The Middle East and the Venice Model of development

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Jews have excelled in commerce in every land in which they have lived and been permitted to trade, for at least two and a half millennia. Arabs also have a rich tradition of transcivilizational commercial activity. Yet there exists a bizarre Arab-Israeli political consensus that holds that central governmental planning must control economic activities in the Middle East and that market forces must be suppressed. It is a consensus holding that Jews and Arabs require guidance and planning by bureaucratic elites in order to trade and run businesses and develop industries. Such a view is based not only on economic illiteracy, but on an absurd misreading of Jewish and Arab history. There is no better model for Middle Eastern development, especially for the small countries of the Levant, than the Venice Model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-86
Number of pages15
JournalMediterranean Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Political Science and International Relations


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