Open your eyes and see the fires burning in Afghanistan, Egypt, Syria, Bahrain, Libya and Lebanon, whilst Israel’s economic development marches forward relentlessly. While Jerusalem is on track to becoming a world city as the principal hub of tourism to the Middle East, Damascus, Cairo and Beirut are crippled and simply unable to respond. In competitive terms, it’s as if all of Apple’s iPhones and Google’s Androids ceased operating just when Nokia began to produce their best products.
Jerusalem’s metropolitan population is expected to double by 2030 and triple by 2050. Notwithstanding the world’s negative response to Prime Minister Netanyahu’s announcement that Israel will surge forward with construction plans in the E1 zone of east Jerusalem, these activities are essential to economic prosperity. The city’s Muslim, Christian and Jewish constituents will benefit as a result, and no amount of political rhetoric will surpass the fundamental necessity to eradicate poverty and through it, the insurgencies that prey on the poor.
The world is tired of the political shenanigans promoted by political puppet masters who dance to the tune of those with the loudest voice, the voice of fundamental Islam intent on dominating culture and society and claiming Israel’s scalp, the crown of its insurgency. And Israel’s focus – BUILD! Build much needed housing for its ballooning immigrant population. Build hotels to accommodate the massive growth in tourism (Jerusalem is short 10,000 hotel rooms). Build infrastructure, roads, trains, airports, ports and resources.
Jerusalem has a new light rail, and in a few years the train from Tel Aviv will deliver people to the doorsteps of the ancient city’s holy basin in 30 minutes. The new Convention City is approved, construction commenced, and government is coordinated to attract and accommodate tourists in Jerusalem’s center. The largest inbound travel operators are demanding to market and sell Jerusalem more aggressively to the world’s 2.5 billion people who have an innate connection to the city.
This financial opportunity is inherently ethical, because the GDP contribution from construction and tourism also demands a desired proportion of unskilled labor from the widest possible human resource footprint. The naysayers who would otherwise divide Jerusalem to satisfy their political desires at the expense of prosperity for the poor, and politicians who sacrifice justice to retain the semblance of power, will self-destruct because they failed to open their eyes.
Whilst Israel’s enemies would prefer the theater of war be directed inside her borders, Israel’s technological prowess will continue to protect its citizens, residents and occupants, but when its occupants attack it from within its borders the intolerable civil situation requires the strongest military response. However, Israel’s compassion and dedication to the human condition prevents it from perpetrating a Syrian style massacre, and its enemies who subscribe to the honor of death see that as weakness.
The tide of Israel’s opposition ebbs and flows, but we are living in remarkable times when the power of the tide has been substantially reduced. Israel can finally stand firmly in the ocean as the waves pound against it, and the more it sinks its roots in buildings, construction, substantial infrastructure and ingenious technologies that spread the world over, the more Israel becomes a stable anchor, an independent force and a permanent beacon of light.
Notwithstanding the myriad subversive insurgent agendas Jews of the world may possess from time-to-time – as anyone will attest, “three Jews, four opinions” – Israel the Jewish nation, not the state, has one preeminent insurgency. This insurgency envisages a world peace that also accommodates Jewish independence and an unrestricted ability to celebrate its culture. However, Israel the Jewish state, a concept its most fundamental opponents can never accept, highlights the bigoted nature of insurgency and at the opposite extreme, Jewish orthodoxy’s response: Rebuild Jerusalem, assemble the righteous and allow Jerusalem to blossom as a city on a hill whose rays illuminate the darkness of so many including the inhabitants of its neighboring Middle Eastern capital cities still yearning to breathe free.
Kevin Bermeister is the founder of Jerusalem 5800, a master plan for Jerusalem through the year 2050. Bermeister is a technological innovator, developing substantial businesses in the computer, multimedia and Internet industries. Among his many accomplishments, he was a founding investor of Skype in 2002. He is also an active investor in Israeli real estate.