A Better Idea

A Better Idea

Some 51 years ago, I sat on a mountain top overlooking the demilitarized zone in Vietnam talking with legendary Israeli General, Moshe Dayan.  He had spent a week with my rifle company and was departing at first light the following day.  In our conversation about the war, he said that “you cannot defeat an idea with bullets, only with a better idea.” That simple statement undergirded much of my military career, to include my tenure as Commandant of the Marine Corps.

Today, as a Board Member of the US-Israel Education Association (USIEA), a small recon-size non-profit, I find myself thinking about Dayan’s admonition and its applicability to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that serves as a cancer to the entire region. Simply put, USIEA recognizes that a new approach needs to be taken regarding a conflict that is based upon violence, antagonism and political stalemates.  This is because the ideas that animate the two sides…a Palestinian yearning for independence and statehood and the Israeli desire for peace, recognition, and security…cannot and will not be extinguished by bullets and rockets. 

It is for this reason that USIEA has highlighted a breakthrough initiative that is achieving startling success.  Through the “Integrated Business Initiative,” 600 Israeli and Palestinian business leaders in the disputed West Bank (known biblically as Judea and Samaria) are coming together in unprecedented ways to form economic partnerships to benefit both sides.

The convener is the new Judea-Samaria Chamber of Commerce, co-led by Palestinian Sheikh Ashraf Jabari of Hebron and Israeli business leader Avi Zimmerman of Ariel.  Sheikh Jabari and hundreds of Palestinian business leaders are debunking the Palestinian Authority’s anti-normalization policy towards Israel which impacts all business between Palestinians and Israelis. Sheikh Jabari and his fellow Palestinian business leaders recognize that this policy is restricting them economically and mortgaging the future of their families.    

Last November, USIEA sponsored meetings on Capitol Hill where Sheikh Jabari and another Palestinian businessman, along with Zimmerman, presented this remarkable “grass roots” story to numerous Democratic and Republican attendees.

These meetings were preceded by a Congressional Trip sponsored by USIEA that took Members to the City of Ariel to see several integrated businesses and meet Israeli and Palestinian employees working side by side in friendship.  This trip also included a meeting that took place in the home of Sheikh Jabari in the City of Hebron where Members had an opportunity to talk directly to both Palestinian and Israeli business leaders and hear, first hand, their desire to push integrated business forward and thus achieve peace and stability.

In analyzing the Trump Administration’s peace plan, a very thorough, well thought-out, and broad economic blueprint, it is important to recognize that the future success of this Plan never hinged on whether the Palestinian Authority came to the negotiating table. Sadly, we saw the PA reject the plan before it was even released.  Considering this dynamic, introducing a new and innovative path forward, supported at the grass roots level by both Palestinian and Israeli businesses and by the US and Israeli Administrations, is a positive step to take.  The Integrated Business Initiative fits perfectly within the framework of the peace plan.

Though he died nearly 30 years ago, I find myself thinking about General Dayan.  His insights regarding US challenges in Vietnam were on target.  His understanding of human nature was superb.  Most importantly, he taught me the limits of war.  What I am seeing today through USIEA’s Integrated Business Initiative, as validated by my own fact-finding trips into the West Bank and visits to Capitol Hill, is that when you can offer a people hope and access to a better life for themselves and their families…fundamental aspirations that all humans share…the possibilities are endless.

Thus the “better idea.”General Charles C. Krulak, US Marine Corps (Ret.); 31st Commandant of the Marine Corps

12 Responses to A Better Idea

  1. Well said, General! I am grateful to have met you and witnessed your commitment to a ‘better way’ between the Israeli and Palestine people.

  2. Thank you for the good writeup. It in fact
    was a amusement account it. Look advanced to far added agreeable from you!
    By the way, how can we communicate?

  3. Thanks a bunch for sharing this with all people you really know what you’re talking about!
    Bookmarked. Please additionally visit my web site =).
    We could have a hyperlink change arrangement among us

  4. It’s awesome to go to see this web site and
    reading the views of all friends about this article,
    while I am also keen of getting know-how.

  5. Hey there! Would you mind if I share your blog with my facebook
    group? There’s a lot of people that I think would really enjoy your content.
    Please let me know. Cheers

  6. When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox
    and now each time a comment is added I get four e-mails with the same comment.
    Is there any way you can remove people from that service?

  7. Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular
    post! It’s the little changes that make the most important changes.
    Many thanks for sharing!

  8. Spot on with this write-up, I honestly believe that this amazing site needs a
    great deal more attention. I’ll probably be returning to read more, thanks for the info!

  9. Hi there! This is my first visit to your blog! We
    are a collection of volunteers and starting a new project in a community in the same niche.
    Your blog provided us beneficial information to work on. You have done a extraordinary job!

Leave a reply

Pandemic, Payrolls, Protests and Politics

Pandemic, Payrolls, Protests and Politics

Wall Street’s favorite adage, ‘climb a wall of worry’, may soon be put to test. Following the powerful equity market rally of the past two months, investors face unanswered questions regarding sustainable pandemic control, growing unemployment, an uncertain economic recovery, uneven corporate profitability, heightened default risk, opaque policy responses and record valuations. Continue Reading

The View From Argentina

The View From Argentina

Argentina is in crisis. The pandemic had turned a bleak story into something worse. The country may shortly default on its national debt for the ninth time in its history, with far-reaching consequences. But there is still hope. Continue Reading