Description: Since the deterioration of the Oslo Peace Accords in 2000, business relations between Israelis and Palestinians have been incredibly difficult to sustain, especially in the technology sector. Palestinians need permits to enter Israel, while Israelis are not allow to enter any Palestinian areas. However, a technological advancement created through a business partnership is uniting these two groups in an innovative way.
What Are they Doing: G.ho.st, short for Global Hosted Operating System, was created in 2006 by Israeli and Palestinian venture capitalists to give users a free, Web-based virtual desktop that lets them access their files from any computer with an Internet connection using one sign-in. Instead of recreating the wheel, G.ho.st uses familiar tools like Google Doc and Zoho to organize word documents, spreadsheets, web-conferencing, music, database applications, email and a calendar and Flickr to upload and share photos. Not only does this service make life easier for those of us with busy, computer-hopping lives, but G.ho.st also, in a unique way, provides a “digital” olive branch between the warring factions. In addition, G.ho.st’s charitable foundation provides free or subsidized cyber cafes and technology training in disadvantaged locations for both Palestinians and Israelis.
“We are doing something across cultures and across two sides of a tough conflict,” said Zvi Schreiber, G.ho.st’s chief executive to the New York Times. “I was prepared for the possibility that it might be difficult, but it hasn’t been.”