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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 Jun 27
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 Jun 27
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 Jun 27
Replying to @JFXM
21/ Mnuchin also said Gaza could become like “a hot IPO”. Yeh, totally man, Palestinian prosperity is so in right now. Gazans struggle to even feed themselves and officials here were talking about it like it’s the New York Stock Exchange. You really couldn’t make it up.
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Jack Moore Jun 27
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 Jun 27
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 Jun 27
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 Jun 27
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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Jack Moore Jun 27
Replying to @JFXM
12/ There was a normalisation effort happening, too. A rabbi was unashamed to say why he & others from the US/Israel were there. “We’re here to break the stereotypes & to normalise contacts”. Trump’s team allowed Israeli journos into Jared’s speech, but no Pal journalists were.
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Jack Moore Jun 27
Replying to @JFXM
13/ The big names included Tony Blair, deeply unpopular with Palestinians, & Infantino, President of Fifa, which protects Israel’s settlement teams against its own rulebook. At least Blair mentioned two-state solution, but I don’t even want to know how much he was paid to attend.
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Jack Moore Jun 27
Replying to @JFXM
14/ Infantino and a FILMMAKER talked about how football could make people like Arabs more and how film could show Arabs in a better light. It was truly surreal to watch what was essentially one random TED talk after another. It had nothing to do with helping the Palestinians.
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