In an odd way, The Plaza Hotel in New York City has done more for Israeli-Arab relations than has 25 years of high-level diplomacy. Follow this story, which proves that commerce can trump politics:
Ã¢€¢ In August 2004, Israeli investment firm ELAD Properties bought The Plaza for $675 million from co-owners Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal and Millennium & Copthorne Hotels. After a long fight with New York's hotel unions (thatÃ¢€â„¢s another story), ELAD launched a $350-million renovation of the property and conversion of some hotel rooms into condo hotel units.
Ã¢€¢ Today, ELAD announced that it selected Toronto-based Fairmont Hotels to manage The Plaza when it reopens in 2007. A part owner (about five percent) of Fairmont is none other than Prince Alwaleed.
It just shows that sometimes green is thicker than red.