Stanley Fischer, the U.S. citizen who is the governor of the Bank of Israel is stepping down in June. There are speculations that he will be offered Ben Bernanke’s job, as head of the federal reserve here in the U.S.
Fischer has been credited for Israel’s smooth deflection of the 2008-? recession. Israel’s economy contracted for only one quarter in 2008, and quickly recovered, while Europe and less so the U.S., are still languishing.
In 1994, Fisher wrote a book called, “Securing peace in the Middle East”, a road map for peace between Israel and Palestine, through economics. 1994 was almost 20 years ago, and the peace climate was very a lot more hopeful. Still, of all the options, an economic route to peace still seems to me to be the most viable. Or at least worth exploring.
Maybe it’s cynical, or just realistic, that the only way for two parties to cooperate is if it’s for their mutual benefit. Economics is the best way to leverage that.
A quick Google, and Google Scholar search, shows that plenty of people have already explored this, and economics has always been a major part of the discussion on peace in the region.
Based on the lack of success until now, maybe the fault is not in the economics, but in the politics of it.
What if we could go around the politics, and through entrepreneurship, create economic partnerships between Israelis and Palestinians that will become more powerful than everything that divides them. (Clearly, it’s not impossible to be both cynical and idealistic within the same couple lines.)
I’m sure there’s plenty being done on that front too, and I intend to find out.
Some of the links I found on the topic, not yet curated:
The Economics of Middle East Peace, book, 1993
Economic Developments in the West Bank and Gaza Since Oslo , paper by Stanley Fischer, 2001
Israel/Palestine: how to end the war of 1948, paper, 2006
The Economics of Middle East East Peace, lecture, 2011