Speaking in Tel Aviv last week to a closed meeting of representatives of the Israeli and Palestinian textile industries, Maj.-Gen. Keith Dayton, the US security coordinator in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, declared his determination to solve the security and transport problems at the Karni Crossing.
"I live here now and I am committed to solving the problem," he said. "I am not leaving in the foreseeable future."
The meeting, organized by the Peres Center for Peace, PalTrade and the Manufacturers Association of Israel, was attended by government officials and representatives of the international community.
Participants discussed options for continued cooperation and the problems surrounding the crossing points between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Company representatives from both sides took to the opportunity to network.
According to the Palestinian business people, textiles constitute 19.7 percent of Palestinian industry, employing 17,562 workers in 2,753 factories. In 2000, the Palestinian textile industry exported 3,500 truckloads of merchandise to Israel through the Karni Crossing from the Strip. Exports dropped to 1,500 trucks in 2005 and 299 by the end of August.
The Peres Center said cooperation between the Israeli and Palestinian textile industries would boost earnings and could create 20,000 to 40,000 jobs for each side. The potential increase in revenue for Israel was estimated at $500 million to $1 billion, while on the Palestinian side the potential increase was estimated at $300m. to $500m.
MEMBERS OF the foreign media keen to cover Vice Premier Shimon Peres had become used to dealing with Jill Marie Reinach, who served as his director of international strategy, policy and communications. As exciting as her job was, Reinach is a teacher at heart, who always knew that sooner or later she would find herself in academia. When she was offered the opportunity to serve as director of the Asper Institute for Public Advocacy at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, she could not resist, and reluctantly told Peres that she was leaving.
FINJAN INC., a provider of proactive Web security solutions for businesses and organizations, has announced the appointment of Dr. Eric Benhamou to the company's board of directors, followed by a minority investment in the company through Benhamou Global Ventures.
Benhamou is chairman and CEO of Benhamou Global Ventures, which plays an active role in high-tech firms throughout the world. He is also the chairman of the board of directors of 3Com Corporation and Palm, Inc. In 1981, he cofounded Bridge Communications, an early networking pioneer, and was vice president of engineering until its merger with 3Com in 1987. He also serves on the boards of the INSEAD School of Business, the Stanford University School of Engineering and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
LIMOR BANAI is back at the Finance Ministry, where she will head the public advocacy (hasbara) effort. She is a former deputy spokeswoman there. For the past year, she served as spokeswoman for the Ministry of Tourism, which was then headed by Avraham Hirchson, now the finance minister.
AFTER FOUR years in the budget department at the Finance Ministry, Assaf Meir, who was instrumental in advancing reforms in the electricity, natural gas and Bazan Oil Refinery markets, is leaving to take up the position of director-general of the Blue Green Development and Investment Company as of October 1.