< HOME  Friday, February 03, 2006

WHY withholding 'AID' to Hamas is bad for Israel

Foreign governments and Israel, which provide about 60 percent of the authority's budget, are [still] threatening to cut off funding unless Hamas accepts the principle of peace with Israel.

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International aid covered about $340 million of the deficit and bank loans the rest, the World Bank said.

Taxes that Israel collects on Palestinian goods passing through Israeli ports and from workers employed in Israel add about $53 million a month to the budget on average, the Finance Ministry said. [So, it's Palestinian earned income that their withholding]

Israel suspended the latest payment, due to be made two days ago.

Earlier, I outlined why Palestinians find themselves in this economically compromised position. But, there is another dynamic to consider. Apparently, Israelis need Palestinians, too.
Israeli exports to the West Bank and Gaza amounted to $1.6 billion last year, making it the country's second-biggest market after the U.S., according to the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce.
This raises some important questions. How vital is $1.6 billion in revenue to Israel?
[Isreal engaged in] approximately $20 billion in two-way trade with the United States in 2004 . . .U.S. exports to Israel totaled $6.1 billion in 2004.
This means that Israeli exports to the US amounted to almost $14 billion! So, the US trade deficit can't be blamed on China alone! Not bad for a country about the size of New Jersey.

So, $1.6 billion in revenue from Palestinians is not a vital chunk of revenue, but neither is it insignificant.

Then there's the question of why the US and Palestine are Israel's biggest export markets.
  • Israel ranked 3rd in the world for U.S. patents per capita, following Japan and Taiwan.
  • Israel's commercial relationship with the United States has developed rapidly since the signing the Free Trade Area Agreement (FTAA) in 1985.
  • Since 1995, nearly all tariffs on trade between U.S.-Israel have been eliminated
  • The business environment and style [in Israel] will seem familiar to Americans, but personal relationships sometimes play a relatively larger role.
And we all know that Israel has a very close relationship with the US. But, why do Palestinians buy from a country that brutally occupies them?
Israel controls movement inside the West Bank and all access in and out of Gaza, except for one overland crossing into Egypt.

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Israel has completely severed Palestine from its surrounding milieu—the countries with which it has historically interacted—and from its logical trade partners.
Because they have no other choice. Pretty effective strategy: occupy, control, and finance the occupation through extortion. So much for the only democracy in the Middle East.


At Friday, February 03, 2006, Blogger efsaturn said...

I'm going to have to do some research on this. What in the heck are we importing from Isreal?

This is very enlightening and sheds some more light on this issue for me. I should have known much of it has to do with money.

At Friday, February 03, 2006, Blogger qrswave said...

Yes, it deserves looking into. Another interesting tidbit is that "Israel leads the world in the ratio of R&D spending to GDP"

That explains why Israel holds so many US patents. But, how can it afford to spend relatively more on R&D than any other country in the world?

At Monday, February 06, 2006, Blogger qrswave said...

From: "Miss R"
To: qrswave@yahoo.com
Subject: [The Truth Will Set You Free] 2/04/2006 09:08:27 AM
Date: Sat, 4 Feb 2006 06:17:04 -0800 (PST)

Israel is a highly innovative country in general. The education system there is supposed to be some of the best in the world. The illiteracy rate is near zero, and most of the country is at least bilingual, and in fact they speak upwards of four-five languages. (Hebrew, English, Arabic, French/Spanish/etc)

Part of it is due to the Jewish identity in general, which stresses the value of education. Part of it is because they are a "new" country, and need to play catch up. Part of it are the attractive loans they have been receiving for years from (mostly) the US, but also EU countries.

Re: the "brutal occupation." It's a cycle of endless violence. When you have a group, such as Hamas, advocating suicide bombing...then of course there will be restrictions on the movement of Palestinians in and out of Israel. Until they received the Gaza Strip, Palestinians did not have their own country, btw, so I am not sure where you are getting your stats, given there was no real "Palestine" until now.

In any case, I blame the Arab nations surrounding Israel AT LEAST in equal part for their role in the Palestinian suffering. They refuse to lift a finger to actually effectuate any REAL help to the Palestinians. If the Palestinians suffer, then it's something they can point to to continue their tyrannical reign over their people. Hatred against the Jews is a big rallying cry for the Arab leaders in the Middle East. It keeps dictators in power.

Anyway, I totally disagree with your characterization of Israel as brutal occupiers. In fact they let Arabs vote in Israel. Furthermore, they are dealing with suicide bombing...it's hard to maintain good relations with suicide bombers. Their reaction to suicide bombing is to bomb the shit out of the Palestinians. Unfortunately, violence begats violence. That's the central problem that I had with Israel - they needed to find another way. And then Sharon came in and unilaterally started to withdraw from Gaza and the West Bank - that was the solution that should have been effected the whole time.

Let's say Israel allows open borders for the Palestinians. What then? If the Palestinians continue to suicide bomb, then possibly disastrous consequences.

It's not a cut and dry world.

Israel has and continues to make the most of their small plot of land. Just look at their army and intelligence! Best intelligence in the world. Best secret ops in the world. Best army per capita in the world. No question. They are doing what they can to survive, and given their location, smack dab in the Middle East, surrounded by countries that hate them, it sure as damned hell makes sense to me.

Posted by Miss R to The Truth Will Set You Free at 2/04/2006 09:08:27 AM


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