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Progress in the peace process
has already done far more to
improve Israel's position in the
world political and economic
community than anything else.
Increased trade and techni-
cal ties with moderate Arab
countries, the Pacific Rim and
Southeast Asian markets (in-
cluding Japan, China, India, In-
donesia, Singapore and South
Korea) as well as Eastern Eu-
rope are all part of the dramat-
ic explosion of the Israeli
economy. Each week another
country establishes trade or
diplomatic ties with israel.
This will spill over to Israel's
neighbors. But why should the
Arab leaders suddenly care
about economic opportunity for
their people? And what about
the fundamentalists and ex-
treme factions of the Islamic
people? They are the people
who can make this happen.
The Arab leaders in the
world of CNN cannot keep
these people down.
Also, the leaders are far more
fearful of the Islamic funda-
mentalists than they are of the
Israeli leaders, and they should
be. Only a booming economy
will keep the Arab populations
A peace with Syria means a
peace with Lebanon, the neu-
tralization of the Hezbollah and
the reduction of the Iranian
threat. This, combined with the
peace with Egypt, Jordan and
the Palestinians, means that
only an isolated Iraq and Libya
would not be included in these
Prime Minister Peres is in-
sisting on a warm peace with
Syria and Lebanon. That, if it
can be accomplished, would al-
low Israel to "slowly" transfer
its enormous defense burden to
The United States' aid of $3
billion will not always be there;
and, therefore, Israel's economic
gains are even more important.
I believe Mr. Assad will agree
to only a "cold" peace with a
slow transition to a warm
None of this will end all of the
problems for Israel. The settle-
ments, Jerusalem, religious vs.
secular disputes, immigration
and other serious concerns will
continue. But Israel could, for the
first time, be at peace. No more
young sons and daughters killed
for senseless war. Is it worth tak-
ing a chance? I believe it is.
The world of over 6.5 billion
people becomes the Israeli
market for 6 million Israelis.
It is limitless beyond anyone's
imagination. Will everyone
love the Jew? Of course not,
but they will likely do business
with Israel on a grand scale as
long as Israel offers competi-
What if I am wrong? Israel
will still be strong and should
remain strong. Israel will still
be the homeland for Jewish
populations from around the
I also believe that this is a
great time to invest on the Tel
Aviv stock market. Sixty or
more Israeli stocks currently
trade on the New York Stock
Exchange or on the NASDAQ
market. A booming Israeli econ-
omy will drive the stocks ever
upward. Israeli companies are
winning significant global con-
tracts each week. Recently, In-
tel Corporation, which is based
in the United States, an-
nounced a $1.6 billion project to
be constructed in the Negev
Already, the peace with Jor-
dan is blossoming with tourism,
border crossings, combined
projects on airports, water,
chemicals, energy, health, en-
vironment, police, the war
against drugs, agriculture,
ground transportation as well
as trade. ❑
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