How Peace Can Bring Prosperity for Both Israel and Palestine

Sydney Barakat
June 25, 2015

(ANTIMEDIA) A study conducted by RAND—a U.S.-based research organization—has revealed the potential economic benefits of peace between Israel and Palestine, overall proving that peace can provide prosperity for both sides.

As explained by RT, the study found that “Israel would stand to gain a staggering $123 billion over the course of a decade, if the two sides were at peace. Meanwhile, Palestine would gain $50 billion.” In contrast to the economic gains that would come with peace, the study also estimated what the economic losses would be if the region continues to be violent. It  states, “A return to violence would have profoundly negative economic consequences for both Palestinians and Israelis; per capita gross domestic product would fall by 46 percent in the West Bank and Gaza and by 10 percent in Israel by 2024.”

Moreover, these numbers reveal that Palestinians have more of an incentive than Israelis to achieve peace, as the threat of violence would significantly affect the West Bank and Gaza (as can be seen above) more than it would Israel.

RAND based the gist of its study on five different scenarios:

A two-state solution, in which a sovereign Palestinian state is established alongside Israel. Our two-state solution scenario is based on an amalgam of the Clinton Parameters, the Olmert-Abbas package, and the track-two Geneva Initiative.

Coordinated unilateral withdrawal by Israel from a good portion of the West Bank. Our assumptions are based on the work of Israeli nongovernmental institutions, including Blue White Future and the Institute for National Security Studies. The scenario assumes Israeli coordination with both the Palestinians and the international community.

Uncoordinated unilateral withdrawal by Israel from part of the West Bank. We modify assumptions for coordinated unilateral withdrawal to reflect the situation in which Palestinians and the international community do not support Israel’s actions or coordinate with it.

Nonviolent resistance by Palestinians in pursuit of their national aspirations. In this scenario we consider Palestinian legal efforts at the United Nations (UN) and other world bodies, continued support for trade restrictions on Israel, and nonviolent demonstrations.

Violent uprising. In this scenario we consider the effects of a violent Palestinian uprising, perhaps emanating from Gaza but also including the West Bank and possibly participation from foreign terrorists.”

Ultimately, the study predicts that a two-state solution would provide the greatest economic benefits for both sides. As stated earlier, it would earn Israel $123 billion and Palestine $50 billion—a total of $173 billion—over the course of ten years. A return to violence, on the other hand, would have devastating economic consequences.

Of course, the primary incentive of achieving peace between Palestine and Israel should be that no more lives would be unnecessarily sacrificed over senseless violence. However, because morals tend to remain absent from politics, it is crucial to point out the monetary gain that would benefit both sides should peace be legitimately accomplished.

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