Palestinian businessman threatened over calls for economic reform

Ron Cantor —  May 15, 2019 — Leave a comment
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A Palestinian businessman from Hebron who established a new party that focuses on economic prosperity for Palestinians has been accused of working with the Trump administration and undermining the Palestinian Authority.

Ashraf Jabari, 45, said he has long wanted to establish a party that would offer hope – and jobs – to Palestinians.

“We have an army of university graduates who are unemployed,” he said. “We’ve reached a situation where a young man holding a Master’s degree in law has to work as a street vendor because he can’t find work.”

While Jabari has been accused of promoting normalization with Israel, he points out the obvious: Most Palestinians work with Israel in some way or another already.

“We buy food from Israel. We have industrial and trade ties with Israel. Every day, some 200,000 Palestinians enter Israel, legally and illegally, for work and business, 2,000 Palestinian businessmen have special permits to enter Israel,” he said. “We are living under Israeli rule. With who are we expected to do business? We have no other choice.”

In February, Jabari participated in an Israeli-Palestinian economic conference in Jerusalem, where U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman was the key speaker. In his speech, Friedman described Jabari as a “man of courage and vision who is practical but committed to peace and to coexistence.” The US administration, Friedman said, “couldn’t ask for a better partner in this effort. I’m proud to call you my friend.”

Note: The only hope for a prosperous Palestine is people like Jabari, who will seek the wellbeing of its people over religious and political intifada (uprising). Israel would work with a peaceful Palestinian administration to see her prosper.
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