opportunities it’s proposal presents to their people, Ramallah has called for mass, worldwide demonstrations against the American plan, including a “general strike” on the days of the Bahrain summit.
While the Palestinians vehemently reject any U.S. mediation to resolve their decades-old conflict with Israel, Jerusalem has confirmed its participation at the Manama conference. According to Israeli Acting Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz, “all necessary coordination will be carried out” – taking into account the fact that the two states lack formal diplomatic relations. Despite the statement by Minister Katz, a senior Israeli source revealed that Israel is not expected to send official representatives to Bahrain, but rather “a delegation consisting only of (private) businesspeople.”