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Treating the ‘Peace to Prosperity Plan’ as a Negotiation Template for a Larger Palestinian-Israeli Settlement

White House Senior Advisor Jared Kushner speaks during the dedication ceremony of the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, May 14, 2018. PHOTO: Reuters/Ronen Zvulun

Trump’s appointment of Jared Kushner’s basketball pick-up game minion Avrahm “Avi” Berkowitz as head of the U.S. Middle East Peace Envoy sends a veiled message — especially given that Kushner’s 30-year-old Mini Me sidekick has no foreign policy experience.

Jared Kushner and his Mini Me, Avi Berkowitz. PHOTO: Vanity Fair

A 2017 Business Insider profile of Mr. Berkowitz quoted former White House spokeswoman Hope Hicks as saying his main duties in relation to the Oval Office of the White House were “daily logistics, like getting coffee and coordinating meetings.”

A former employer said on Twitter Mr. Berkowitz was “not very impressive and needed significant hand-holding to handle even simple assignments. But Mideast peace? I’m sure he’s got this!”

Another Arab states expert described Avi as “a glorified intern.”

It was Avi that urged Trump to relocate the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, according to Mini Me’s Wiki page.

‘The Peace to Prosperity Plan’

What follows is an exercise and discussion of how peace and prosperity could be achieved and should be done — but neither is likely to ever materialize given that Israel operates in bad faith.

Berkowitz inherited the role of senior White House Middle East peace adviser from Jason Greenblatt, who was also formerly Trump’s real estate lawyer.

Image result for west bank for sale sign

A version of what’s called “The Peace to Prosperity Plan” was introduced in Bahrain by Kushner at a pow wow of business mucky mucks a few months ago. An update is anticipated after the elections in Israel on Tuesday, Sept. 17. The concept can be reviewed here in this White House document.

On Sept. 9, Netanyahu declared he would seek sovereignty to the Jordan Valley, Northern Dead Sea, Judea and Sumeria.

“The Peace to Prosperity Plan” is basically straight out of Washington Consensus and looks to be designed by real estate developers and banksters.

Still, its details might be worth a look, as it could provide an opening by offering to settle Palestinians grievances. It’s far from the “deal of the century,” however.

The key theme is “increasing the foreign direct investment share of Palestinian GDP from 1.4 percent to 8 percent.”

The plan states: “A thriving domestic business sector in the West Bank and Gaza will require access to credit,” and “this program will support loans to small businesses in the West Bank and Gaza.”

This is effectively the Parasite Guild economic model being pushed on the Palestinians.

However, to its favor the plan not only ends the blockade but promotes liberal transit terms. Palestine’s GDP shrunk 35% due to Israel’s punitive blockades.

The plan proposes equipping transit points with the latest “border crossing technology” (aka security).

“Ultimately, this project has the potential to unlock unprecedented levels of trade, grow exports, and increase foreign direct investment in the West Bank and Gaza and its neighbors — particularly Egypt, Israel and Jordan,” the plan states.

This project will support the construction of roads across the West Bank and Gaza. Additional investment will finance the development of a transportation corridor directly connecting the West Bank and Gaza through a major road and, potentially, a modern rail line.

Crossing Wadi Gaza (Gaza valley) in November 2012, destroyed by you know who. PHOTO: Ignaza.wordpress.com
IMAGE: DailyMotion.com

A second element is “enable Palestinian high-speed data services” involving 5G. The technology is something Israelis themselves have shied away from for health and well being reasons. Therefore, this seems like a loaded proposition to push on Palestinians.

The plan does, quite frankly, recognizes a given, stating, “The shortage of affordable electricity has had profound effects on the well-being of the Palestinian people, particularly in Gaza. In the near term, this project will focus on bringing the Gaza electricity crisis to a swift end — ensuring that Palestinians in Gaza receive at least 16 hours of electricity per day within a year of project implementation. This objective will be accomplished through investments in grid upgrades, the Gaza Power Plant (GPP), and new renewable energy facilities.”

In June 2014, an Israeli bombing raid on Gaza destroyed the region’s only power plant and killed more than 125 Palestinians. PHOTO: NPR/Hatem Moussa/AP

This GPP is fundamental and the tell to the whole ambitious scheme. If I was negotiating with Mini Me, I would ask about the nature of the said “financing.”

In the great electricity-generating projects of the 20th century, such as the quasi-public TVA system, federal appropriations funded all TVA operations. Appropriations for its power program ended in 1959, when Congress authorized TVA to issue bonds.

