It’s a Beautiful Life, or at Least it Can Be

In this age of peace talks and big ideas, there is something to be said for making a virtue of necessity. I’m writing a piece now about Danny Lubetzky, founder of Peaceworks, an international business specializing in bringing people together from opposing sides of world conflicts, including the Israeli/Palestinian.

I admit to having initially been skeptical about this idea–not so much whether it can work as business (of course everyone wants to prosper), but whether it could actually have a moderating influence on people. After all, plenty of terrorists have money. But the more ordinary people in the Muslim world I meet who are in business, such as Mohammed Saleh and Jimmy Bissan, the more impressed I am with their straightforward goodness and utter unconcern that I am Jewish, and lack of categorical animus towards Israel.

While people who are true fanatics or power mad may be beyond the reach of reason, and economics are not the only force in shaping ideology and personality, I think there is something to be said for the idea of promoting economic cooperation as a means of moderating radicalism. Most people don’t want war and bloodshed, they want security, including economic security. It’s why capitalism works and communism doesn’t. Perhaps people like Lubetzky are tapping into something elemental that the high-minded “peace process” types have missed for too long.

This entry was written by and posted on May 17, 2008 at 1:09 pm and filed under Blog.