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A New Path to Mideast Peace: Make Jobs Not War

Thursday, June 12, 2008

While Arab and Israeli peace negotiators expend their energy trying not to bolt from their seats in exasperation, business men and women on both sides of the divide think they may just have found a way to peace that will prove faster, more entertaining, and definitely more profitable. Driven more by a quest for profits than by ideology, Arab and Israeli entrepreneurs are quietly working together on a variety of ventures.

Small-scale partnerships between Israelis and Palestinians and between other Arabs and Jews have happened for years. Larger, higher-profile deals are now becoming more common. In recent months, an iconic New York landmark, the Plaza Hotel, reopened after a transaction between a super-wealthy Arab prince and an Israeli billionaire. Prince Alwaleed bin Talal sold the property to Israel's Yitzhak Tshuva, who refurbished the hotel made famous by, among other things, the Eloise children's books. A recent report says that Jewish businessman Mortimer Zuckerman is trying to buy the GM building in New York, with backing from Arab investors from Qatar and Kuwait. ...

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