Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas

Thursday marked a milestone for Palestine at the United Nations. For the first time, President Mahmoud Abbas addressed the U.N. General Assembly representing the state of Palestine, which was granted non-member observer state status in 2012. While Palestine struggles to achieve a peace deal with Israel, we take a closer look at what life is like for the entrepreneurs looking to build Palestine’s economy. We talk with four Palestinian executives about their work, and about how conflict, politics and policy affect their businesses.

Ammar Aker, CEO and member of the board of directors of the Palestine Telecom Group and member of the board of the Palestine Development and Investment Company (PADICO Holding)
Nafez Husseini, vice president of ICT & Digital Business of the Greece-based Consolidated Contractors Company, the largest construction company in the Middle East, and a key founding member of the Palestine Education Initiative
Sabri Saidam, adviser to the Palestinian president on telecommunications, information technology and technical education; he introduced the second mobile phone operator in Palestine, and founded the Palestine Digital Library in 2004
Zahi Khouri, founder, chairman and CEO of the Palestinian National Beverage Company, and chairman of a number of boards including the Jerusalem Development and Investment Company and the Palestine Tourism & Investment Company

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    Where is the balanced debate? The guests are comprised of 3 Palestinian business men who have spent the entire show criticizing and blaming all of their problems on Israel and seeking

    international handouts (while Palestinians receive more aid than any

    other people – yet they are better off economically than almost

    Arabs). There is little discussion about economics and business in

    Palestine and how they can build a better ecomony. One of the primary problems is that the Palestinian government(s) are totally corrupt, the Palestinian Authority on hand and on the other, Hamas in Gaza – is a terrorist state. One guest is denying

    knowing anything about corruption. Come on! Where is the counterpoint.? The best way forward for a healthy and viable Palestinian economy is for the Palestinians to lay down their weapons, stop the terrorism and rockets, recognize Israel and make peace. Then the Israeli and Palestinian economies can integrate and all boats will rise together. But there is no sign from these guests that they view this as an option. That is because they cannot say such things publicly. Very disappointing and one sided show, Mr. Krazny!

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