Is Peace in the Middle East Economically Efficient for Israel?
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Any member of our current generation may find it difficult to imagine a Middle East that is peaceful and not filled with strife and suicide bombings, death and destruction. The concept of Peace in that region is so intangible, at times even a mere manifestation of the impossible. How can a region whose conflict lies in the depth of religious extremism ever find a solution, when the dictates and boundaries of the conflict have been explicitly written down in Holy Scriptures centuries before? Furthermore, Israel, the key player in the region, currently holds a relative economic and political success in the region. This has afforded the Israeli elite and political structure a lack of urgency with respect to the Peace process. Israel can afford to pause and maintain the status quo, regardless of how peaceful this status quo may be, and only pursue those political and economic policies that are directly beneficial to them. Some would argue this comfort, which has been promulgated fairly openly by U.S. politicians who are backed by a firm Israeli Lobby, has robbed Israel of a strong economic incentive to help bring peace to the region. Some argue, that the prevention of Peace may actually be more economically efficient due to Israeli foreign support and relative status in the region. This paper argues otherwise. First I will broach the arguments of the opposing side and explore some of the reasons why Israel may actually be turned off to Peace in the region. Next, I will look at the specific areas of regional infrastructure, trade, labor, foreign aid, foreign direct investment, and military spending and discuss.how Peace would actually be more beneficial to Israel in each of these realms.