The Palestinian Settlements

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Armin Rosen visits Rawabi, the “West Bank’s first Palestinian-designed planned city”, which has the potential to spawn jobs and development in the West Bank:

Rawabi represents something totally new — a visionary Palestinian-directed private sector project, with support from both Israeli businesses and a major Arab government. It has the potential to shift the conversation on the region’s future on both sides of the Green Line. It could convince Palestinians — and the rest of the world — that the future of the West Bank shouldn’t be shackled to Ramallah or Jerusalem’s vacillating willingness to hash out fundamental issues. It could prove that there’s an appetite, both among Palestinian consumers and foreign donors, for the creation of a social and economic existence in the West Bank that’s de-coupled, insomuch as currently possible, from the Middle East’s tense and labyrinthine politics.

Here’s hoping. I don’t think the Good Friday Accords that finally ended the worst of the conflict in Ireland would have happened without the astonishing economic growth of the Republic back in the days of post-Euro euphoria. Prosperity always helps compromise along.

(Photo by Armin Rosen)