Sunday, July 22nd | 10 Av 5778

January 19, 2016 3:04 pm

Israeli Billionaire Creates Industrial Jobs to Foster Peace Between Jews and Arabs

avatar by Shiryn Solny

Email a copy of "Israeli Billionaire Creates Industrial Jobs to Foster Peace Between Jews and Arabs" to a friend
German-born Israeli billionaire Stef Wertheimer builds industrial parks in Israel. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

German-born Israeli billionaire Stef Wertheimer builds industrial parks in Israel. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

An Israeli billionaire has been investing serious resources in creating industrial parks he believes will foster peace between Jewish and Arab Israelis, Bloomberg Business reported on Tuesday.

Stef Wertheimer — who sold his metal-cutting company Iscar Ltd to American billionaire Warren Buffett in 2013 for $6 billion — builds these parks in predominantly Arab areas of Israel that are suffering economically, according to Forbes magazine. The third richest man in Israel opened his latest park in 2013 in Nazareth. 

Wertheimer’s industrial parks employ both Jews and Arabs, and he believes that if people are busy working and making money, they will not have time to fight each other.

“It’s not a Jewish story; it’s a story of all people living together,” Wertheimer, who is worth $5 billion, told Bloomberg Business. “Copy Switzerland, copy Germany, copy South Korea and then you have peace in this area.”

Wertheimer has built seven industrial parks since 1982. His Tefen Industrial Park provides working space for a number of export industries that employ more than 5,000 employees and produce close to 10 percent of Israel’s overall industrial exports, according to its website. Bloomberg Business reported that the German-born billionaire, who turns 90 this year, is planning to build another industrial park in Israel’s south, which will be aimed at the creating jobs for the country’s Bedouin population.

Share this Story: Share On Facebook Share On Twitter Email This Article

Let your voice be heard!

Join the Algemeiner
  • Arnold Handelman

    When Israel withdrew from Gaza, in 2005, several Jewish businessmen from various countries pooled millions of dollars of their personal money to pay for the high tech greenhouse complex in Gaza, and give it as a good will gift to the Palestinian Gazan people. This complex was an important source of jobs, vegetables fruit and flowers for domestic and export markets. It brought in precious foreign exchange. Within one week, the Gazans destroyed the facilities. They rather not work, and rather not have the food and money, than accept a gift from Jews. Not Israelis, Jews. Recently, Soda Stream had its plant in the West Bank. It employed many Palestinians as well as Jewish Israelis. Some Palestinians had supervisory positions, over Jews. The international BDS movement (boycott, divestment and sanctions) lobbied and protested so hard over the location of the plant, that Soda Stream closed it and moved to Israel proper. This threw dozens of Palestinians out of work, and actually economically devastated the nearby Palestinian village. These are but two examples of how Jewish and Israeli efforts at employing Palestinians, or helping them economically, did not work out. Nevertheless, it seems as though Mr. Wertheim’s plants are succeeding. Certainly, an employed Palestinian is less likely to become radicalized. Mr. Wertheim has the right idea. Kudos to him.

  • Any attempt to support the economic status of Israel’s Arab population and integrate it into the rest of Israeli society is commendable. Hopefully, the employees are treated well and provided with the same salary and benefits that would be received elsewhere in Israel.

  • Yoel Nitzarim

    This is a positive, peaceful, practical, productive, logical means to promote a better economy concomitant to human relations in the country.

  • You are my hero this is a great thing to do for all the people of Israel.Hope that you are right and the people will choose working instead of killing bless you

  • What an outrage!

    While Arabs spend many millions of dollars to kill Jews and wipe Israel off-the-map, stupid Liberal Jews spend millions of dollars to help Arabs.

    That is not logical; that is suicidal!

    It would be much more logical to spend millions of dollars to help the only Jewish organization in the world that SUES TERRORISTS IN COURT:

    Shurat HaDin.

    Shurat HaDin’s victory for Israel on FaceBook: