Barghouthi: Bahrain summit "only a camouflage to justify the political liquidation of Palestine"

Regarding the Manama summit, we reject it. First of all, because it is part of the “deal of the century”, which is all about liquidating Palestinian rights. 

We‘re not judging it with our imagination, we are judging it by what was officially stated by the team; Mr Greenblatt, [Jared] Kushner and [US Ambassador to Israel] David Friedman. 

They have clearly spoken about letting Israel annex big parts of the West Bank and allowing settlements to continue. They said very clearly that Palestinians have no right for statehood. 

And most importantly – we have to regard them by their actions. 

Their actions of accepting the annexation of East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights which is a violation of international law. For everything this US Team has done, and everything they‘ve declared, we can see they are trying to kill the two-state solution and the right of Palestinians to have a state of their own, and they are advocating for sustaining occupation and the apartheid. 

That is why we are against it.

But there is another reason. The whole game of claiming there will be economic development is a false one. We analysed the figures that Mr Kushner himself published and gave to Reuters and we found that when people hear the word 50 billion, they think it‘s a lot of money, but actually, it‘s over 10 years – 5 billion a year – which is not enough.

Half of the 50 billion is supposed to be loans, with interest. This means drowning us with more loans. That does not help. Second, 11 billion of it is supposed to come from the private sector. This will not happen because the private sector wants to make a profit. They don‘t work for charity. So, they cannot make a profit unless the occupation ends. 

Then what remains is 15 billion, which will be cut in two pieces; 44% of it will go to Arab countries to liquidate Palestinian refugees rights by settling them in Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon. 

And where does that money come? Obviously, I think, they are planning to take the money away from UNRWA; the money that goes to help refugees will then be used to kill the issue of refugees. 

What remains is 800 million dollars a year for the Palestinian Authority. This is what they get now. They will take it away and put it under the control of the American team, and then condition it with Palestinians accepting to give up their rights and their right for statehood. 

So, there is no economic development. There is no economic prosperity. From these figures, we can say that what Kushner is proposing is deceit. And his points clarify that there is deceit. 

There is no economic development – it‘s only a camouflage to justify the political liquidation of Palestine.

It’s strange the Americans are calling for a meeting in an Arab country. And it’s a strange thing that all these people are discussing the issue of Palestinians without Palestinians. And we do not accept that. And in my opinion, this whole workshop is still-born. It was born dead, and it will get nowhere because of these factors. 

Only by ending the occupation, ending the system of apartheid and allowing Palestinians to have statehood can we achieve peace.


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