Worried Israeli Business Leaders Urge Netanyahu to Make Peace

Monday, January 20, 2014 |  Ryan Jones

Around one hundred of Israel's top business leaders have joined the chorus of voices urging Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to "urgently" conclude a final status peace deal with the Palestinians.

The senior Israeli business leaders have joined with Palestinian colleagues under the banner of the Breaking the Impasse Initiative (BTI), and plan to participate en masse in the annual World Economic Forum scheduled to take place in Davos, Switzerland next week.

Their message to Netanyahu and others involved in the peace process: "We must reach a political settlement, urgently. The conflict is hitting the pocket of every citizen."

According to the group, which, despite its mission statement, describes itself as a-political, reaching a final status peace agreement based on the two-state solution is a necessity for both the Israeli and Palestinian economies and the businesses that keep them aloft.

"We know that if Israel wants a stable economy and to enjoy a good and fruitful future, we have to reach an agreement" with the Palestinians, the group told Israel's Yediot Ahronot daily newspaper.

"The world is beginning to lose patience and the threat of sanctions against Israel grows every day," BTI warned. "We have a window of opportunity with [US Secretary of State] John Kerry's visits to the region, and we need to seize it."

BTI says it will not involve itself in issues relating to borders or security, but rather will focus on what its members know best - the economy. Of course, borders and security are the issues holding up the peace process.

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