Weekly Commentary: Did Putting the cards on the table work in Washington for
Dr. Aaron Lerner 19 September 2021
Instead of saying something amorphous about what a "state" might be, or
saying that he had to consult with others, PM Naftali Bennett came to
Washington saying flat out that he not only opposed the establishment of a
sovereign Palestinian state but that final status negotiations altogether
were off the table at this time.
And while Bennett was certainly witness to some genuflecting to the holy
"two state solution" by his American interlocutors it was pro forma.
Ditto for the meeting in Sharm with Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi.
Bennett's challenge now is to come up with quick ways to put talk about
contributing to the economic welfare of our neighbors into action.
What can we quickly start buying from Egypt? Their cement industry suffers
from overcapacity and with freight costs from the Far East now completely
crazy Egyptian rebar and other metal products could be a bargain. What else
How can we quickly increase the employment of Palestinians both inside the
"green line" and in Israeli industrial areas in Judea and Samaria while also
making it easier for Palestinian companies to flourish?
Can we restore the Erez industrial zone as a spring board for economic
development in the Gaza Strip with arrangements which avoid the "dual use"
There is a lot on Mr. Bennett's plate.
But as a businessman this challenge may be right up his alley.
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