Friday, May 27, 2011

What Is Our Worth?

This has been published:

Study: Settlements worth $18.8 billion

which asserts:

A new study by the Macro Center for Political Economics has revealed that West Bank settlements are currently worth $18.8 billion

Before going further, you should know that

The Macro Center for Political Economics was established after eleven years of research in The Israeli Institute for Economic and Social Research (IIESR), and specializes in the economic and sociological analysis of current and evolving issues on Israel's public agenda.

An autonomous organization, the Center combines scholarly research with economic efficiency. These qualities endow the Center with advantages in the provision of accurate data, informed opinion papers, as well as systematic, reliable and timely forecasts and analyses.

They've published a Settlements Encyclopedia
The Macro Center for Political Economics built a unique database of the Israeli Settlements in the West Bank – The Settlements Encyclopedia. The database, constructed in 2004, is based on aerial photographs of the West Bank. A new set of aerial photographs (taken in mid-2008) was recently used to update the database, now containing 131 settlements...The Encyclopedia contains the following data for each settlement:
- Demographic and economic data about the settlement.
- Inventory of construction by usage: municipal institutions, residential, industrial, commercial, and agriculture. The inventory is given both in number of units and in total sq. meters by usage.
- Infrastructure inventory: roads, gas stations, water and electric installations.
- Value (cost) estimates for each item (in current US Dollars).
- Aerial Photograph of the settlement.
For each settlement, inventory data is available for both 2004 and 2008.
A total of 131 settlements are available.

To return to the story, first, you should know that

The Prime Minister's Office confirmed, however, that it was not funding the Macro Center, which it said receives budgeting from "state-run agencies in Europe that have an interest in the Middle East".

And as for the details:

The Macro Center's report, which covers West Bank settlements but not illegal outposts, claims to have evaluated all [no, only 131] of the Jewish homes located beyond the 1967 borders. The report found a significant increase in the settlements' monetary worth due to expansion. It claims that in 2004 settlements were worth $12,649,111,231, a sum that rose to $18,793,513,125 by May 2011.

I presume the Hebrew article has some more details as to what "worth" is, how it is defined. (An article from last March seems to imply that the "worth" is the cost of the building and construction)

But there is so much more - agriculture (for example, our prize-winning vineyards and their wines; organic products), technology, industry, educational institutions, social welfare projects, etc.

If the intention is to illustrate that removing us with compensation is impossible, we already knew that.

We're irreplacable.


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