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Economics of peace

Jul 08,2019 - Last updated at Jul 08,2019

If you want to have a general feel for what “economics of peace” means and what it covers, you can go to Wikipedia. It is mainly the analysis of the impact of violence on societies and the dividends of living in harmony with your neighbouring countries. That is the normative side.

The positive side of the economics of peace is to demonstrate that the benefits of resolving differences among countries by peaceful means outweigh the benefits which could accrue from resolving them through violent means. In a nutshell, this is what leading economists adhered to, including Nobel Prize winner Jan Tinbergen and Walter Isard, the famous American economists credited with the creation of Regional Science besides contributing to Peace Economics.

Even if we believe that the realtor Jared Kushner was a true and an honest student of peace economics, what he proposed in what he had called “Peace to Prosperity” is a far cry from what economic scientists were calling for.

The conflict resolution which all economists of peace assumed is based on morality, international law and human rights. You cannot achieve prosperity from a point where the aggressor is rewarded for his aggression, and where fait accompli is the order and the tenet of the day. By using a tipped scale in favour of Israel, Kushner, Mideast Envoy Jason Greenblatt and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman have already rendered their efforts prejudiced and unacceptable.

I viewed the proposed project, and to my dismay it was merely a list of projects which the Jordanians, Egyptians and Palestinians had been working on for a long time, and the Israeli government’s role was to impede the implementation of such projects in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and those in partnership with Jordan.

Examples are the road linking the West Bank and Gaza, Gaza Port, Gaza Airport, the Red Sea-Dead Sea Water Conveyance Project and the infrastructural projects in the West Bank.

Israel claims that the Palestinian resistance is committing acts of terror by fighting peacefully against the continuous insurgencies of Israeli soldiers, settlers and ultra-religious groups. Now they want the Palestinians to forgo all of their rights in land, self-determination, statehood and a capital in Jerusalem just to have the projects which they have forsaken for these rights be implemented.

This Kushner proposal is nothing but a wind-blown willow and it had served its very short crooked course.

Economics of peace can bring benefits to all if, and only if, the basic territorial, political, humanitarian and legal rights of Palestinians are agreed to and ensured.

Or else, as the Old Testament (Hosea 8:7) says, "They that sow the wind, shall reap the whirlwind" shall be operationalised.

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