Hawks Co-Owner Pushes for Middle East Peace

June 1, 2007


Source: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution


Jerusalem--Atlanta Hawks co-owner Ed Peskowitz arrived in Israel on Thursday ready to tackle a problem that has eluded many others: peace in the Middle East.

He's not dealing with soldiers and militants, however, but shooters of another kind.

Nearly 260 basketball players — Jewish, Muslim, Christian and Buddhist — from 17 countries are participating in the second annual Friendship Games. The weeklong tournament that starts today is Peskowitz's personal bid to foster cultural and religious tolerance in a region that has seen neither in a long time.

"Basketball is a universal thing and big in this part of the world," said Peskowitz, who according to an aide set aside $10 million of his own money to support the games. "We've got good players, mature kids coming here to play. Our hope is that they have a good time, learn something and take it back with them to their own countries."

Peskowitz isn't alone among Hawks officials with the dream of furthering peace and understanding.