The normalization of diplomatic relations with neighboring countries in times of political tensions might facilitate the process of resolving a conflict. The emerging changes in both business and the nature of conflict bring new perspectives on the interpretation of entrepreneurship and peace. Indeed, according to Nelson, the private sector has “an increasingly important role to play in conflict prevention and resolution,” which is justified by numerous cost losses caused by conflict and potential benefits available from entrepreneurship (1). To enhance the feasibility of such theoretical assumptions, economic interdependence between states that are impacted by conflict needs to be facilitated in order to promote peace (Hegre 763). In the case of Israel-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) ties, the significant advancement of Israeli entrepreneurship is crucial for the region spheres as water and military defense industries, Israeli is potent to make a valuable input in the improvement of its relations with neighboring countries. This essay provides an in-depth analysis of how Israeli entrepreneurship in the fields of water desalination systems, drip irrigation, and military defense contribute towards peace and stability in the political order of the GCC.
The issue of the potential contribution of entrepreneurship to political stability and consistent peace in the Gulf Region has been discussed for several decades. Indeed, as Kaye states, the ties between Israel and the countries of GCC in the mid-1990s were attributed with significant aspirations as per productive cooperation between businesses in the region because only “the private sector can marshal the resources necessary for sustained economic growth” and endure peace (128). Currently, Israel and the countries of GCC have established economic relations, but they are indirect and conducted via third countries. However, the intensification and direct cooperation between them might have potential benefits for peace promotion due to reducing conflict costs (Hegre et al. 764). It is only natural to base the advancement of Israel-Gulf ties on the entrepreneurial branch because “Israel’s successful start-up culture and technology clustering are widely admired across the region, including by many across the six GCC states” (Ulrichsen 11). Consequently, the countries will benefit from international cooperation based on the private sector in the water industry and military defense, which are highly developed in Israel.
The commitment to entrepreneurship-based cooperation has several realms, within which the countries may preserve peace and mitigate conflict. Strategic commitment is viewed as a framework that requires coordination of both sides’ interests in the process of decision-making (Nelson 4). When entering a business-based relationship, the countries accept the term of commitment to mutual goals and will prioritize economic benefits over conflict. Also, dialogue and consultation, as well as implementation partnerships, allow for structured and stable resolving of tentative development-oriented tasks with the support of neighboring countries (Nelson 4). In the case of Israel-GCC relations, such an approach to managing business cooperation will provide economic benefits for both sides and prevent political tensions by means of dialogue.
The climate particularities force Israel to advance its water-related technologies to ensure sustainable and sufficient development of agriculture and other industries that are dependent on water. According to Al-Rashed and Sherif, the scarcity of water resources in the GCC countries is the leading obstacle to their sustainable development and “hinders the national plans for human, industrial and agricultural development” (59). Since all the countries of GCC are characterized by the same climate, they share the same intensity of need for improving water resources availability and advancing the technologies that would facilitate the provision of water. One such measure is water desalination that is defined as an effective way to increase the supply of fresh water and fill the gap between the demand and available resources (Al-Rashed and Sherif 61-62). In this respect, cooperation with the Israeli water sector would be beneficial for all the GCC countries since Israel has reached a significant development in water management.
A well-controlled and coordinated system of entities involved in the promotion of innovative solutions in the field of water management allows for achieving paramount results in the work of the Israeli private sector. The companies operate under the supervision of Mekorot, which is a national water company that is leading the water-related operations, infrastructure, and policies in the county (Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research 10). The technology of water desalination allows for the effective transformation of saline water into water that might be applicable for human consumption of irrigation of lands. For example, the Israeli company IDE Technologies develops and constructs innovative desalination facilities and industrial water plants that provide practical solutions for such customers as municipalities, oil and gas companies, mining, refineries, and power stations” delivering approximately 3 million cubic meters of pure water a day worldwide (Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research 10). The company has built over 40 plants across the globe for the past four decades and might be a beneficial platform for facilitating peace-oriented cooperation with GCC.
