While the U.S. has not yet released its peace proposal for Israel and the Palestinians, Jared Kushner—who is leading the effort—and other officials have stated that it involves major efforts to bring prosperity to the Arabs of the West Bank and Gaza. Yossi Kuperwasser warns that, even if effective, such efforts will not guarantee peace:
Palestinians [who] carry out terror attacks [do so] with ideological motives, and most of them see terror as a justified and effective way . . . to advance their objectives in the conflict with Israel. The terrorists and their families are eligible for significant economic benefits in the form of the salaries that the Palestinian Authority (PA) pays them. [Moreover], the commitment of the Palestinian leadership to the struggle against Zionism is greater than the consideration of economic gain, even though the PA is aware that it needs to provide an answer for the Palestinians’ economic needs. As proof, the second intifada erupted in 2000 during a period of impressive growth.
Deciding on the appropriate scope of terrorism reflects the perception of different elements within the Palestinian political system regarding the costs and benefits of various terror activities at any point in time. . . . Economics [may be] a restraining factor, especially in the circumstances of a severe crisis. For example, the economic crisis in 2005 is thought to be one of the reasons that brought the Palestinians to a decision to end the second intifada. [T]he chance that economic temptations will lead to a change in Palestinian national goals is very slight so long as the Palestinian system is led by political movements that do not give priority to the welfare of its citizens. . . .
The . . . U.S. administration criticizes the PA and Hamas for “not acting according to the needs of the Palestinian people.” This reaction indicates a lack of understanding of [their] priorities and superimposes upon them a Western order of priorities, which sees the pursuit of happiness and prosperity as all people’s [primary] goal. . . .
[Nonetheless, it’s necessary not to] diminish the importance of investing in the advancement of the Palestinian economy and economic cooperation between Israel and the Palestinians. These are based on ethical motives—from the desire to bring economic prosperity to Israel’s neighbors to advancing familiarity between both peoples.