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Bahrain’s workshop

May 27,2019 - Last updated at May 27,2019

While the US team, led by Jared Kushner and regional envoy Jason Greenblatt, are keeping their cards close to their chests, and keeping observers guessing about the content of the “deal of the century”, we know that it will chip away at the prospects for an independent Palestinian state on the basis of the 1967 border.

Contrary to what US officials have been saying, the economic workshop, which will be held in Bahrain in the last week of June, is part of the much-touted regional peace plan.

On the whole, Jordanians suspect that the workshop will pave the way for implementing the ill-advised “deal of the century”. Jordan has made it perfectly clear that short of reaching a two-state solution, the country’s national security would be threatened.

Not surprisingly, the Palestinians turned down this conference. They are not oblivious to the fact that US President Donald Trump’s administration has already fulfilled some aspects of the plan. Over the last year, the US recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, transferred the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and tried to defund UNRWA. By doing so, the US is no longer an impartial mediator.

Some observers argue that Jordan should attend. But for Jordan, there is a much more important issue. If it accepts to attend the workshop, the credibility of the government will go down.

Taking part in this workshop does not mean that Israel will come to terms with the logic of peace. Israel and the American team seek to gain the approval of the Arabs for Israel’s expansion at the expense of the Palestinians.

Personally, I do believe that it is not in the best interest of Jordan to attend Bahrain’s workshop. Without an Israeli commitment to the establishment of a Palestinian state and a US guarantee that Israel will uphold this commitment, the workshop is a tactic to outfox the Arabs and to have them concede to Israel.

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