Mahmoud Abbas turned down the $50 billion plan to rebuild Palestinian Arab economy

by Phil Schneider

President Trump’s “offer you can’t refuse” will be refused. This is not a surprise to anyone in the Middle East. As Abba Eban famously said, “The Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.” Will the present Arab leadership in the State of Israel wise up finally? It seems like the odds of that happening are very slim.

However, that does not mean that it is very important for President Trump to promote his plan. It is not only the present leadership of the Arabs that is important. There is a future leadership that is younger, more modern, more connected to the outside world, and probably more willing to bend on certain matters – when 50 billion dollars are being thrown into the mix. There is a good chance that this plan will lay the groundwork for a future plan that will accomplish much to solve the seemingly intractable problem of Arab-Israeli strife. Solving the problem does not only mean reaching a solid peace accord. Even a cold peace – like the one Israel has with Egypt – would be a major accomplishment. After all, it’s been more than 45 years since Egypt attacked Israel. Before that, there had not been more than 11 years straight that Egypt had not attacked Israel in the prior 4 decades.

So, it’s not all or nothing in the Middle East. It’s about making progress that will lead to a general calming of the warlike tendencies of some in the population.

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