Sunday, June 30, 2019

Journalistic Amnesia? The Bahrain Conference and the Big Omission - by Sean Durns

...some Arab officials who decided to attend the Bahrain Conference did what the Palestinian leadership has been unable to. As Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa told Israeli journalist Barak Ravid: “Israel is a country in the Middle East. Israel is part of this heritage of this whole region historically. So the Jewish people have a place amongst us.” Al Khalifa was acknowledging the past while looking towards the future. The pundits writing about future Israeli-Palestinian peace endeavors should do the same.

Sean Durns..
28 June '19..

Reporters writing about the latest Israeli-Palestinian peace initiative seem to have amnesia. Curiously, the press and pundits pontificating about the Bahrain Conference have largely omitted the history of earlier failed proposals. Perhaps this is because those failures raise uncomfortable truths.

On June 25, the Trump administration presented part of its plan for an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement. The long-awaited proposal, formally unveiled at a conference in Bahrain, envisions $50 billion in regional investment projects over a period of ten years.

Entitled “From Peace to Prosperity,” the plan seeks to encourage Palestinian economic growth by opening up the West Bank (Judea and Samaria), which is ruled by the Palestinian Authority (PA) — and the Gaza Strip, which is controlled by Fatah rival Hamas — to development. The proposal emphasizes regional integration, private sector growth, and improvements to healthcare, infrastructure, and education as means of improving the quality of life for Palestinians.

Both Fatah, the movement that controls the PA, and the terror group Hamas have rejected the plan. In fact, both groups opposed the plan long before its details were announced, as the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) highlighted previously.

PA officials boycotted the Bahrain Conference, although some Palestinian businessmen and officials from several Arab countries did participate. Many in the press, however, chose to focus on the boycotters, while minimizing the participants.

The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Foreign Policy Magazine, and others reported on the PA’s refusal to participate, but failed to note that it was in keeping with a long history of Palestinians rejecting opportunities for peace.

(Continue to Full Column)

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