If Israel agreed to pony up in full for this construction as a means of making the Palestinians whole for stealing their lands since 1948, that would be a good gesture. But in my open search, I found only one mention about a $90-million grant.

Grants are typically non-repayable, but this amount is insufficient for a $590-million project. Therefore, one must fear “financing” is borrowing — from what undoubtedly are Jewish banking interests that will drive a hard bargain.

And why such an ambitious project? For what? What about just taking care of the basics? Start with paying for the power plant the Israelis destroyed in 2014.

The plan leads off with “billions of dollars of investment in the electricity, water and telecommunications sectors,” increasing generation capacity while creating efficient transmission and distribution networks. But this is over 10 years and mostly with debt financing — a non-starter. In other words, a leveraged giant real estate construction project run by — let me guess — friends of Kushner, Trump and Mini-Me.

Gaza water
‘Gaza’s water resources are fully controlled by Israel and the division of groundwater is something that was provided for in the Oslo II Accord,’ Mint Press News reported in February 2018. ‘However, despite the fact that under the Accord Israel is allocated four times the Palestinian portion of water resources, it has been revealed that Israel has been extracting 80 percent more water from the West Bank than it agreed to.’ PHOTO: Mint Press News
Simulation of Ramat Gan (Trump Tower), which would have become ‘the tallest building in the Middle East.’ The luxury hotel and golf course are only some of the Israeli projects that were supposed to bear Trump’s name. The plans were set aside in 2016, but the Trumps are not giving up. ‘We are very interested in Israel,’ Ivanka told Ynet news. The Trumps are promising to keep pursuing real estate deals in the Jewish state. PHOTO/REPORTING: Ynet.com

The “Prosperity Plan” then promotes “tourism.” It’s obvious someone has their eyes cast on a nice coastline. Another Ipanema – Rio de Janerio perhaps? This would be a large-scale gentrification program, and that’s not even thinly veiled.

The plan states: “In addition, over 40 kilometers of coastline in Gaza along the Mediterranean Sea could develop into a modern metropolitan city overlooking the beach, drawing from examples like Beirut, Hong Kong, Lisbon, Rio de Janeiro, Singapore and Tel Aviv.

“To unlock the benefits of increased tourism in the West Bank and Gaza, this project will support investment in hotels, food and beverage establishments, and other tourism-related industries. Additional funding will be used to improve hospitality training and to renovate and upgrade tourist sites. Finally, this project will also finance a major international marketing campaign to highlight tourism attractions in the West Bank and Gaza to audiences around the world.”

Once again, it’s about the basics, not a new Ipanema.

Since real estate development is involved, we see a higher grant of “up to $200 million.”

My surmise is that this is designed to foster real estate speculation by “non-Gazans” and Gazan stooges.

And who and what are these non-existent “Palestinian banks” all about? Mini-Me would have to clear all that up.

Then they add a huge concession for “regional tourism.” This is a suspicious overshoot, and the key term is “regional.”

We will accept the $500-million grant, Mini Me, but keep the financing, clarify who administers the “regional” aspect and define what “regional” even means.

Next is agriculture. This project will support farmers who seek to secure financing from local banks and work with financial technology (FinTech) innovators. With increased access to capital, farmers will have the opportunity to purchase new seeds and fertilizers (GMO?) while developing greenhouses, irrigation systems and other infrastructure. Other funding will help to rehabilitate arable land and build a new educational center to enhance agricultural education and training.

Palestinian farmer Mahmoud Abu Shinar stands next to destroyed olive trees, near the West Bank village of Turmus Aya, north of Ramallah, on Oct. 22, 2018. ‘Extremist settlers’ are prime culprits in rampant vandalism throughout West Bank, with some 7,000 trees said cut down since start of 2018, The Times of Israel reports. PHOTO: The Times of Israel/Abbas Momani/AFP

There is a section for developing human capital. It all sounds good except for the unanswered question of who governs the education (brainwashing) system. Is this a repeat of the cultural Marxism and globalization seen in the West? What are the strings attached? How much capture?

A damaged classroom in the Jabalya girls school in Gaza. Israel’s 2014 bombings of Palestinian schools where were sheltering were determined to be a war crime, but no one was ever prosecuted. PHOTO: Anne Paq/Human Rights Watch

This mentions “a particular focus on STEM fields.” Okay, that’s good. Still, the plan is in the form of a grant of “up to” $500 million.” So, finally, we are at least talking.

