Economic integration in the Middle East: Israeli‒Palestinian fresh food trade

Geesche M. Dobers, Rico Ihle*, Yael Kachel, Ulf Liebe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Violent political conflict results in socioeconomic fragmentation and hampers economic development. In contrast, trade crucially depends on cooperation. The article empirically analyses at the micro-level whether economic interactions affect political attitudes. Trading relations between Israelis and Palestinians are found to be extensive despite the conflict. Education and personal social networks facilitate contacts. Israeli traders do not see themselves as affected by the conflict, but wish for its quick settlement. This lends support to the Rational Group Conflict Theory and the Theory of Liberal Peace. Daily contacts are found to create positive functional interdependence which may be effective in fostering reconciliation in the Middle East.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)421-441
JournalIsrael Affairs
Issue number3
Early online date20 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018


  • Food trade
  • Israel
  • political conflict
  • Realistic Group Conflict Theory
  • Theory of Liberal Peace

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