The Alghad Middle East Forum 2019 came amid a tour of US President Donald Trump's Middle East adviser, Jared Kushner, in which he announced that the US Middle East Peace Plan, dubbed as the "deal of the century", was ready.
However, the speakers at the forum agreed that the deal was not paving the way for peace efforts.
David Makovsky, director of the Middle East peace process at the Washington Institute, was very clear when he said that "the deal of the century will not help us reach an ideal solution to the Palestinian issue."
Makovsky said that a solution can not be reached without key participation from regional nations, especially Egypt, adding: "For the United States, Egypt is the most important Arab country and it has a special relationship with the Americans, Israel and the Palestinians.”
Makovsky defended a different approach, in which he called for partial solutions to take another path towards peace, “beginning from the bottom to the top," not the other way around. He said that was the only way to restore confidence in the possibility of a peace agreement between the Palestinians and the Israelis.
“Under the current circumstances, they do not feel that peace is achievable,” he said
Makovsky said the failure of four US administrations to achieve peace was an assurance in itself that previous approaches deviated from the path for peace.
He suggested that easing Palestinian and Israeli concerns, particularly with regard to settlements and security, could provide a fresh start for a more positive atmosphere, through which further steps could be taken.