Israeli businessman offers bribe for peace

Can this man be bribed? Adding his name to the growing list of billionaires donating their riches to save the world, an Israeli businessman is dangling $1 billion dollars in front of Palestian PM Ismail Haniya to thrash out a peace deal with his Israeli counterpart. Ismail Haniya will get $100 million simply to sit down ...

605699_haniya_praying5.jpg
605699_haniya_praying5.jpg

Can this man be bribed?

Adding his name to the growing list of billionaires donating their riches to save the world, an Israeli businessman is dangling $1 billion dollars in front of Palestian PM Ismail Haniya to thrash out a peace deal with his Israeli counterpart. Ismail Haniya will get $100 million simply to sit down at the table with Israeli PM Ehud Olmert. If the talks bear fruit, the restof the money will be invested immediately. Avi Shaked, who made his money running an online gambling empire and has been a backer of the private Geneva Initiative for peace, says he is doing this because "the killing must be stopped." He claims the money will help create up to a million jobs in the Palestinian territories, improving living standards and ridding the territories of the poverty that fuels the cycle of violence.

Both the Israelis and the Palestinians have already said no, but it's not a crazy idea altogether. Niall Ferguson, in a recent TNR issue, suggested bribing Sunni tribal Sheiks and insurgent leaders as the best way to pacify the insurgency. Bribery is standard practice in Pakistan, where the Army routinely doles out money to restless tribes in the Tribal Areas to keep the peace.  



Can this man be bribed?

Adding his name to the growing list of billionaires donating their riches to save the world, an Israeli businessman is dangling $1 billion dollars in front of Palestian PM Ismail Haniya to thrash out a peace deal with his Israeli counterpart. Ismail Haniya will get $100 million simply to sit down at the table with Israeli PM Ehud Olmert. If the talks bear fruit, the restof the money will be invested immediately. Avi Shaked, who made his money running an online gambling empire and has been a backer of the private Geneva Initiative for peace, says he is doing this because “the killing must be stopped.” He claims the money will help create up to a million jobs in the Palestinian territories, improving living standards and ridding the territories of the poverty that fuels the cycle of violence.

Both the Israelis and the Palestinians have already said no, but it’s not a crazy idea altogether. Niall Ferguson, in a recent TNR issue, suggested bribing Sunni tribal Sheiks and insurgent leaders as the best way to pacify the insurgency. Bribery is standard practice in Pakistan, where the Army routinely doles out money to restless tribes in the Tribal Areas to keep the peace.  

Despite Mr. Shaked’s good intentions, the Israeli-Palestinian saga has always been more about emotions than economics. The Palestinians have long known that any peace deal would come with hundreds of millions of dollars in international aid and investment.  Though $1 billion for Middle East peace may seem like a bargain to the rest of us, it’s not the money that matters.

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