Craig Newmark on the Palestinian Question

Craig Newmark is a senior Web-oriented software engineer, with around twenty-five years of experience (including 18 years at IBM), and has become a leader in online community by virtue of running www.craigslist.org for over 9 years. He's compiled extensive experience evangelizing, leading and building, including work at Bank of America and Charles Schwab.

In 1995, he started craigslist which serves as a non-commercial community bulletin board with classifieds and discussion forums. Using a common sense, down-to-earth approach, craigslist strives to make the 'net more personal and authentic, while advocating social responsibility through the promotion of small, non-profit organizations.

Craig's community activities include being on the advisory boards of Climate Theatre and Haight-Ashbury Food Program as well as supporting local writers through Grotto Nights. Craig has been featured in the Associated Press, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Business Week, Time Magazine, and Esquire Magazine.

In 1995, he started craigslist which serves as a non-commercial community bulletin board with classifieds and discussion forums. Using a common sense, down-to-earth approach, craigslist strives to make the 'net more personal and authentic, while advocating social responsibility through the promotion of small, non-profit organizations.

Craig's community activities include being on the advisory boards of Climate Theatre and Haight-Ashbury Food Program as well as supporting local writers through Grotto Nights. Craig has been featured in the Associated Press, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Business Week, Time Magazine, and Esquire Magazine.

  • Transcript

TRANSCRIPT

Newmark:    Somehow, I’ve gotten myself involved in the efforts towards Palestinian and Israeli peace.  I don't know how this happened exactly, but it just somehow feels right, and I’m trying to do this on a common sense basis, working with a moderates peace group called One Voice, and what they’ve done is they’ve gone to hundreds of thousands of Palestinians and Israelis, gotten them to sign up, talk to them a lot, because what they hear consistently is that everyone, you know, the vast majority of people, they are close to a deal.  There’s some disagreement, but they all want to cut a deal, and they’re all moderates.  There are a few number of extremists who liked to pick a fight, and I figured one thing that makes sense is if people are doing serious business in places like the West Bank, well, jobs make for peace, and I’ve seen this excess of micro finance across the world, so I figured I’ll try some of that.  So I’ve helped get Kiva.org, together with CHF International, and they are starting out a finance business people on the West Bank and I’m pretty optimistic about peace.  I don't know what to make of the Gaza situation.  There, I have to defer to people who are a lot smarter than me and just to find out what they think.  But meanwhile I can stay, put some focus on real stuff that people like me can do on the West Bank.  For that matter, I even funded the construction of [a latrine] at a high school in the West Bank, in Jericho, but I’m paying attention to different efforts, trying to do stuff which is real and reflecting one of the best expressions of American values overseas.  That was the martial plan in the late ‘40s, which created a lot of opportunity and jobs and rebuilding in Europe.  It made a lot of friends.  It created a lot of markets and prevented a lot of extremism.  Again, you follow through with your best values and, you know, you got good results.


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