Palestinian-Israeli economies interlocked

The weband utube is flooded with calls to boycott Israeli goods. They are frequently racist, masking behind politically correct statements. They are inherently hypocritical.

Do the Palestinians boycott the Israeli economy? Well, we know that extremists like Hamas for years have tried to ensure that Israeli consumer products, especially food items, have no place in Arab shops. Obviously, this kind of ethnicity is morally justifiable, isn’t it.

On the other hand, we know that every day, tens of thousands of Palestinian workers voluntarily enter Israel, primarily as manual labour. Remember, relative to what can be earned in Gaza or in Jenin, they high salaries.

OK, well that may be an economic necessity, but what about trade?

This week, a seminar was held near the Allenby Bridge between the Palestinian and the Israeli business community. Did you know that in the year 2008 alone, the two economies created 20 billion shekels of volume?

Do you know how many jobs that is worth? Do you what that represents in terms of investment for small businesses?

The Netanyahu government is committed to ensuring this trade surges forward. In London, the Israeli Prime Minister stated at a press conference that: –

We have already moved: my government has removed, to be precise, 147 checkpoints and roadblocks. The 14 remaining checkpoints, 12 of them are manned 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to facilitate movement. I have extended the time of passage on the Allenby Bridge on the Jordan River in order to facilitate movement in and out of the Palestinian territories. I chair a ministerial committee that seeks to remove and has removed roadblocks to economic activity in the West Bank. We’ve moved on the ground.

In parallel, much will be determined by the ability and desire of Palestinian leaders to reign in the terror machines. In the West Bank, there are clear successes here for the short term.

Unfortunately, Hamas has allowed a continuation of shelling, as residents in Zikim, Ashkelon and other Israeli towns can testify this week. Thus, they are ensuring that the passage of trade is minimal at best.

So, next time you hear about calls for a boycott of Israel, ask the proponent why Palestinians do not join in. And then point out a few home truths.

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