Trump's 'Economic Workshop' in Bahrain Is a Bigger Deal Than You Think


Much has been made of the Trump administration's upcoming "economic workshop" on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, to be held in Bahrain, as a likely failure.

But according to Times of Israel analyst Raphael Ahren, the workshop has already shown signs of significance. Indeed, he says, "the mere fact that the peace proposal’s rollout will take place in an Arab capital is nothing less than a sensation."

"That an Arab country, which has no formal ties with Israel and continues to pledge allegiance to the Palestinian cause, has agreed to put its name to the first part of the administration’s two-part peace plan is astonishing," he writes.

He especially notes the likely participation of Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon. Israelis have made official visits to Arab countries before, but "while those ministerial visits were trailblazing, it bears noting that they took place in the context of events hosted by international organizations that may have punished Abu Dhabi and Muscat had they excluded representatives of member states."

"Kahlon’s expected participation in the Manama workshop would be of an entirely different nature," says Ahren. "He would be welcomed in an Arab country not because its government would face sanctions otherwise, but with the explicit purpose of discussing the Trump administration’s peace efforts."

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