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PALESTINIAN DEVELOPMENT?

Reader comment on item: Will Prosperity End Palestinian Enmity to Israel?

Submitted by Fred K (United States), Dec 30, 2005 at 13:11

Wolfensohn is betting that the Middle East conflict needs not only a political settlement but also an economic one. Prosperity, he believes, will blunt the appeal of extremism and give Palestinians a stake in building a new state after years of nearly continuous violence.

Having spent 30+ years living and working in the third world countries, I believe that if indeed the above reflects Wolfensohn's thinking, it shows just how far out of touch with reality he really is.
What's next, billions of World Bank and IMF money to build better housing in Palestinian areas?

Has Mr. Wolfensohn forgotten that some of the world's worst terrorist, including the 9/11 hi-jackers come from affluent families? Has he forgotten that it was the Palestinian leadership that requested that as part of the Gaza pullout, the Israels would destroy the housing left behind by Israels leaving the area.

What has astounded me over the years is how each new World Bank President seems to be suddenly struck with divine inspiration when they assume that post, on how to solve the world's problems. The sad part is that most of these ideas have been tried before and were unsucessful, or run counter to the regions culture or religious beliefs.

It seems to me that it would be a better Idea to interview responsible local and expatriate businessmen who have lived and done business in these countries for many years to see what programs they think will best serve the local population and help the countries development. Dreaming up programs in Washington or funding programs to please corrupt and despotic local leaders hasn't worked in the last 40 years and it's doubtful if continued, will work in the future.
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