Jared Kushner launches Bahrain workshop on economic plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Jared Kushner, the key architect of the Israeli-Palestinian peace plan, launched a conference in Bahrain to advance the economic portion of his plan.

“The Peace to Prosperity vision is a modern framework for a brighter and more prosperous future,” Kushner said Tuesday in the capital city of Manama.

A number of regional and international billionaires are attending the conference, and reportedly so are about a dozen Palestinian businessmen. Palestinian business umbrella groups are boycotting the event.

Kushner, a leading adviser to President Donald Trump as well as his son-in-law, said his economic program did not preclude a political program for peace, which his team, charged by Trump with coming up with a Middle East peace deal, plans to unveil at a future date.

“To be clear, economic growth and prosperity for the Palestinian people are not possible without an enduring and fair political solution to the conflict, one that guarantees Israel’s security and respects the dignity of the Palestinian people,” he said. “However, today is not about the political issues.”

The Palestinian Authority is boycotting the conference, in part because of signals from Kushner’s team that the as-yet unseen political component of the plan does not have Palestinian statehood as a bottom-line outcome.

Kushner’s plan envisions $50 billion in investment to transform the Palestinian economy and build democratic infrastructures, including making the Palestinian judiciary more independent and expanding Palestinian higher education.

The Trump administration did not invite Israeli officials, though Israeli businessmen are on hand, according to reports.