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Ships from Germany


There's an odd hotchpotch of stories on the front pages of Israeli newspapers on Wednesday. Yedioth Ahronoth leads with a planned protest in the southern town of Dimona, where municipal workers will be joining a day-long strike on Sunday to protest the planned closure of several factories there. Israel Hayom leads with the earthquake yesterday in Nepal – the second to strike the country in the past two weeks. Haaretz leads with comments from President Reuven Rivlin, who criticized the move by Prime Minister Netanyahu to expand the government.

 Rivlin told the Walla! news website that 'such things are not good regarding Israel's unwritten constitution. They undermine public confidence.' According to the president, who is visiting Germany to mark 50 years of diplomatic relations between the two states, 'it would be better if they would observe the laws they pass. To break something that has constitutional traits ad hoc is something the public should not support or believe in. It would be better if they would determine once and for all the things that constitutionally oblige us and should not be deviated from in the blinking of an eye.'

While in Germany, Rivlin met with the German foreign minister and emphasized the fears Israel has about Iran and how it supplies weapons to Hizbollah and Syria. The two leaders also discussed the importance of increasing the trust between Israel and the Palestinians in order to be able to reestablish bilateral negotiations.

U.S. President Barack Obama also spoke about the Israeli-Palestinian peace process yesterday, saying that he has not given up hope for a two-state solution, but that regional tensions and 'serious questions about overall commitment' have made progress difficult. 'It's no secret that we now have a very difficult path forward. As a result, the United States is taking a hard look at our approach to the conflict,' Obama said in an interview with London based Arabic newspaper Asharq al-Awsat.  Obama said Washington is looking to the new Israeli government and the Palestinians to demonstrate, through policies and actions, a genuine commitment to a two-state solution.

In related news, the International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor warned Israel on Wednesday that if it didn't provide reliable information on Operation Protective Edge, she would open a full-scale investigation based solely on Palestinian claims of Israeli war crimes. Fatou Bensouda told The Associated Press that she hadn't received any information from either side about the war in Gaza last summer. She then urged both Israel and the Palestinians to provide information for her preliminary probe. 'If I don't have the information that I'm requesting,' Bensouda stated, 'I will be forced to find it from elsewhere, or I may perhaps be forced to just go with just one side of the story. That is why I think it's in the best interest of both sides to provide my office with information.'

The Palestinian Authority accepted the ICC's jurisdiction in mid-January, officially joining the body on April 1, amidst a wave of other unilateral attempts for statehood. While the PA is certain to provide the ICC with evidence of alleged war crimes during the Gaza conflict, Israel appears less forthcoming, consistently denouncing the PA's action as 'scandalous.'

Bensouda told AP that her office is 'making attempts' to reach out to both the Israelis and the Palestinians. The prosecutor has already received information 'from others regarding the preliminary examination.' She did not, however, elaborate on who those sources and groups were. Bensouda revealed that her office was trying to get a copy of the recently published Breaking the Silence report 'to see how it can assist us in the preliminary examination phase.' The report, which includes allegations of indiscriminate fire on civilian targets by IDF soldiers in Gaza, was tellingly ordered and financed by a Palestinian Foundation based in Ramallah called the Arab Human Rights Fund (AHRF). Bensouda acknowledged that the preliminary probe was certainly a hot button issue, but she stressed it would 'be conducted in the most independent and impartial way, devoid of any political considerations.'

Army Radio reports that Egypt has expanded its buffer zone between Gaza and Sinai to one kilometer. In order to do so, it has destroyed numerous villages and thousands of homes. Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have condemned Egypt's forcible evacuations and home destructions, but there have been no comments from the United Nations, no large protests in Europe or America, and no calls to sanction Egypt. Along with an update on the buffer zone, Egyptian President Abdelfattah al-Sissi further announced that Egypt has destroyed over 80 percent of the tunnels on the border. He blamed foreign agents for the trouble his country is currently experiencing.

Finally, Channel 2 News dedicated much of its evening broadcast on Tuesday to the final stages of Netanyahu's coalition-building woes. According to the broadcast, the Likud is expected to retain 12 portfolios in the new government, but to Netanyahu's chagrin there are more top party officials than available positions.  Netanyahu has remained mum on whom he plans to gift with a portfolio and was unwilling to meet with senior Likudniks until after the expansion bill's victory is assured in the Knesset on Wednesday. Still, rumors over who will receive what abound, particularly as Netanyahu plans to swear in his government as early as Thursday.

