Thursday, June 06, 2019

  • Thursday, June 06, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon
Al Resalah quotes a story in Makor Rishon about a recent initiative between Israeli and Palestinian businesspeople.

While Palestinians are boycotting the Israeli approach of economic peace at the Bahrain workshop, there is another place where economic cooperation between the two sides is taking place.

The work was taking place through the Joint Chamber of Commerce in the West Bank, which is managed by Avi Sherman of the Ariel settlement and Ashraf al-Jabari of Hebron, who are conducting joint US-sponsored commercial deals.

Jabari is the only Palestinian businessman who has accepted the US invitation to attend the Bahrain summit. He claimed that other Palestinian businessmen will come to the summit and he will not be alone in it.

Jabari said, "The Bahrain summit is not part of the American peace plan, so the king of Bahrain informed me, and I trust him. We are facing an economic event only. If there are any political implications, I will not participate in it," he said.

"A US call was made to the joint Palestinian-Israeli Chamber of Commerce, and it is preferable for Palestinian businessmen and traders to participate in the Bahrain summit," Sherman said.

Jabari, a 45-year-old Palestinian businessman, founded last month a new political party preparing to run in the upcoming Palestinian elections, if they actually happen, and does not hide his desire to be close to Israel. His name is present in all initiatives between Palestinians and settlers, although he and a number of his comrades recently received threats from Fatah. 

Three months ago, the Palestinian-Israeli Chamber of Commerce organized a two-day conference at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, attended by prominent Palestinian businessmen, US delegates and heads of settlement communities.

Saleh Abu Mayla, a businessman who participated in the conference, said he owned a factory to produce military boots for IDF soldiers, and he sees no reason to remove the Jews from the city of Hebron.

Khaldoun al-Husseini from Shu'fat in Jerusalem and a member of the Chamber of Commerce had breakfast with Senator Johnston at Beit Ja'abari in Hebron. Participants included the chairman of the Shomron settlement Yossi Dagan.

He has a factory in Ramallah and his distributors are deployed in most of the West Bank cities of Jenin, Nablus and Ramallah. There are more than 250 Palestinian businessmen with membership in the joint Palestinian-Israeli Chamber of Commerce, along with the same number of Israelis, he said.

The meeting in February between Jews - many from Judea and Samaria - and Palestinian businessmen did not receive very much coverage, in line with the media taking their cues from Palestinian officials in what should and shouldn't be covered. However, hundreds of Arab and Jewish business owners participated.




Here's a video about that conference, including interviews with some Arab attendees:



And much more detail as to the goals of the Chamber of Commerce in this press conference from February:



The real scandal isn't that the two groups are cooperating, but the opposition to initiatives like this both from Palestinian leaders and Westerners who pretend to care about Palestinian welfare.

To their mind, Jews in Judea and Samaria are so uniquely evil that even talking to them is a betrayal and somehow antithetical to peace.

Too many people have forgotten what the word "peace" means, thinking that it means "Oslo."





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