Rod Bryant and Jerry Gordon interview Dan Diker, former Secretary General of the World Jewish Congress, and now Director of the Program to Counter Political Warfare at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. Diker is the editor of the Defeating Denormalization—Shared Palestinian and Israeli Perspectives on a New Path to Peace. The English translation of the Hebrew version underlined what the ‘experiment’ revealed in JCPA seminars—The Israeli Palestinian Path to Economic Prosperity. It was about normalization of relations between Arabs and Israelis using what Diker called a “bottom up” approach. The prospect of realizing the potential of this ‘experiment appears to be in jeopardy given murderous attacks in late September and early October 2018. On September 16, 2018 there was the murder of 45 year old American – Israeli Ari Fuld in Gush Etzion, by a 16 year old Palestinian youth. On October 7, 2018, a 23 year old Palestinian electrician and employee at a firm located in The Barkan Industrial Park in Samaria killed 29 year old secretary Kim Levengrond-Yehezkel and 32 year old firm executive Ziv Hajbi, leaving grieving families. Israeli general security and the IDF launched an immediate manhunt for the Palestinian suspect from a village near Tulkarm. These murderous Palestinian attacks came shortly following the 25th Anniversary of the failed Oslo Peace Accords signed on September 13, 1993. The Barkan Industrial Park is one of 16 industrial parks established by former Jewish Agency head Anatoly Sharansky employing more than 30,000 Israeli and Palestinians. They have boosted income and level of living standards spawning both Israeli and Palestinian entrepreneurship. Diker shared his views that the culture of terrorism, hatred and incentives for these murderous attacks may have prompted recent Trump Administration legislative and executive actions to deny Palestinian Authority funding under the Taylor Force Act. Further actions included closure of the Washington, DC office of the PLO and curtailment of US funding for the UNWRA refugee program. Yet, he cites JCPA fellow, and New York hedge fund executive Sander Gerber saying that the Trump Administration has yet to articulate its rationale. Nevertheless, Diker suggests that these horrific attacks will not stymie the growth of the peace through prosperity model of the Industrial Parks leading to a possible federation of the Palestinian areas in the disputed territories with security provided by Israel and Jordan. Diker says this is recognition of the evident failure of the corrupt Palestinian Authority incentivizing terrorism. This has prompted US National Security Adviser Ambassador John Bolton to say that the PA does not meet the international legal definitions of a state.
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