After being passed over for the Foreign Ministry when Netanyahu decided to keep the post for himself, ministers Yuval Steinitz, Silvan Shalom and Gilad Erdan are now all fighting for the interior portfolio. Erdan, who held the post in the last Knesset, personally met with the Prime Minister, Channel 2 reported, and insisted he should receive the public security portfolio as well.

So far, two specific Likud MKs have been promised portfolios: Benny Begin, who just returned to political life this year, and Haim Katz. Other likely possibilities to receive portfolios are previous ministers - Moshe Ya'alon, Yisrael Katz, Steinitz, Erdan, and Shalom – as well as MKs Ze'ev Elkin and Yariv Levin, who conducted coalition negotiations on behalf of Likud.


LIEBERMAN'S WAITING GAME: Writing in Globes, Mati Golan says that, when Binyamin Netanyahu's 61-member coalition runs into trouble, the prime minister will have no choice but to ask Avigdor Lieberman to shore it up – and then the Yisrael Beiteinu will be able to demand a much greater dowry.

"Let's try to bring some order to proceedings: nothing that is happening at the moment in terms of forming a new coalition is new. Unlike Haydn, there aren't even variations on a theme. Events are unfolding in strict accordance with the template created by politics; and our politicians are doing everything they can to perpetuate it. There have been accusations of hypocrisy. Very true, but hypocrisy is political oxygen.

The only person who deviated from the path of empty words was Avigdor Lieberman. Not only did he have a lot to say, he walked away from the coalition negotiations. Whether or not one agrees with what he did, one has to admire him for moving beyond the usual shtick. Lieberman deserves to be praised – within reason. After all, the justification that he presented for what he did cannot exactly be described as the epitome of political integrity and honesty. He accused Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu of deceiving the voters, but that's not exactly the crime of the century. It's like accusing the sun of rising in the east. In fact, such behavior isn't exactly foreign to Lieberman. He used this kind of behavior exactly when he tried to explain why he wouldn't join Netanyahu's government.

I see little point in repeating Lieberman's justifications; rather, I want to focus on what I believe his real motives were. First and foremost, he was motivated by mathematics. With just six seats in the Knesset, it would have been hard for Yisrael Beiteinu to function within the government. For there to be any point in him joining the coalition, his party would have had to win many more seats. The negotiations that took place since March 17 were done under intense pressure – both in terms of the deadline and the pressure from Likudniks who wanted key positions saved for them – making it even harder for Lieberman to join the government.

Why not wait a little, then? What's so urgent? After all, it is clear to everyone that a government with a paper-thin majority will find it almost impossible to function properly. It will be in a constant state of fear that its days are numbered. And that could happen at any moment, in any vote. Since there is a large and vocal opposition, you can be certain that there will be more no-confidence votes than in any previous Knesset. In order to survive, Netanyahu needs to enlarge his coalition. Many people are looking toward Isaac Herzog for this – but it would be a mistake to think that his Zionist Union is a realistic option. Netanyahu wouldn't risk alienating the right – which has kept him alive for so long – by joining forces with Herzog. Doing so might save his fourth government, but it would almost certainly mean that there would be no fifth Netanyahu government.

So that leaves Lieberman, who accused the prime minister of lying to the public. That isn't the worst accusation leveled against Netanyahu in his long political career; and he has swallowed worse-tasting frogs than that. So Lieberman is hoping that Netanyahu will come wooing him. Crawling, in fact. And then the former foreign minister will be able to demand whatever takes his fancy. He will get far more than Netanyahu was willing to offer him originally. He could demand that Moshe Ya'alon be removed from the Defense Ministry without any great drama, freeing up a key position for Lieberman.

Such considerations are far more important for someone like Lieberman, despite his heroic efforts to persuade us that his motivation was purely ideological."



THE BEDOUIN LEND A HAND: Writing on News 1 website, Yoni Ben-Menachem says that Bedouin in the Sinai are joining forces with the Egyptian military to fight against Ansar Bait al-Maqdis.

