Professional investor and policy analyst Daniel J. Arbess is a financial expert focusing on macroeconomic, geopolitical and major industrial developments. He seems to be quite successful at that.
But last week he delved into a field that does not seem to be his forte. He wrote an article for the Wall Street Journal that presumes to give advice to young Palestinians. What’s Arbess’ advice? In his words, “Breaking free from their elders’ calcified thinking,” to “find the courage to move on” and integrate “into Israel’s thriving economy and culture of innovation.”
Arbess does not explain what exactly he means by “move on,” but he seems to advocate some sort of limited autonomy for Palestinians, short of a state. He suggests “an arrangement that grants local communities self-determination while sustaining Jewish control of immigration and other policies of national identity and security.”
Thankfully, Dr. Hussein Ibish of the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington took Arbees on. In a Bloomberg article, he wrote: “Arbess isn’t hiding his demand for perpetual, guaranteed, Jewish supremacy in all of the land, with or without a Jewish majority. In effect, Palestinians can get some secondary economic benefits and localized political crumbs if they surrender any hope for dignity or self-determination.
“This sounds a lot like Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s notorious, and preposterous, vision of ‘economic peace’ with Palestinians receiving a ‘state minus.’ In effect, of course, it means Palestinians will agree to live as ‘humans minus.’
“There are disturbing signs from the U.S. special envoy to the Middle East, Jared Kushner, and the U.S. ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, that the Trump administration shares such a vision, and that any administration ‘peace plan’ will, in effect, embody it as well.”
Daniel Arbess’ full article is here.
Hussein Ibish’s rebuttal is here.