Israeli and Palestinian businessmen tour the Dead Sea to promote cooperation after the Bahrain workshop..
(photo credit: THE JUDEA AND SAMARIA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY)
A delegation of Israeli and Palestinian businessmen toured the Dead Sea region on Tuesday in an act of cooperation rising from last month's economic workshop in Bahrain, "Peace to Prosperity."
Founder and President of the Judea-Samaria Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JS Chamber) Avi Zimmerman attended the tour, as well as Ashraf Jabari, Palestinian businessman and co-Founder of the JS Chamber, among others.
Jabari led the heavily-criticized delegation of over a dozen Palestinian businessmen that attended the Bahrain workshop so as to discuss ways of advancing business opportunities for the Palestinian population.
In response, those same businessmen received a large wave of threats for violating the Palestinian Authority's boycott of the workshop. The PA proceeded to arrest Saleh Abu Mayaleh, a member of the delegation, only agreeing to release him after increasing levels of pressure from the US. Another member is currently in hiding from the PA ever since policemen arrived at his front door.
"We are engaging with numerous business models that expand cooperation between the Israeli and Palestinian business communities," said Zimmerman. "Here there are opportunities for thriving Palestinian industries alongside Israeli prosperity."
The delegation visited the Beit HaArava plant, the Kalia beach, the Minus 430 Gallery and the "Biankini," the Moroccan restaurant near Biankini beach.
"The meeting today is a direct continuation of the economic workshop in Bahrain as well as the continued efforts of the JS Chamber to promote cooperation between Israeli and Palestinian businessmen," said Jabari, who attended the workshop at Bahrain, as well. “Meetings like the one that took place today give us the ability to expand our practical measures and our joint business ventures in the region."
The first economic forum between Israelis and Palestinians was held in Jerusalem in February, organized by the US Israel Education Association and the JS Chamber. Dozens participated in the event to promote cooperation at the local and municipal levels.
US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman attended, saying that "political solutions are important, but pieces of paper are not creating peace. Relations create peace, investments create peace, friendships create peace... This is the peace that will last. That is the kind of peace that is sustainable."
The Mayor of the Dead Sea Scrolls Regional Council, Arie Kohen, said: "The Dead Sea Scrolls Regional Council is located in an area that is a bridge between countries, cultures and religions. We are proud to be an international region, enabling real partnerships in tourism, employment and commerce."
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