A group called Breaking the Impasse attended the World Economic Forum’s Middle East and North Africa meeting.
About 80 leading Israeli chief executives, entrepreneurs and business owners crossed the Jordanian border and a bus carrying 20 Palestinian business people drove from Ramallah.
These two delegations presented a joint message, saying, in the words of Munib al-Masri, the Nablus-based billionaire heading the Palestinians, “Enough is enough.”
The group said: “The current situation endangers the economy and the social fabric of both nations, and may render the two-state solution unattainable”, and urged their politicians to show “boldness” and make peace.
They had recently met Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, and have briefed Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, several times on the initiative.
On Sunday he welcomed it, as did Israel’s President Shimon Peres.
The group said that while they favoured a two-state solution, they would not prescribe how their leaders got there. Yossi Vardi, a leading figure in Israel’s hi-tech industry, said, “We don’t agree on a common narrative,we agree on a future.”
Will the voice of big business be heard? Will the right way forward open – even for the wrong (ie profit) reason?