Until now, the economic workshop on the deal of the century in Bahrain is still expected to be held on June 25 and 26.
This economic workshop was called for by the American team tasked with following up on the settlement process in the region. It is also a continuation of the American efforts to pass the deal of the century after the US recognised the occupation’s sovereignty over Jerusalem and the entire Syrian Arab Golan Heights and the US administration stopped paying its dues to the UNRWA.
The American purpose of the economic workshop in Bahrain is to try to provide commercial, financial and developmental incentives to the Palestinian community to convince the Palestinians of the advantages of the deal and to bribe regional countries and convince them of the benefits of joining and supporting the agreement.
The emergence of strong Palestinian opposition to the deal came along with opposition from Jordan, which has become convinced of the magnitude of the political damage inflicted on it. In addition to this, the PA is feeling a sense of significant loss because the deal of the century shattered all dreams of the Oslo Accords team of a potential Palestinian state. The deal also legitimised settlements, removed Jerusalem from the negotiations, and threatens to annex the West Bank to the occupation.
Thus, the economic workshop in Bahrain is a workshop that continues the Madrid and Oslo series, as well as the other agreements that abolished the rights of the Palestinians, gave all sources of power to the occupation. They even eliminated the most critical issues and constants of the Palestinian cause.
The Bahrain workshop will consist of American-Israeli economic and security restrictions imposed on the Palestinians, restricting their options and linking them to the occupation and Western aid.
This is a clear goal that aims to transform the Palestinians into a functional and consumer society dependent on grants and aid. This would cost it its political status, limit its quest to get rid of the occupation, increase the functional burden and increase government salaries.
We reject the Bahrain economic workshop because it wants to turn the Palestinian people into a nation begging for aid and wants to prove that the Palestinian issue is a financial problem, not a political one, as Netanyahu is trying to promote.
We also reject the Bahrain workshop because it aims to legitimise the normalisation processes between the Arab countries and the Zionist occupation, especially since there is an Arab rush to establish normalised relations with the occupation. These countries do not mind normalisation being achieved under the pretext of the Palestinian cause, Jerusalem, and peace in the region.
We reject the Bahrain economic workshop because it ignores the rights of the Palestinian people, especially its right to liberation, freedom, independence and self-determination. It ignores the issue of the Palestinian refugees and their right to return and ignores the effect of ending the siege on our people in Gaza and providing them with what their basic needs.
Recent history reminds us of the economic and developmental efforts that were made after the 1993 Oslo Accords when donor countries pumped billions to subdue the Palestinians and convince them of the feasibility of peace. We do not forget the promises to turn the Gaza Strip into the Singapore of the east, as well as Peres’s project for the new Middle East.
All of these projects were used to strengthen and reinforce the occupation’s control and to turn the PA into a security instrument to abort the Palestinians’ right to liberation. They were also used to deal a blow to the resistance, besiege it, and try to tear it down and force it to surrender. However, the will of our people and resistance is stronger than this.
Today, we warn against the dangers of the economic workshop in Bahrain and call for altogether rejecting it. We also call for raising our political, national, and media voice to confront it. We also reiterate the need to continue to resist and protect our rights regarding the refugee issue.
This article first appeared in Arabic in the Palestinian Information Centre on 12 June 2019
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.