There is another nice grant of $300 million for healthcare; but again, what’s with all the leverage? There’s no way that debt financing will come cheap to Palestinians or be serviceable.

The following is the right idea: Straight-up grants.

There’s a grant of $30 million to help Palestinian property owners quickly register their land assets in a single database.

There’s also a $200-million grant only for urban renovation used for the development of sidewalks, libraries, parks and other public spaces in cities and towns.

Smoke rises following Israeli air strikes on Gaza City, Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018. PHOTO: Haitham Imad/EPA/Rex

They will also support the renovation of public buildings and other revitalization projects that beautify and improve urban areas across the West Bank and Gaza. This is the right idea and should be the reparation model, but the grants must be much much higher given Zionist appetites.

There’s $300 million for e-Governance. Modeled after similar systems implemented in countries like Estonia, this portal will empower government ministries and everyday Palestinian citizens to share information and communicate in real time.

A Warning to Palestine About Predatory Finance and Loan Shark Colonialism

The Chinese have shown how this predatory foreclosure model works. The debt is piled on some weak link in the network, which is collateralized by the rest.

An example of how this model works may be gleaned from Winter Watch’s article “Neo-Parasite Guildists in Operation: Chinese Banksters in Africa and Asia“:

The government of Kenya is on the brink of losing its strategic Mombasa port to Chinese Parasite Guild usurers. Classic bankster-style loans using the port as collateral were utilized for the development of the rather speculative Standard Gauge Railway (SGR). Also on line for privatizing through collateral seizure is the Inland Container Depot in Nairobi, which receives and dispatches freight hauled on the new cargo trains from the seaport.

The guild takeover would force thousands of port employees and management to work under the Chinese lenders. The Chinese are notorious for putting workers back on the plantation and bringing in Chinese managers. This will be a set back for any budding middle class in Kenya.

Management changes would immediately follow the port seizure since the Chinese would naturally want to secure their interests. Furthermore, revenues from the port would be directly sent to China for the servicing of an estimated Sh500 billion ($5 billion US) lent for the construction of the two sections of the SGR.

In September 2018, Chinese banking interests seized Zambia’s Kenneth Kaunda International Airport over debt repayment. Once again, the trick was to collateralize the profitable airport to finance a money-losing rail line (SGR), which reported a Sh10 billion ($100 million USD) loss in its first year of operation.

Next up for Chinese collateral scarfing in Zambia is ZESCO, the national electric company.

The Zambia state-owned TV and radio news channel ZNBC is already Chinese-owned. The long-term outcome will be the biggest loss of national sovereignty since independence.

In a wash, rinse, repeat of Argentina and Latin America economic hitman model, the government has all but expelled an IMF official, accusing him of fostering “negative talk” and destabilizing market conditions. Zambia allocated $500 million USD to external debt service in 2018.

Winter Watch Takeaway

If I were advising the Palestinians, I would caution them about conquest by loan-shark colonialism, which is what debt financings can represent. Keep such finance at a low level.

What Kushner has offered are reparations on the cheap for the stealing of Palestinian properties and lands under the Zionist regime.

I counted only about $3.5 billion in non-repayable grants offered, and not all were necessarily best served for actual Palestinian interests.

So at first blush, the plan looks like a cheap, tawdry propaganda ploy. But then something quite interesting has developed from Israel’s proxy Saudi Arabia.

According to information obtained by Al-Akhbar, Saudi King Salman briefed Abbas about the details of the deal of the century and asked him to accept it.

The Saudi crown prince, according to the newspaper, asked Abbas, “How much money does the Palestinian Authority and its ministers and employees need?”

Abbas replied that the Palestinians need $1 billion each year, so Salman upped the ante.

I will give you $10 billion over 10 years, if you accept the deal of the century,” Salman was quoted as telling Abbas.

This may be an indication that although no fair deal of the century is yet in play, settlements of hard cash are on the table to be paid by Israel and their proxies.

It will be significant if Trump has the U.S. pony up as well.

This writer holds the Jewish billionaire class (organized Jewry) in very low regard. But this would change if that group manned up with real and significant settlement cash to resolve this issue. We wait with baited breath.

Per Forbes, Jews constitute about 35% of U.S. billionaires.

A proper reparation or buy out would probably be in the hundreds of billions. But what’s left of Palestine is not going to make that whole, nor will they get their lost lands back. And Israel is not going away.

