Daniel Lubetzky J.D. ’93, founder and CEO of KIND, returned to Stanford in September to talk at Stanford Regulation Faculty’s convocation.
A recurring investor on ABC’s “Shark Tank,” New York Instances bestselling writer and human rights activist, Lubetzky wears plenty of totally different hats. However most just lately, his focus has been on working towards a two-state answer to the Israel-Gaza battle.
“Daniel had the type of progressive profession that the legislation college prepares our college students for,” mentioned Provost Jenny Martinez in an interview. “He’s been an entrepreneur, he has labored within the nonprofit sector, in addition to founding an extremely profitable firm.”
Lubetzky’s entrepreneurial journey started at Stanford. Throughout his time on the legislation college, the thought for PeaceWorks — a company that used enterprise to create peace in battle areas — was born.
The group used the not-only-for-profit enterprise mannequin, which impressed KIND’s mission to be “kinder to our our bodies, kinder to our communities and kinder to our planet,” as described by the corporate’s web site.
“An important lesson I discovered right here is that there’s a really, very large alternative for us to interchange inflexible pondering with versatile pondering and equip college students to unravel issues,” Lubetzky mentioned in an interview with The Every day. “KIND was an offshoot of PeaceWorks, and PeaceWorks was very a lot born at Stanford.”
Whereas at Stanford, Lubetzky wrote a legislative proposal for utilizing enterprise as a drive for breaking down divisions between Israeli, Palestinian, Jordanian, Egyptian and Turkish individuals. Within the analysis course of, Lubetzky got here throughout a sun-dried tomato unfold in Tel Aviv.
“It was scrumptious. I attempted to go purchase some extra, and there was no extra product on the cabinets. Lengthy story quick, I discovered that the corporate had gone out of enterprise,” he mentioned.
Lubetzky contacted the proprietor of the enterprise to suggest a partnership.
“I informed him about the concept as an alternative of sourcing his glass jars from Portugal, he might supply them from Egypt for half the fee,” Lubetzky mentioned. “As an alternative of sourcing his sun-dried tomatoes from Italy, he might supply them from Turkey. He might supply his olive oil from Palestinian farmers and Palestinian growers and similar with the eggplants and so forth and so forth.”
This partnership led to the creation of PeaceWorks. The corporate, which operated for 25 years and predominantly targeted on the meals trade, sought to convey neighbors in battle areas collectively.
“We created incentives for financial cooperation to create prosperity for all of the individuals within the area, with equal relations and respect for all,” Lubetzky mentioned.
“I actually appreciated Daniel’s strategy to problems with neighborhood and the best way wherein, by means of KIND and likewise by means of his non-profit work, he actually tries to create neighborhood,” Martinez mentioned. “Specializing in how individuals, by means of compassion and curiosity, can have higher relationships amongst individuals who come to issues from very totally different views.”
Lubetzky additionally based the OneVoice motion in 2002. Since 2015, the group has supplied greater than $15 million in funding to Israeli and Palestinian grassroots activists working towards a two-state answer to the Israel-Palestine battle. Energetic internationally, OneVoice raises sources and visibility for its regional companions.
“The idea of OneVoice is to amplify the voice of moderates that need to finish the battle and construct a greater future for all of the individuals of the area,” Lubetzky mentioned.
The continued Israel-Gaza warfare has had a deep affect on OneVoice workers.
“I actually haven’t been sleeping during the last two, three weeks as a result of we’ve misplaced plenty of our household and buddies to this warfare,” Lubetzky mentioned in an interview in October. “We’ve Palestinian and Israeli workers and colleagues whose lives have been impacted.”
“We’ve Palestinian workers in Gaza that we’ve been making an attempt to evacuate, however Hamas has blocked the exits and prevented them from leaving. We’ve Israelis, each Jewish and Muslim Israelis, that had been killed by the Hamas terrorists.”
The #wearebuilders motion, which he began in October, hopes to bridge variations by framing the battle round extremism relatively than a battle of political or private identities.
“We can not enable this to be a battle of Israelis versus Palestinians, Muslims versus Jews or Left versus Proper. It’s essentially about Moderates versus Extremists — about Builders versus Destroyers,” the motion’s mission reads.
Some college students disagreed with the framing of #wearebuilders.
“On the whole, I agree with the concept it’s essentially about moderates versus extremists,” mentioned Hamza El Boudali ’22 M.S. ’24. “However I feel that’s additionally true of any problem, so I don’t suppose that it’s particular to this battle specifically.”
El Boudali thinks that the battle continues to be associated to facets of identification.
“I might agree the battle isn’t purely alongside nationalistic traces or non secular traces, within the sense that not each member of that group has the identical views, however that’s virtually a trivial level. Most Palestinians are pro-Palestine, and the vast majority of Israelis are pro-Israel,” he mentioned.
Lubetzky left college students with a message on the worth of humor and light-weight in preventing darkness. He recalled a narrative of his father, who was a Holocaust survivor within the Dachau focus camp.
“I mentioned, ‘Dad, it by no means crossed my thoughts to ask you. If you had been in Dachau in these bunkers, in subhuman situations, did you ever chuckle? Had been you in a position to chuckle?’” Lubetzky mentioned. “It was three years — think about someone dwelling three years, and having no second of laughter.”
Lubetzky’s father began to cry, talking to the significance of laughter throughout tough moments.
“His father, my grandfather, used to inform jokes to the inmates to maintain their spirits up,” Lubetzky mentioned. “He even used to inform jokes to the German troopers, to attempt to give them a bit of little bit of a modicum of humanity … Laughter was some of the essential issues that saved him alive.”