"On May 10, state-run Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram reported that tribes in the northern Sinai Peninsula were uniting against Ansar Bait al-Maqdis, which is affiliated to ISIS. Ansar Bait al-Maqdis has been waging an all-out war against the Egyptian army and police and has been carrying out almost daily terror attacks against official targets. Several months ago, Egyptian President Abdelfattah el-Sissi ordered extra forces to be sent to the northern Sinai and, of late, even extended by an additional three months the presidential edict declaring a state of emergency in the Sinai.

Ansar Bait al-Maqdis did manage to recruit some of the Bedouin tribesmen to its ranks, but more recently it attacked members of the Tarabin tribe, after tribal leaders refused to allow members to join the group. Meanwhile, it continues to try to recruit from other tribes in the Sinai, since they know the area better than anyone else and can help Ansar Bait al-Maqdis track the movement of Egyptian troops – which would make it easier to carry out terror attacks.

The Bedouin have had enough, however. Ten tribes are due to hold a gathering in the coming days, at which they will condemn Ansar Bait al-Maqdis and will each allow 50 of their members to join the Egyptian security forces' antiterrorism drive. Representatives of these tribes also said that they would be willing to identify for Egyptian authorities those members who have joined Ansar Bait al-Maqdis.

What is happening in the Sinai is similar to events in Iraq, where several tribes have also joined the war against al-Qa’ida and ISIS. The tribes in the northern Sinai have already paid a heavy price. In some areas, they are under a curfew imposed by Egyptian forces fighting against the terrorists and some of them have been forced to leave their homes along the border with the Gaza Strip, where Egypt is trying to set up a wide buffer zone to prevent smuggling from the Sinai into Gaza. If these Bedouin tribes do indeed join forces with the Egyptian military to fight Ansar Bait al-Maqdis, there is no question that the war on terror in the Sinai will benefit greatly."



WIN-WIN: Writing in Israel Hayom, Professor Shlomo Shapira says that the Israeli-German deal for four patrol boats is good for both countries: Israel gets to upgrade its naval capabilities and the Germans safeguard jobs and expertise in the shipbuilding industry.

"The deal for Israel to purchase four patrol boats from Germany adds another layer to the military and naval cooperation between the two countries, which has been operating successfully for the past 60 years. German shipbuilders are the best and most experienced in the world when it comes to advances and relatively small vessels, which is exactly what the Israeli Navy needs. It does not need American shipbuilders, who tend to specialize in designing and building massive warships and aircraft carriers and who are not able to provide the kind of vessel that Israel needs to protect its shores and its offshore gas platforms.

In the first years after Israel's establishment, the navy had only a handful of old and unsuitable vessels, most of which had been converted from the ships that brought immigrants from post-Holocaust Europe. These vessels were not suitable for operational purposes and did not contribute to the war against Arab states. The navy wanted to purchase new ships, but there was an arms embargo imposed by the United States across the Middle East and many Western countries refused to sell to Israel. In 1956 and 1957, Germany secretly sold Israel two patrol boats, which were manufactured at the Burmester Shipyard in northern Germany. These vessels were launched by the Israeli navy as the INS Jordan and the INS Yarkon, in order to conceal their origin and create the impression that they were manufactured in Israel.

However, these two small vessels, along with two old destroyers that were purchased from the United Kingdom as surplus after World War II, did not provide an operational answer to the growing threat from Arab states, which were being provided with advanced vessels by the Soviet Union. In the 1960s, Israel began work on designing a new type of ship – the Sa'ar missile boat – which represented a revolution in Israel's naval/military thinking. Navy commanders recognized that a small country like Israel could not maintain a large fleet of destroyers and warships, so they decided to focus on smaller vessels. Secret negotiations between Israel and Germany led to a three-way agreement: the ships would be designed by Lürssen in Germany, but manufactured by the CMN shipyard in Cherbourg in northern France.

Some of these vessels never made it to Israel, however, because of the arms embargo that President Charles de Gaulle imposed on Israel. They were subsequently smuggled to Israel in a daring operation carried out by Mossad and the Israeli navy in late 1969. Navy officers and Mossad agents, who disguised themselves as merchant sailors, infiltrated the CMN shipyard, where the vessels were anchored, and, while French police and security guards were busy celebrating New Year, the ships snuck out into open water and, after a tough journey, arrived in Israel. These vessels were the backbone of the Israeli navy for many years and allowed Israel to record several stunning operational successes during and after the Yom Kippur War.

