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Saturday, February 27, 2010

The law of unintended consequences

Evelyn Gordon expands on a point I made here regarding the results of the European court ruling that denies the benefits of the Israel - EU free trade agreement from companies that manufacture in Judea and Samaria.
Europeans are obviously entitled to put principle above the consequences for Palestinian employment; countries make such decisions all the time. But the fact remains that once again, the biggest victims of efforts to advance the “peace process” will be ordinary Palestinians.

Thousands of Gazans, for instance, used to work for Israeli firms in the Erez industrial zone on the Israel-Gaza border. Today, Erez is a ghost town with no prospect of ever reopening: having withdrawn from Gaza, Israel could no longer protect these firms, and the Palestinians would not.

Moreover, tens of thousands of Palestinians used to work inside Israel; today, almost none do. The second intifada made a massive flow of Palestinians into Israel too risky, and Israelis felt no obligation to employ residents of a state-in-the-making that was waging nonstop physical and diplomatic warfare against them. The Palestinians, after all, cannot simultaneously demand independence from Israel and jobs inside Israel. The result is unemployment that now totals 18 percent in the West Bank and 39 percent in Gaza.

Israel is the region’s strongest economy; it will be years before the Palestinian Authority can match its employment capacity. So unless those who favor Palestinian statehood think that massive unemployment somehow contributes to this goal, they ought to be encouraging Israeli firms to hire Palestinians. Instead, Palestinian terror and international pressure have steadily combined to do the opposite.


At 12:53 AM, Blogger Akiva said...

Actually, they can and DO consistently demand their own statehood and full economic support - in the form of jobs, industry, free water, free electricity, free phone service, from Israel. If you read their statements and accusations against Israel, they frequently include demands for employment and accusations of withholding employment.

The fact that the goal to weaken and destroy Israel is inconsistent with getting jobs from Israel is apparently irrelevant. Further, the NGO's and the UN frequently pick up and echo such demands.


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