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Jack Moore
After two weird days as one of the few journalists inside the Four Seasons in Bahrain, I was left speechless by the Davos-esque Conflab on Palestinian Prosperousness, or “economic workshop,” hosted by Jared Kushner & co. Where do I begin? A thread.
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Jack Moore 27 Jun 19
Replying to @JFXM
1/ The tone was set before the event. Someone close to Jared sent me a strongly-worded email about this article, because I led with Pal reaction. A 1-on-1 was dependent on a fair hearing, I was told, ie ‘less Pal views please’. I work for an Arab paper.
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Jack Moore 27 Jun 19
Replying to @JFXM
11/ The panels were half-empty when a big speaker wasn’t on, when this was meant to be devoted to talking about helping the Palestinian people. And many of those in attendance here hadn’t even read the 140-page document. It was released just three days before the conflab started.
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Jack Moore 27 Jun 19
Replying to @JFXM
27/ The only people giddy with optimism here were Kushner, Greenblatt and Hook (who told me he likes the design of ‘The Nation’), businessmen who stood to gain, rabbis on a normalisation mission & Israeli journalists as it was their first time being allowed into the country.
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Jack Moore 27 Jun 19
Replying to @JFXM
2/ In the lobby, I bumped into Richard Attias, the PR mogul named in the Panama Papers who tried to sue me 6 years ago over a story about his summits in West Africa. So that was a good start. He swanned around introducing VIP guests to each other as the organiser of the event.
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Jack Moore 27 Jun 19
Replying to @MehulAtLarge
3/ His thing is bringing together the rich and the powerful for these conflabs of prosperousness. He sat for a long time with FIFA President Gianni Infantino. Here’s my face when I realised he was stood two feet behind me. Thanks for the snapshot.
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Jack Moore 27 Jun 19
Replying to @JFXM
4/ There was an odd mix of people, many with no link to the conflict: billionaires, real estate developers, a 15-yo who had 40k Instagram followers & a banker who was confused as to why he was even there. Greenblatt's team couldn't say how guestlist was chosen (answer is Attias).
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Jack Moore 27 Jun 19
Replying to @JFXM
5/ One guy tried to pitch to me his vertical farming business. My obvious reaction was “Great! Please continue! I will write about this instead of Palestinian prosperity & the conflab that awaits!” This was a running theme. This was a networking opp. & not about the Palestinians.
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Jack Moore 27 Jun 19
Replying to @JFXM
6/ As the “conflab of prosperousness” as it shall now be known began, it instantly got weirder when Kushner opened with a speech that promised no politics, and then blamed the Palestinian leadership for all of the Palestinian people’s ills, which…err…made it political.
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Jack Moore 27 Jun 19
Replying to @JFXM
7/ The PA is many things, and has many problems, corruption being one of them. But economists are pretty much in agreement that the Israeli occupation is the number one hindrance to Palestinian development on their path to “prosperity,” Jared’s favourite word.
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Jack Moore 27 Jun 19
Replying to @JFXM
8/ He then spoke of imagining Gaza as a tourist hub, the West Bank flourishing, & goods and people moving freely. Oh to dream! Book me a flight to Gaza now! What are the visa requirements? Yet there was still no mention of the Israeli occupation, the settlements or the blockade.
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