Mitch Potter

Billions for Mideast set to grab spotlight

Far beneath the radar dominated by Bob Geldof’s international pop crusade, former World Bank president James Wolfensohn has been navigating diplomatic back channels to get G-8 backing. Unlike Bob Geldof, former World Bank president James Wolfensohn will have the undivided attention of G8 leaders, where he is expected to deliver an urgent call for as much as $3 billion to rebuild the Palestinian economy on the heels of the Israeli withdrawal. The project, if approved, could as much as double international aid over the next three years. Palestinians remain guarded on the prospects of a new wave of international aid. “Palestinians are not asking for charity but justice,” said Arjan El Fassed, a founder of the Electronic Intifada.