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US peace plan aims to raise $50 billion, double Palestinian GDP

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The United States said Saturday that its Middle East peace plan to be presented next week in Bahrain aims to raise more than $50 billion for the Palestinians and double their GDP within a decade.

Unveiling details for the first time, President Donald Trump’s administration said the initiative will look at reforming the Palestinian economy and linking it to those of its neighbors, seeking to generate major international investment.

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The conference Tuesday and Wednesday in Bahrain, led by Trump’s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner, is the opening of a long-awaited Middle East peace initiative that officials say will later include a political component.

But the Palestinian Authority is boycotting the so-called Peace to Prosperity workshop, charging that the unabashedly pro-Israel Trump is seeking to buy off the Palestinians and deprive them of an independent state.

The White House cast the plan — to be discussed in more detail in Bahrain with finance chiefs of oil-rich Gulf Arab states — as historic.

“Peace to Prosperity represents the most ambitious and comprehensive international effort for the Palestinian people to date,” the White House said in the economic plan.

“It has the ability to fundamentally transform the West Bank and Gaza and to open a new chapter in Palestinian history — one defined, not by adversity and loss, but by freedom and dignity,” it said.

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It said that the plan aimed to raise more than $50 billion over the next decade, with a goal of more than doubling Palestinian Gross Domestic Product.

The White House said the initiative had the power to transform the troubled Palestinian economy by creating more than one million jobs — bringing the unemployment rate down to the single digits, in line with developed economies.

In a step likely to outrage Palestinian leaders, it said that money would be administered by a multinational development bank as a way to ensure better governance and prevent corruption.

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Trump’s use of ‘executive privilege’ to keep Bolton from testifying could blow up in his face: legal experts

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If all Democrats in the U.S. Senate voted in favor of featuring witnesses in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial and at least four Republicans joined them, former National Security Adviser John Bolton could be subpoenaed to testify — in which case, Team Trump might claim executive privilege in an effort to prevent that from happening. But legal experts Ryan Goodman and Andrew Weissmann, in a January 28 article for Just Security, offer some reasons why such an executive privilege assertion wouldn’t serve the Trump White House well.

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Alan Dershowitz in 2016: Corrupt Donald Trump will violate ‘international and domestic laws’

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Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, a member of President Donald Trump's impeachment legal team, said in 2016 that Trump was more corrupt than Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. He also predicted that Trump would continue to be corrupt, if elected.

This article was originally published at Salon

Dershowitz, who voted for Clinton, dismissed allegations of corruption Trump raised against the Clinton Foundation in a radio interview flagged by CNN's K-File.

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‘You’re lying again’: Twitter fires back at Lindsey Graham’s claim that ‘Biden’s behavior was harmful to the United States’

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In a series of tweets this Wednesday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) gave his opinion that additional testimony in the impeachment effort against President Trump is "unnecessary," regardless of the leaked revelations from an unpublished manuscript of John Bolton's upcoming book. According to Graham, "one could assume everything attributable to John Bolton is accurate and still the House case would fall well below the standards to remove a president from office."

Graham then turned the focus of his thread to Joe Biden, writing that "there is ample evidence for the President to be concerned about conflicts of interest on behalf of Hunter Biden and that Vice President Joe Biden’s failure to take appropriate action was unacceptable."

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