Another area of potential cooperation is the implementation of technologies of drip irrigation. As it has been stated, the countries of the Gulf Region share a dry climate, and the problem of water deficit requires a continuous search for effective solutions. With the advancement in farming in the GCC countries, the need for water supply to fields and gardens has increased (Al-Rashed and Sherif 59). Israeli has obtained a scope of technological decisions and has implemented them in the work of multiple private entities, which, by means of research and innovation, move the industry of drip irrigation forward.
An important indicator of Israel’s success in the field of the implementation of drip irrigation systems is the fact that “over the past sixty years it has seen a 1600 percent increase in the value of the produce grown by local farmers” (Tal 387). Such achievements demonstrate Israel’s leading position in the advancement of water management.
A variety of water entrepreneurship facilities based in Israel have provided significant results in wastewater recycling and using water for drip irrigation inside the state and in foreign countries. Such entities as Netafim, TaKaDu, and Autogronom, Ltd. Specialize in developing innovative approaches to irrigation of drylands, control, and manage the integration of drip irrigation technologies in practice across agricultural sectors (Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research 10-11). They also facilitate smart decisions for efficient utilization of water resources that are vitally important for the Arab countries. Also, Paley Ma’am, Emefcy/Fluence, and Shafdan are Israeli water treatment private facilities that enable sustainable utilization of water across multiple water-dependent sectors (Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research 11). Such a wide and well-developed system of entrepreneurial entities in Israel might be of great potential for productive cooperation with the GCC countries that need technological advancement in drip irrigation for better development of agriculture.
Similar to its reputation as a leader in start-ups in water management, Israel has advanced entrepreneurship that contributes to the military defense sector. Within the Israeli context, “new business ventures are increasingly seen as an engine of social and economic development” (LeBlanc 11). The distinctive feature of the Israeli military sector is its high-tech advancement that allows for finding innovative solutions to threats to national security. Innovative entrepreneurship allows for the continuous contribution to “governmental policies and formation of a high-tech military defense system” (LeBlanc 1). When viewing these characteristics from the perspective of cooperation with GCC, the implementation of entrepreneurship in the field of national military defense will contribute to preserving peace and prioritizing economic growth.
In summation, regional conflicts and international political tensions emerge as a significant deteriorating factor that hinders the development of the involved countries in both the public and private sectors. With the rising role of entrepreneurship in modern economies, the private sector entities have a high potential to contribute to political stability and promote peace. The establishment of cooperative relations and interdepending economic ties between states will ensure sustainable growth, exchange of experience and resources, and will ultimately lead to conflict resolution. As the analysis of potential entrepreneurship-based Israel-GCC relations shows, the most developed fields in Israel’s private sector, including the water industry and military defense, have solid grounds to build mutually beneficial cooperation with the countries of the Gulf Region. An alternative thesis concerning entrepreneurship in fields other than water industry military defense would not be applicable due to their diminished relevance to the countries of the GCC region in comparison to those discussed in the paper.
Al-Rashed, Muhammad F., and Mohsen M. Sherif. “Water Resources in the GCC Countries: An Overview.” Water Resources Management, vol. 14, no. 1, 2000, pp. 59-75.
Hegre, Havard, et al.. “Trade Does Promote Peace: New Simultaneous Estimates of the Reciprocal Effects of Trade and Conflict.” Journal of Peace Research, vol. 47, no. 6, 2010, pp. 763-774.
Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research. Israeli Water System: A Circular Economy Business Model Case, 2019. Web.
Kaye, Dalia Dassa. Beyond the Handshake: Multilateral Cooperation in the Arab-Israeli Peace Process, 1991-1996. Columbia University Press, 2012.
Leblanc, Sophie. The Role of Prior Experiences in Influencing the Entrepreneurial Behaviour of Founders in Israel. Dissertation, 2017. Web.
Nelson, Jane. “The Business of Peace: The Private Sector as a Partner in Conflict Prevention and Resolution.” International Alert, the Council on Economic Priorities, and International Business Leaders Forum, 2000. Web.
Tal, Alon. “Rethinking the Sustainability of Israel’s Irrigation Practices in the Drylands.” Water Research, vol. 90, 2016, pp. 387-394.
Ulrichsen, Kristian Coates. Israel and the Arab Gulf States: Drivers and Directions of Change, 2016. Web.