Enter the Temple. Who knows how much the Israelis will pay for that building alone to be moved to Mecca. King Salman has proposed that as well. Get ready to write out a big check. Ultimately, Israeli religious fanatics and nutwings will bully and try to destroy the mosque and steal the site anyway.

Realpolitik points to getting something substantial for it while the getting is good. At the same time, the Palestinians would trade the No. 3 Muslim holy site for the Judiac’s No. 1 site. That’s worth considerable Jewish good will in terms of other deals and payments and should be put on the table early for the right price. I suspect most of the Jewish billionaires on the planet would pony up for this.

Representatives of Israel’s governing parties now reject a sovereign Palestinian state and argue increasingly vehemently for annexation of Area C of the West Bank (about 60 percent by area), or even the entire West Bank. If so, that has to be bargained for acre by acre and is worth tens of billions in direct reparations. Pull up a highchair to the table, Mini Me.

Image result for child with lots of money

There’s little land left for the Palestinian diaspora and packing more into the blockaded Gaza ghetto is not an option.

Abdullah Muhammad Ibrahim Abdullah, the Palestinian ambassador to Lebanon and the chairman of the Palestinian Legislative Council’s Political and Parliamentary Affairs committees, said the proposed future Palestinian state would not be issuing Palestinian passports to UNRWA Palestine refugees — even to refugees living in the West Bank and Gaza.

If this were simply a opening round to a larger settlement, then the Palestinians should start probing. Grin and bear it and play along. Be the adults in the room, and then get the Israelis to man up as much as possible. Up the ante to tens of billions in grants. This doesn’t have to called “reparations” if grants helps the Israelis save face.

Forget about loan-shark colonialism. Make them show you the money!

I would start point by point with a real shopping list. For instance, I would request that Israel pony up hard cash for the Gaza electric plant. They could build it and use their sources, but local Palestinian labor would be employed.

The “new Ipanema” gentrification project should be rejected.

Reject the “concessional financing” and ask for more in grants to do as Gaza reasonably sees fit.

A Deal with the Palestinian Diaspora

In January 2015, UNRWA reported 1.6 million refugees registered in Palestinian camps. As a result of the Syrian Civil War starting in 2011, 235,000 Palestinians have been displaced in Syria.

An independent poll conducted in 2003 with the Palestinian populations of Gaza, West Bank, Jordan and Lebanon showed that the majority (54%) would accept a financial compensation and a place to live in West Bank or Gaza in place of returning to the exact place in modern-day Israel where they or their ancestors lived (this possibility of settlement is contemplated in the Resolution 194).

Realistically, this percentage is higher today. These people are ready to move on after compensation. Only 10% said they would live in Israel if given the option.

In practice, Israel does not grant citizenship to the refugees, only to Arabs who continue to reside in its borders.

However, with more Palestinian lands subsequently occupied by Israelis, an aspect of the reparation settlement and buy out must be to grant citizenship in nearby Arab countries and a substantial cash consideration to all Palestinians who want to voluntarily leave or stay.

Most of the 2 million Palestinians living in Jordan have full citizenship, so this would be about a payment. Lebanon has been slow to grant citizenship, feeling they will be overwhelmed. Therefore, other citizenship options should be offered.

An estimated 240,000 Palestinians are living in Saudi Arabia. They are not allowed to hold or even apply for Saudi citizenship because of Arab League instructions barring the Arab states from granting them citizenship.

Tashbih Sayyed, a fellow of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, criticized Arab nations of violating human rights and making the children and grandchildren of Palestinian refugees second-class citizens in Lebanon, Syria and the Gulf States. This will have to change to even get to Step 1.

Syria was an outlet up until the war, when Palestinians left. To make this reasonably work and achieve their territorial objective, it would be in Israel’s interest to wind down the war in Syria.

3 Comments on Treating the ‘Peace to Prosperity Plan’ as a Negotiation Template for a Larger Palestinian-Israeli Settlement

  1. Aren’t these foreign names enough warning to keep them out of U.S. business, affairs, and especially political office.

  2. It seems by reading your take it is a horrible surrender deal. They offer a glimmer of hope but snuff it out at first chance. The sharks are in the water and want to finish what the IDF didn’t

    • It might be salvageable but will require all parties to get out of their bad faith tiny boxes and think on a grander scale. This wouldn’t be the first time a country paid hard cash for territory and real estate. Much of the US was built on that principal.

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