Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Can Apples Bring Peace to the Middle East?

Probably not...but this week marks the beginning of the now annual trade between Israel and Syria. Dozens of trucks, apparently driven by Kenyans in Red Cross vehicles, will be allowed to cross from Israel to Syria to sell the surplus of apples grown by Druze in the Golan Heights.

The trade results from a combination of the basic economics principle of supply and demand mixed with some regional politics. First and foremost, more apples are grown in the Golan Heights than is needed for the Israeli domestic demand. On the other side of the coin, the Syrians don't grown enough apples to meet their domestic demand. While Syria might not appear to the most likely of destinations for this excess of apples, since 2004, this is where many of apples are shipped to.

The Druze in the Golan Heights were Syrian citizens before the 6 day war, and many of them still view themselves as Syrian. Many of the Druze were also cut off from their relatives at the conclusion of the war, yet still maintain contact with their Syrian relatives. The apple trade represents an opportunity for the Druze on both sides of the border to show their support for each other and solve a simple agricultural trade issue. Some political analysts view the apple trade as a sign of thawed relations between Israel and Syria, and proof that a peace agreement is possible. We'll just have to wait and see...In the meantime check out this recipe for apple pie.

The new symbol of peace?



  1. WOW..Thank for sharing ! I was really not aware of that apple is new symbol peace. Its great to know about apple. I am planning my next tour to Israel and will go there soon.