Judea and Samaria Chamber of Commerce co-founders Avi Zimmerman and Ashraf Jabari.
(photo credit: TOVAH LAZAROFF)
Anyone who follows the path of peace with Israelis will be harassed, and obstacles will be put in his way – but in the end, that path will succeed, Hebron businessman Ashraf Jabari said on Wednesday in Manama, Bahrain.
Jabari, one of some 14 Palestinian businessmen who attended the US-sponsored ”Peace to Prosperity” conference last week, made his comments to The Jerusalem Post at a reception hosted by a Bahraini interfaith NGO called This is Bahrain.
His words came before the arrest of a businessman by the Palestinian Authority and the attempted arrest of another on Friday, for attending the conference.
“We are saying to the world that we are working toward peace, true peace – between the two people, not the governments,” Jabari said.
Jabari said that the Israelis and Palestinians have been “with this problem” for 70 years. “We must live either in peace or violence,” he said. “The way to peace is easier. For 70 years, we have not gotten anywhere. Let’s live in a calm situation and look for a better future for our children.”
Jabari said that while 14 Palestinian businessmen came to the conference, another 14 did not come because of the anger and opposition of the PA.
He said that the message he wanted to send to the world and to Arab countries at the conference was to strive for a solution for peace.
“For how long will we remain in this conflict?” Jabari said. “We’ve had 70 years of violence – let’s try another way toward peace. It doesn’t matter how we get there, but let’s try.”
At the conference on Wednesday, Jabari – introduced as a former colonel in the PA security apparatus – said that he came to the conference to talk about economics, not politics, which he said was the purview of the PA.
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