Unite the Middle East

July 31, 2016  

MK Erel Margalit (Zionist Union), who is running for leadership of the Labor party, has outlined a plan that is as much business as politics, for uniting the Middle East.

Called the “Plan of Converging Interests,” the plan was published in Arabic and translated into Hebrew.

The plan’s target is to unite the region’s countries to reach economic and security cooperation.

“We need to stop talking about ‘peace’,” dismisses Margalit, “imagining flowers and butterflies and laughing children; whoever tries to sell this romanticized vision cannot truly bring about a settlement. ‎Anyone selling a political settlement as a love story, in which people hold hands and walk together into the sunset, has never held negotiations.”

Thinking big, the plan includes a regional airport, managed by Israel and Jordan, with access to Egypt and Saudi Arabia. It also outlines plans to turn Jerusalem into a multi-faith cultural and technological hub, a cross-country desalination project spearheaded by Israel, and international cooperation to “rehabilitate Gaza.”

As for Gaza, Margalit derides past attempts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian crisis by giving away land.

‎”Why does the Left fail time after time? ‎Because all the political plans, without exception, focus on what and how much we give – instead of what we can gain — it’s time to change that perception,” an earnest Margalit explains.

‎”As soon as we think in terms of ‘we’ll give them land and get nothing in return,’ the starting point for dialogue is blocked, because the Palestinians have very little to give us, that’s the truth. ‎That is why we are talking about a broader move that includes a wide range of Israeli interests that, until now, have not been part of the dialogue and have been pushed aside. ‎We will change the discourse: No more:‎ ‘How many kilometers in return for a diplomatic solution’ but rather ‘which Israeli interests are met.'”

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