Can Peace Gain Economic Leverage?


The cause for peace between Israelis and Palestinians might have more financial backing than we think. William Booth of the Washington Post reports that at the World Economic Forum, 200 of the top business leaders from Israel and the West Bank converged to argue for their government supporting U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's plan for peace talks. According to Booth:

The group calls itself "Breaking the Impasse" and includes corporate heavyweights from the left and right, religious and secular, who don't agree on the details -- except that there should be a state of Israel and a state of Palestine, both living peacefully and side by side.

The organizing was spearheaded by Israeli venture capitalist Yossi Vardi and Palestinian oil owner Munib al-Masri. The fact that these two economic powers from warring peoples are agitating for peace, despite the policies of the political powers, is a great show of heroism and something to return optimism in the mind of the peace activist. This group will have large economic influence and while they can't draft the peace plan themselves they can put pressure to include a two-state solution. This is very reminiscent of the anti-imperialist league of the late nineteenth century, which was also made up of wealthy businessmen. While some may question the heirarchy of power these businessmen exist in, the fact that this wealth can influence governments to stop killing people rather than subsidizing it is a good thing.

Booth's article can be found here.


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