Skip to main content

Millionaire MK's plan: Partners in business will be partners for peace

In an interview with Al-Monitor, Knesset member Erel Margalit argues that Israel should focus on joint regional economic ventures to build confidence, and from there advance to negotiating with the Palestinians.
Founder and managing partner of Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP) Erel Margalit poses for a photo during an interview with Reuters in Jerusalem January 30, 2012. Headquartered in Jerusalem, JVP, a venture capital firm focused on digital media technologies, has over $900 million under management and is invested in 30 companies. Picture taken January 30, 2012. To match Interview JERUSALEMVENTURE/       REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun (JERUSALEM - Tags: BUSINESS SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY ENTERTAINMENT) - RTR2XHQ9

In recent months, Knesset member Erel Margalit (Zionist Camp) has flown almost every weekend to meetings, most of them secret, with "senior business and political figures" in the Arab world, as he puts it, and tried to market the "common interests plan." This new diplomatic plan he envisioned is based on economic cooperation between all of the region's nations. Written in Arabic and translated to Hebrew, the plan has been distributed to "thousands of decision-makers in the Middle East."

The move is part of his early campaign for the Labor leadership (the main partner within the Zionist Camp) — a primary election that has been postponed until July 2017. In the meantime, the polls foresee a collapse of Labor (Army Radio predicted on Aug. 7 the Zionist Camp will win only eight seats compared to the 24 it won in the 2015 elections). But this collapse could provide the tailwind that Margalit needs in his battle for leadership of the party. In other words, the weaker Labor head Isaac Herzog becomes, the better for Margalit. Can Labor be revived? That's another question.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 for annual access.