ABU DHABI, UAE: Officials in the UAE have announced a radical new peace plan for Palestine and Israel, which would see a 26,990-square-kilometre mall built across the warring states.
Dubbed Mall of the Holy Land, the shopping complex would cover all current Israeli and Palestinian territory, replacing conflict zones with carefully landscaped retail experiences and casual dining outlets providing both Halal and Kosher food choices.
Highlights of the mall would include 2,500 six-star hotels, beach-front shopping arcades on both the Mediterranean and Dead Sea coasts, a major international airport, and 132,000 branches of Starbucks. As planned, Mall of the Holy Land would come just behind Dubai’s forthcoming Mall of the World in size.
“We want to replace fighting with shopping, rockets with lattes, and ground offensives with aggressive discounts and sales. The only thing people will be trying to kill each other for is that last pair of exclusive Jimmy Choos!” said peace plan architect Djimon Hidondon, adding that the shopping centre’s staffing needs would solve the unemployment problems of Palestine and several other surrounding countries.
“Our experience developing world-class ambient commerce-driven experiences in Dubai and elsewhere will help us bring peace to the Middle East through the magic of retail.” he continued.
However Israeli and Palestinian representatives both dismissed the plan as without merit, saying it would make no difference to their on-going conflict.
“We will do everything in our power to halt the Zionist invaders, whether it is on the soil of Palestine or in the Ramallah food court,” said a Hamas spokesman, speaking from the rooftop bar of an international hotel in Doha.
An Israeli spokeswoman declined to give a formal response to the proposal, beyond describing it as “unacceptable” and “an insult to 4,000 years of Jewish retail tradition”.