The deal that was signed this week closes a circle that has remained open for the past 60 years: they will be built at the same Burmester Shipyard in Germany which provided Israel with its first vessels. It is important to bear in mind that it is also very much in Germany's interests that this deal goes ahead. Global demand for warships has dropped dramatically in the past decade. The economic crisis – coupled with cuts to defense spending in many countries – have effectively frozen demand for new warships. Instead of purchasing new vessels, many countries are renovating old ones and are upgrading them with electronic systems and new missiles – some of which are manufactured right here in Israel.

The German government is very keen to maintain its ability to design and build these vessels, especially given that there are precious few orders for new ships. By agreeing to fund around a third of the cost of the four new vessels, Germany is, of course, giving Israel a generous and most welcome gift. But it is also the Germans' way of indirectly subsidizing their shipyards, in order to safeguard jobs in areas where the industry has been hit hard by the Eurozone crisis and the drop in demand. This deal will allow Israel's navy to better prepare itself for the naval challenges of the decades to come."



AND JUSTICE FOR ALL: Writing in Maariv, Avraham Tirosh comments on the appointment of Ayelet Shaked as justice minister – and how the bad blood between her and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will impact on her performance.

"Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu chose a particularly ugly and reprehensible way to express his dissatisfaction with the appointment of Ayelet Shaked as justice minister – an appointment that he was forced into by Habayit Hayehudi chairman Naftali Bennett.

At the end of the joint press conference between Likud and Habayit Hayehudi officials, Netanyahu ignored Shaked and declined to shake her hand, leaving her standing like a statue with her arm extended. Yuck. Such pettiness. The prime minister must have been acting on instructions from his wife – who has despised Shaked ever since the Habayit Hayehudi MK was in charge of Netanyahu's bureau and refused to listen to orders from Mrs. Netanyahu. The prime minister, it seems, didn't shake Shaked's hand because he knew that, if he did, he'd be in all sorts of hot water when he got home.

One can also see that shameful moment as a harbinger of the relationship that will exist between the prime minister and his justice minister for however long this government lasts. Usually, justice ministers – most of whom are experienced and respected jurists – previously served as legal advisers to the prime minister. They could often be seen standing behind him, whispering legal advice in his ear. There is zero chance of that happening during the term of the government that will be sworn in next week. Bibi refused to even shake Shaked's hand, so he certainly won't let her give him advice. Shaked and Bennett are very much personae non grata at the prime minister's official residence on Balfour Street.

Only once in the history of the State of Israel has there been another example of complete disconnect between the prime minister and his justice minister. That happened when the Dash Party, headed by Yigael Yadin, joined the first-ever Likud government, headed by Menachem Begin, several months after the 1977 election. The prime minister was forced to accept the appointment of Shmuel Tamir as justice minister, despite the fact that he deeply despised him. A decade earlier, Tamir tried and failed to oust Begin as leader of the Herut Party.

The level of cooperation between Begin and Tamir was minimal. The justice minister, for example, was not invited to participate in the peace talks with Egypt, despite the fact that any agreement would have to be approved by legal experts. But Begin was nothing if not polite; he would not leave someone standing like an idiot with their hand extended, even if he hated that person.

Shaked's appointment was greeted with mixed reactions. Some of them were extreme and forced police to assign bodyguards to the minister-designate; others were downright sexist and dealt only with her looks. The relevant reactions, which came primarily from the right of the political map, praised her capabilities and her leadership and organizational skills. They reminded everyone that some of Israel's most successful justice ministers were not lawyers by training – Yossi Beilin and Meir Sheetrit are two prime examples – and argued that there is no reason that Shaked should not be a success.

Those who oppose Shaked's appointment – mainly left-wingers – focused on her age (she's not yet turned 40, after all) and her relative lack of political experience. They also focused extensively on her ideological positions, expressing concern that her right-wing views and her antagonistic dealings with the High Court would turn her term into a particularity fraught one.

It's worth remembering, however, that the justice minister cannot carry out reforms to the legal system without the support of the prime minister and without his cooperation. It will be interesting to see whether she gets them.

