We've seen cars bring people together in a wide variety of capacities, from meeting the neighbors while washing your car in the driveway to finding a new best friend at a local swap meet. Rapprochement between nations may seem a step too far for even the healing powers of the automobile, but a new initiative is aiming to repair ties between the United States and Israel through the purchase of American cars.
A Jerusalem think tank has proposed to the Israeli government that it gradually replace its fleet of 50,000 vehicles – currently comprised primarily of Japanese and European cars – with American ones, thereby demonstrating Israel's solidarity and support for the U.S. economy. The composition of government motor pools generally reflects the larger Israeli car market, where Detroit's products are typically under-represented.
The proposal is being fielded by the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute, a foreign relations think-tank founded by the quasi-governmental Jewish Agency for Israel and located in Jerusalem's Talbieh neighborhood, just a stone's throw away from the official residences of Israel's prime minister and president. The institute is known for researching alternative foreign relations initiatives.