If the Palestinians themselves refuse to take part in the “Peace to Prosperity” workshop (first step of the so-called deal of the century) which is to be held in Manama in June, what does the Bahraini government still have to say to justify hosting the conference?
After the White House announced on Sunday (May 19, 2019) that Bahrain will host the workshop, the Minister of Industry Zayed Al-Zayani announced that “the workshop will discuss the economic and investment aspects in favor of Palestinians’ interest”.
However, Palestinians expressed their refusal of the plan and rejected the workshop. Social Development Minister Ahmed Majdalani announced that “there will be no Palestinian participation in the Manama workshop”.
“Any Palestinian who would take part would be nothing but a collaborator with the Americans and Israel,” he stressed.
Palestinian businessman Bashar Al-Masri, who received an invitation to participate in the workshop, announced his rejection of the invitation. “I will not take part in any event outside the national Palestinian consensus… We, Palestinians, are able to advance our economy far from any external interventions,” he said.
He went on to say that “the idea of economic peace is an outdated notion that is now being put forward differently, and as our people previously rejected it, we reject it now.”
A senior Israeli official said that the US administration sent an official invitation to Israel to participate in the workshop that will he be held in Manama next month and said that “Israel is expected to respond positively and participate in the workshop”.
As it seems, this workshop will bring peace and prosperity to Israel not Palestine. Israel will attend the workshop, while Palestine decided to boycott and considered participating in it complicity against the rights of the Palestinians. Therefore, Al-Zayani is not the one to decide what is in the interest of the Palestinians and what is not.
Although Al-Zayani and officials above him are aware of the Palestinians stance, they insist on holding the workshop, since it is a step in the normalization race witnessed in the country and a new Bahraini step towards painting cooperation with the Israeli occupation state as a de facto situation.
“Bahrain is crossing red lines by hosting the conference, but it is not surprising,” said Rai Al-Youm Editor-in-Chief Abdulbari Atwan.
Atwan explains “We are not surprised that Bahrain welcomes hosting this workshop, which will go into history as what will completely liquidate the Palestinian cause, Judaize holy sites, remove the name of Palestine from maps, and turn the Palestinian people into servants for Israelis with no national identity. We say that we are not surprised because Bahrain has become the incubator of Israeli and American schemes for all the normalization and hostile plots against the central Arab cause.”
But there is something important which Atwan is well aware of that there is a difference between the Bahraini government and people. The Bahraini decision is exclusively taken by the ruling family, which seeks by any means possible to secure its monopoly of power, even if it means allying with Israel against the Palestinian people.