Many on the right – and in the Likud in particular – share Shaked's concerns about the High Court; Netanyahu himself shares her views. But there's a good chance that Netanyahu's desire to see her fail (a desire shared by his wife, of course) may dictate his handling of her proposed reforms.

I have extreme reservations about the way that, in recent years, certain politicians have taken a shortcut from the back benches to a ministerial appointment. In many cases, up-and-coming politicians were promoted too high and too quickly. These days, MKs feel as if they deserve to be appointed minister after serving one term in the Knesset. Shaked is one of them.

Nonetheless, if it were not for the terrible relationship between the prime minister and his justice minister (which is not the latter's fault in any way, shape or form), I would place my money on her being a roaring success. She's got what it takes. The problem is that there is no guarantee that she will still be justice minister six months from now."



IT WON'T LAST FOREVER: Writing in Haaretz, Amos Harel warns Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that German largesse will not last forever and that political realities will soon interfere with the harmonic relationship between the two countries.

"The major transaction announced Monday, involving Israel’s purchase of four corvette naval ships from Germany at a cost of 430 million euros ($480 million), to be used to protect natural-gas drilling sites off Israel's Mediterranean coast, will fill a substantial gap in the defense of Israel’s economic assets. Israel’s increasing dependence on the gas supplies and the high expectations generated by the discovery of the offshore reserves (which has provoked harsh public criticism over how the profits are to be divided) also heightens interest in the rigs on the part of the country’s adversaries.

The drilling platforms are relatively exposed to attack, and a major strike on them could cause Israel huge financial losses. These are facts that all of the forces in the region, most notably the Lebanese-based Hizbollah militia, understand well. Hizbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has already hinted in the past that he would put Israel's strategic-infrastructure targets in his sights as a way of creating a balance of deterrence with Israel – this in light of Israeli threats to hit similar infrastructure in Lebanon in the event that another war breaks out there.

Hizbollah certainly has the operational capacity to hit the drilling sites in the sea, whether by dispatching terrorists on a commando raid there or by firing missiles from shore. The Chinese C-802 missile, which hit the Israeli Hanit missile boat during the Second Lebanon War in 2006, and the Russian Yakhont missile are already in Syria’s possession.

The four corvettes from Germany will provide the main component of a defensive solution to protect Israel’s 'economic waters,' the zone in which the rigs are located. In addition, however, there will be a number of other components involved in this effort – ranging from command and control systems and intelligence-gathering, to use of unmanned aircraft and also anti-missile defense systems (currently, the Israeli-made Barak 1 surface-to-air missile, and the more sophisticated Barak 8, expected to be declared operational toward the end of the year).

The negotiations between the governments of Germany and Israel were conducted for nearly two years, and based on the timetable announced this week; the four vessels will be supplied within five years. That means that until then, the Israel Navy will have to maneuver with what it has in its possession to secure the gas-production sites, relying on its current fleet.

The agreement was signed during a visit here by German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Each of the four ships in question is about 90 meters long, smaller than a destroyer, highly maneuverable and weighing about 2,000 tons. Once they arrive in Israel, they will be outfitted for the navy by Israeli defense firms with various special weapons systems. The new ships will be deployed hundreds of kilometers from shore.

The purchase of the vessels is funded through a special budget that is not part of Israel's general defense budget. The agreement states that the German government will underwrite just over one-quarter of the purchase price through a 115-million-euro grant. In addition, ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems, the company building the ships as well as a total of six Dolphin submarines for the Israel Navy, has committed to invest about 700 million shekels ($180 million) in future procurement of Israeli equipment and in Israeli research and development.

This is another impressive indication of Germany’s generosity with respect to everything related to military assistance to Israel, especially after it was reported that the Germans had funded about half of the even heftier cost of the Dolphins. At a later stage, just prior to the signing of a contract for the sale of the first submarines, there was also disclosure of aid that German companies provided to Iraq’s chemical weapons program in the 1980s.

Of course, the acts of generosity come against the backdrop of the long, sad history involving the memory of the Holocaust. Moreover, the latest grant to Israel again reflects the major reliance the country has on outside military aid, and not just from the United States. In the case of Europe, one cannot count on the generosity lasting forever; certainly in light of the demonstrable differences of opinion with Germany over the future of the peace process with the Palestinians.

