I have to apologise for my previous post, for I don’t usually intend to brag about myself. However, I have to stress that I may suffer from handicaps but I sure know these are not related to my knowledge of economics and history, as Steve has been saying in the comments section.
I merely refuse to take things at face value. Yes, Steve, classical economic theory tells you that free trade benefits everyone. But two main problems arise for Palestinians here. The first, inherent in the theory itself, Free Trade benefits only the rich. The second (which clearly identifies which one of us has no knowledge of the subject matter), Palestinians can’t have free trade.
Israel controls ALL entrances and exits to the country. ALL exports and imports have to pass through Israeli ports.
We have to understand that we are talking here about an occupation authority. Israel has used this authority to its own advantage, and in the process has dwarfed the Palestinian economy to one which is totally dependent on Israel. Not because Palestinians cannot build their own economy but because all necessary capital investment has to pass through Israel. Just as an example, the mobile telecommunication company required transmission towers and other equipment to expand its network, these were stopped at Israeli customs for more than one year, the company had to pay for their storage at the Israeli port when it was forced by the Israelis. Meanwhile, the Palestinians would end up having to use Israeli providers (which in violation of local law cover the WBG areas).
Same thing goes for agriculture, manufacturing and all other sectors both in terms of export or imports.
So, while economic development is not necessarily a zero-sum game, in the Palestine/Israel case it is. Israel has always benefited from the subordination of Palestinians through exploiting Palestinian resources (land, water and labour), and also from creating a market for selling their products.
Steve, when you take it to the witness stand you make an oath to say the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. You say that Jews who immigrated to Israel after 1948 were not rich. That may contain elements of the truth but it is not the whole truth. We all know that the institutions of the Jewish people like KKL, JNF and WZO had capitalised on the enormous wealth of many Diaspora Jews. It is also a well known fact, that although Israel was established in 1948 a parallel society and economy has been established long before that. We also know that this society has capitalised on the many troubles in British-Mandate Palestine to empower itself (for example switching the main port from Yafa to Tel-Aviv during the Strike of 1936).
It is also very important not to forget the billions and billions of international (mainly American) aid which has enabled Israel to build its institutions in the definitive years that followed its establishment.
During all this time, you have to notice that Israel was built also using the local resources of the land which was illegally transferred from its rightful owners after 1948 to the Custodian of Absentee Properties and then to the KKL in a very dubious deal based on the largely discriminatory Absentee Property law of 1950 and the Development Authority Act 1950. This deal gave Israel enough resources ready to be utilised for its development. At the same time Israel’s control over these resources meant that its owners- the Palestinians could not have access to them to sustain their livelihoods.
I do not make false accusations of buy-in to propaganda of others, I am simply telling of the facts. This is not foolish bigotry- I wish it was possible for me to plan a single development project that Israel would not undermine.
Ah- reading list try The Myth of Palestinian Development, Khalil Nakhleh. Or The writings of Adel Samara (www.kanaanonline.org).

1 comment:

/thm/ said...

Turn comments off and stop wasting your energy on zealots and nationalists.

State your case and keep plowing. Reap what you sow - it is yours.