Peres and Wertheimer 370.
(photo credit: Mark Neiman/GPO)
There cannot be coexistence between Jews and Arabs without full equality,
President Shimon Peres said on Tuesday at the official opening of the Nazareth
Industrial Park, built by serial entrepreneur Stef Wertheimer.
praising Wertheimer for his initiative, Peres said that he thanked him on behalf
of the state because the project represents a step forward on the path to
The industrial park, which overlooks the Jezreel Valley, will
provide some 1,000 jobs for residents of the Galilee, bringing together Arabs,
Jews, Druse and Circassians, and enabling employees from different sectors of
the population to enjoy similar standards of living.
Over the next
decade, the industrial park will house approximately 30 hitech
“If we continue in this manner,” said Peres, “we can advance
the concept of equality and we will accomplish a revolutionary
Turning to Nazareth Mayor Ramez Jeraisy, Peres said he was
“getting a new city,” because the industrial park is the last word in advanced
technology, and because most of the people working there would be qualified
This will elevate Nazareth to new heights, Peres
Wertheimer, who has built other industrial parks, the best
known of which is Tefen, also in the Galilee, was unhappy that it had taken 10
years for the industrial park to be built, while a similar one had been built in
Turkey in only two years. He attributing the delay to Israel’s convoluted
bureaucracy. In Israel, he observed, there were too many cooks spoiling the
broth – too many lawyers, too many managers and too much bureaucracy, all of
which got in the way of progress.
“We could have done much more in a
10-year span,” he said.
Peres agreed that quality industrial projects
that create more jobs for a growing population and equal opportunities for all
sectors should not have to overcome so many obstacles along the
Wertheimer said that the industrial park was a model he hopes to see
emulated elsewhere, because it is a genuine contribution to Jewish-Arab
coexistence as well as Israel’s economy and society.
“It will provide a
place of work and an income for people from all over the Galilee and will give
the sons and daughters of the residents a reason to stay, and to help develop
the northern periphery as well as the state,” he said.
that job training facilities would also be provided at the industrial park, with
the aim of promoting coexistence, cultural pluralism and equal opportunities,
and encourage occupations that have all but disappeared in an age of
Jeraisy, who said he appreciated the efforts
and goodwill of both Peres and Wertheimer, identified the hi-tech vision as
bringing “hope to young people and enabling Nazareth to develop at a much faster
Following the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Peres toured the park and
spent time with CEO Eli Gelman at Amdocs, the first of the three global
companies to set up offices at the park thus far.
Bank of Israel Gov.
Stanley Fischer, who also attended the ceremony, noted that the Israeli economy
had not only managed to remain stable, but had actually flourished in recent
years. Moreover, unemployment figures have shrunk, he said, and are lower than
at any time in the past 30 years.