At this week's joint news conference with Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, von der Leyen stated that there is no other country with which Germany has such close defense ties. The incoming government of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will need to see to it that this defense cooperation continues over the coming years, despite diplomatic differences of opinion."



FIVE STEPS TO PEACE: Writing on the Times of Israel website, Doug Lamborn says that there are five steps the United States can take to promote an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.

"A new Israeli coalition and government is taking form. Warnings have surfaced regarding the right-leaning government and its ability to cooperate with the Obama Administration. The chief worry on the mind of the White House is the hawkish character of this Israeli government that, in their mind, may hinder any efforts to reach a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Recently Under-Secretary of State Wendy Sherman indicated that the U.S. support of Israel in the international arena will depend on whether the new government will meet the administration’s expectations on support for a two-state solution. This was a hint that the President might support a U.N. Security Council resolution to force Israel’s withdrawal from the disputed territories.

Speculations on this change of policy are not new to the Administration. Last December, Secretary of State John Kerry chose to remain ambiguous and refused to clarify whether the U.S. will use its veto power in the U.N. Security Council to thwart unilateral action by the Palestinians. The resolution failed so the hinted threat was never tested.

This should really worry anyone who wants to see stability and quiet between the two parties in our lifetime. A forced solution to the conflict will not bring the two sides closer but would only generate more tensions and conflict.

A basic condition for the success of negotiations is that each side has an incentive to negotiate. Every party must believe negotiating will allow it to reach chief goals and therefore render some concession worthwhile and profitable. A resolution that will dictate a solution to the conflict will remove this element for both sides.

Dictating the borders or a time of Israeli withdrawal from the territories will allow the Palestinians to achieve the majority of their feasible goals. However this will remove any incentive to compromise on the remaining issues. This will undermine any hope of moderation or the recognition of the state of Israel.

This should not be left to President Abbas’ good will. Abbas’ record on incitement against Jews and Israel does not seem promising. More importantly, portrayed by the State Department as the last moderate leader and over 80 years of age, the question remains what will happen the day after Abbas.

Israel for its part will hardly be persuaded into cooperation with a forced resolution. Failure to follow a Security Council resolution will likely bring about additional pressure to the little state. Yet, as Israel learned many times before, conceding land and following U.N. resolutions does not secure the international community’s support. Sadly it may also carry a heavy price of lost lives. The last war in Gaza serves as a good example on both accounts.

Faced with the current impasse it seems wise and necessary to review and revise our policy. Here are some suggestions:

1. De-sanctify the two-state solution.

Having two states living side by side may be the end result of the conflict, and it may not. What is clear is that prematurely confining the negotiations to one final result constrains the flexibility of both parties, and makes finding a solution all the more complicated.

2. Moderate our short-term goals.

Prime Minister Netanyahu’s remarks on the feasibility of a two-state solution reflect what any observer of the conflict realized long ago. Neither side is ready to sign a final clear-cut treaty to end the conflict. Insistence on such a demand frustrates all parties and portrays the failure to achieve that goal as political incompetence and failure. Our aim should be incremental steps of increased political, economic and security cooperation between Israel and the Palestinians. This is in both parties’ interest — and ours.

3. Promote grassroots cooperation and tolerance.

Recently the Palestinian Authority declared a boycott on basic Israeli products. At the same time the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign has been gaining traction not only in Europe but here in the U.S. as well. Such actions are not helpful; they feed the incitement and radicalization narrative that rejects any understanding between Israelis and Palestinians.

4. Prevent American money from supporting educational institutions and camps that teach incitement.

Some will challenge that conditioning transfer of funds to the Palestinian authority and UNRWA upon compliance will cause instability in the west bank, however we can’t a become hostages of our own policy. Allowing American funds promote incitement of young students will prove destructive to our policy on the long run.

5. Incentivize business and economic cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians in the private sector realm.

Creating grassroots cooperation and mutual business dependence may result in pressure on the political leadership of both sides for stability and quiet.

These steps will not bring an immediate solution. However as Van Gogh once said: 'Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.' Surely Van Gogh was speaking of art; successful foreign policy is in fact a form of art."




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