May 22, 2017
Israelis and Palestinians as Co-Workers: Opportunity, Not Separation, Is the Key to Peace – Oded Revivi (Wall Street Journal)
- Conventional wisdom for almost a century has dictated that for peace to prevail, Israelis and Palestinians must be physically separated. But peace is fostered over generations, through personal bonds and even business relationships.
- Some 450,000 Israelis and more than one million Palestinians live side by side in Judea and Samaria, or what many call the West Bank. The tens of thousands who work together every day in the area’s 14 industrial zones have built the closest bonds.
- During his visit to Israel this week, Trump should drop in on a business like Lipski Plastics in the Barkan Industrial Park. Half the company’s workers are Palestinian and half are Israeli. They eat, laugh and solve problems together. The Palestinians at Lipski make four times the average wage in the autonomous Palestinian areas. Many are in senior management, with dozens of Israeli employees beneath them.
- Islands of peace like Barkan show what could be achieved on a massive scale. Businesses like Lipski Plastics may not be as glamorous as an international peace summit, but they are far likelier to yield serious dividends in the long run.
The writer is chief foreign envoy of the Yesha Council, which represents the 450,000 Israeli residents of Judea and Samaria.