Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Those (Literally) Poor Pals

Arab residents in Judea and Samaria are facing a double economic whammy.

First, the Dubai financial crisis.

As reported,

Thousands of Palestinian workers in Dubai may lose their jobs due to the financial crisis there, economists project.

Over the past few months, thousands of the estimated 100,000 Palestinian laborers working in Dubai have lost their jobs. The Gulf state's economy is grinding to a halt...Arab financial analysts said the crisis in the Gulf states, compounded by debts and falling oil prices, will affect the economy in the Palestinian Territories, where many families depend on money from relatives working in Dubai, primarily in construction...

And by the way, it has been claimed that Dubai may be helping ethnic cleansing in Palestine in other ways, including expulsions.

Moreover, Thomas Friedman once suggested in 2005 that Gaza could become 'a Dubai on the Mediterranean' (see: "The Tipping Points," New York Times, 27 February 2005: "The issue for the Palestinians is no longer about how they resist the Israeli occupation in Gaza, but whether they build a decent mini-state there - a Dubai on the Mediterranean. Because if they do, it will fundamentally reshape the Israeli debate about whether the Palestinians can be handed most of the West Bank."). Just goes to show you how smart a NYTimes pundit can be.

Second, that "construction"? Well, Netanyahu has declared a moratorium. No work, no workers. And who are the unskilled masses of workers? Yes, Judea and Samaria's Arabs in the main.

Last June already we read

The last thing that Abu Mohammed al-Najjar wants is for Israel to succumb to US and European pressure and halt construction in the West Bank settlements.

As far as the 58-year-old laborer is concerned, freezing the construction would be a disaster not only for him and his family, but for thousands of other Palestinians working in various settlements in the West Bank.

Of course, this does not mean that they support Israel's policy of construction in the settlements. But for them, it's simply a matter of being able to support their families.

"I don't care what the leaders say and do," al-Najjar told The Jerusalem Post at one of the new construction sites in Ma'aleh Adumim. "I need to feed my seven children, and that's all I care about for now."

As the money goes, so goes the politics?


Thanks to EH for the light bulb.

1 comment:

Akiva said...

Actual statistics on the PA impact, extracted and calculated via PA 'official' statistics, over at Mystical Paths.