May 21, 2018

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Israel doesn’t seem to be invited to World Economic Forum Middle East starting today

From the World Economic Forum:

The World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa will be held at the Dead Sea in Jordan on 19-21 May 2017, in partnership with the King Abdullah II Fund for Development (KAFD). The meeting will convene over 1,000 government, business and civil society leaders from more than 50 countries.

Reflecting the central role of Jordan in the region, and with the continued support and participation of Their Majesties King Abdullah II and Queen Rania Al Abdullah, as well as the Government of Jordan, the meeting will provide a collaborative platform for shaping the future of the Middle East and North Africa through public-private cooperation.

“If the hope is fulfilled that the region during the next months will have some kind of stability, it is essential to stimulate the economy through public-private cooperation to make any peace effort realistic and sustained,” said Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum.

I can find no indication that Israel is part of this conference.

However much it might be accepted as just the way things are nowadays, it seems more than strange that an esteemed world body like the WEF could not make an effort to include an economic powerhouse like Israel that can contribute so much to the topics being discussed – especially since the Forum is being hosted by a country that Israel is at peace with.

The three conference  focuses are:

1. To seize the innovation and entrepreneurship opportunities that are powered by the digital revolution. 2. To work with government and business leaders to create actionable solutions to accelerate economic reforms and build inclusive economies.3. Last (and just as crucial) is to support humanitarian efforts and diplomatic dialogue towards de-escalating conflicts and achieving a vision for shared stability. 

How can WEF not invite Israel for this???

It is great to talk about normalization, but Israel needs to push to be included in these sorts of events. As the Arab world is already warming up to Israel and increasing under-the-table ties, the time is ripe for Israel to make efforts to be included. It makes Arab states realize that Israel is permanent, and there is nothing that can bring peace better than that realization.

And the WEF should be forced to answer why they would not invite Israel. The answer that “it angers the Arabs” never was an acceptable response, and even less so now as there is so much Israel can contribute to the topics being discussed – and the host is ostensibly at peace with Israel.

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