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Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
Strategic Alliances for a Secure, Connected, and Prosperous Region

Why Is the Palestinian Authority Opposed to the Upcoming Economic Conference in Bahrain?

Filed under: Palestinians

Why Is the Palestinian Authority Opposed to the Upcoming Economic Conference in Bahrain?
Bahrain skyline (Eduard Marmet/Flickr)

The Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Labor is currently busy slandering Israel to international labor organizations by accusing it of robbing the rights of Palestinians working within Israel proper. This is outrageous, because they should be thanking Israel for taking security risks by employing citizens of the Palestinian Authority, for whom the failing Palestinian Authority is unable or does not want to. Furthermore, this reveals why the Palestinian Authority is so opposed to the upcoming economic conference to be held in Manama, capital of Bahrain, at the end of June.

The framework of the United Nations organization includes most of the international organizations that have an automatic majority against Israel. By strengthening this context, the PLO gains a compelling solution that could obligate Israel to accept positions that it cannot normally agree upon, such as on the 1967 borders or the refugee question.

U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman’s recent remarks on Israeli claims in Judea and Samaria only intensified Palestinian concerns regarding the loss of a primary lever for putting pressure on Israel, specifically, the United Nations and the international organizations connected with it.

The conference in Manama is a regional framework that is outside the parameters of the United Nations. Therefore, Palestinian participation in it would be tantamount to an admission that the PLO’s United Nations strategy has failed.

Furthermore, the Manama conference is focusing on the Arab and Palestinian private sector. The private sector is perceived as having interests that are contrary to the “national interest” of the “Palestinian struggle.” The private sector wants stability. The “struggle” seeks instability.

The PLO has launched a series of “emergency meetings” on the issue. Palestinian diplomats are trying to rally the support of the countries in the United Nations, in the “third world,” China, and Russia, and they are also seriously considering issuing a denunciation of the Arab countries supporting Trump. However, they are very wary of displaying open discord with these Arab countries.

Another option to be discussed by the Palestinian Authority is a return to the Arab “masses” exerting pressure on their leadership.

The Bahrain assembly needs to inform the “Palestinian leadership” that the “Arab masses” have other troubles, and they are no longer interested in the Palestinians.