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Digging a Peaceful Solution to the Gaza Conflict: A Peace Canal

The persistent Gaza conflict presents complex socio-political and economic challenges. However, an innovative solution proposes constructing a two-way channel through the Sinai Peninsula, transforming Gaza into a new Panama. This transformative project, termed the "Peace Canal," envisions fostering regional and global economic prosperity and stability.


Mega-Scale Planning for Sustainable Change

Drawing on the "Thinking Mega" philosophy advocated by Roger Kaufman and the Kaufman Center, this project aims for large-scale change through ambitious initiatives. By addressing the shortcomings of the Suez Canal and providing an alternative maritime route, the Peace Canal promises significant economic benefits, aligning with Mariano Bernardez's double-bottom-line business case. This approach ensures both financial returns and social benefits, enhancing trade efficiency, creating jobs, and attracting investments to boost the region's GDP (Bernardez, 2010; Kaufman, 2018).


Economic and Social Transformation

The construction of the Peace Canal, projected to take 10-20 years, presents a significant opportunity to create thousands of jobs for Gazan Palestinians. This long-term project would attract substantial reconstruction investment, providing a generation with the resources to transform societal performance. According to Bernardez's framework, developing positive, sustainable changes in social performance requires a combination of trust-building relationships, robust organizations, and institutions. Over time, these improvements would create a sustainable social and cultural foundation for peace and prosperity (Bernardez, 2010).


Learning from History

Historical examples such as the Suez and Panama Canals illustrate how major infrastructural projects can create lasting cultural and institutional changes. The Suez Canal, completed in 1869, catalyzed modernization and economic development in Egypt, leading to the establishment of efficient governance structures and fostering a cosmopolitan society (Karabell, 2003; Hirst, 2008). Similarly, the Panama Canal, completed in 1914, brought about significant infrastructural development and modernization in Panama, improving living standards and enhancing public health infrastructure (McCullough, 1977; Sanchez, 2006).


Cultural Collaboration as a Precedent

The East-West Divan Orchestra, founded by Daniel Barenboim and Edward Said, exemplifies successful collaboration between Palestinians and Israelis. This ensemble promotes cultural and artistic cooperation, fostering mutual respect and understanding despite ongoing conflicts. The orchestra's continued global performances demonstrate how shared cultural initiatives can bridge divides and build lasting connections, embodying the spirit of John Lennon's "Imagine" (Barenboim, 2008; Said, 2002).


A Vision for Peace

While the idea of the Peace Canal may seem utopian, historical precedents and successful cultural collaborations suggest that ambitious projects can pave the way for lasting peace. By adopting a comprehensive strategy that integrates economic and social development, the Peace Canal project offers a bold path toward a viable two-state solution, fostering long-term stability and prosperity in the Middle East.



Barenboim, D. (2008). Everything is Connected: The Power of Music. Verso.


Bernardez, M. (2010). Minding the Business of Business: Tools and Models to Design Sustainable Enterprise Performance. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 23(1), 5-24.


Hirst, D. (2008). Beware of Small States: Lebanon, Battleground of the Middle East. Nation Books.


Karabell, Z. (2003). Parting the Desert: The Creation of the Suez Canal. Alfred A. Knopf.


Kaufman, T. (2018). Thinking Mega: Transformative Strategies for Global Development. New York: Kaufman Center Press.


McCullough, D. (1977). The Path Between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal, 1870-1914. Simon & Schuster.


Said, E. (2002). Reflections on Exile and Other Essays. Harvard University Press.


Sanchez, P. (2006). Panama Canal and its Transfer to Panamanian Control. Harvard International Review.



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