What economic peace can mean for Palestinians

Netanyahu, Olmert, Rabin and Barak are just some of the leading Israeli politicians, who have seen to promote peace with the Palestinians through economic cooperation.

The Peres Center, set up over a decade ago by Israel’s current President, has been more active than most in this sphere. A glimpse at the organisation’s website reveals a myriad of recent projects: –

  • A training course for 20 Palestinians in the meat packing industry.
  • Through “Cisco Israel”, training Jewish and Muslim women together for hightech.
  • The Agriculture, Water and Environment Department organised a professional research visit to Jericho and Auja for representatives of the Israeli and Palestinian Ministries of Agriculture.
  • Sixteen Palestinian handicrafts companies presented their products in Israel’s leading house ware gifts exhibition “Giftec”

The Peres Center has also hosted a roundtable discussion of senior Israeli and Palestinian economists entitled, “Economic Prospects for Israeli-Palestinian Relations”. And so the list goes on.

This is all very positive stuff. So imagine my dismay when I read thias week that “Palestinian Authority Economic Minister Bassem Khoury said he would not hold any further meetings with Israeli Minister Silvan Shalom concerning economic cooperation between the two governments”.

You have got to wonder why. If the two sides are going to get together, this short-sightedness must cease. Go to the industrial park of Atarot in North East Jerusalem and watch peoples working together on the ground. Visit the Wolfson Hospital, which specialises in treating Palestinian infants, and see Palestinian mothers sleeping next to their kids in Tel Aviv…with prayer mats purposely provided.

It is paramount for such confidence building measures to become a two-way methodology. I suggest that it is time for Khoury to ask his own President, Mahmoud Abbas, to establish a Palestinian equivalent of the Peres Center. That could be a major step to breaking down barrier.

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One Comment on “What economic peace can mean for Palestinians”

  1. Hampers Says:

    Your blog is interesting. It was nice going through your blog. keep it up the good work.


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