Peace Isn't The Engine Of Israel's Prosperity

It was not the peace process that enabled Benny Gaon to "transform once ailing Koor into a highly profitable $4 billion industrial group" ("Bibi has business biting its nails," International Business, June 17). Gaon did it the same way such things are done in the U.S.--by firing half the workers. Koor Industries' profitable position is the result of the highly monopolistic nature of much of the Israeli economy. It has nothing to do with the peace process. If the peace process has opened so many new export markets, then why have exports stagnated in the last four years and imports boomed?

Quotations made by Israeli economists who say the peace process is being driven by resulting economic benefits are worse than silly. Israel is engaged in the peace process not because of the prospect of economic benefits, as your article would have it, but because peace is a moral value. But it should be clear that, important as peace is, there are other values that are even more important. The primary one is survival--simple physical survival of the Jewish nation. Those who ask Israel to give peace first priority are asking it to put its survival on the line so that the rest of the world can be free, they hope, from the threats of Arab and Islamic terrorism.

Jack Menes


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