|Meeting in Rawabi with Bashar Masri, the development's managing director.|
Rawabi is a city being built outside of Ramallah that will eventually house 40,000 people. We were very impressed with the young woman who guided us (an engineer) and the beauty and scope of the endeavor. Rawabi's developers sought advice from the world-famous Israeli architect, Moshe Safdie, whose influence is evident. The plans include a mosque, a church, a shopping mall, schools, theatre, sports coliseum and a collaborative industrial park for Israelis and Palestinians. It was clear that there are highly educated and skilled people living in the West Bank, including engineers, investors, architects, city planners, and craftsmen. One-third of the thousands employed in this project are women.
The caveat that I had mentioned refers to what we heard from Amira Hass, a Jewish-Israeli journalist based in Ramallah who dismissed the Palestinians we heard from as untrustworthy and part of the corrupt, inept leadership. However she was even more vituperative in her judgment of Israel's leadership and actions.