The Celebrate Israel Festival on May 31 at Pier 94, slated to be the largest gathering to date of Israeli-Americans in New York.
The report makes the obligatory criticisms that Israeli restrictions significantly impact Palestinian’s ability to trade and remain the biggest impediment to investing because they create high uncertainty and risk, and that Palestinian goods have difficulty entering the Israeli market. But it ignores that this damage is also self-inflicted as these restrictions are due to Israel’s security needs as a defense against further Palestinian violence. The Report also says nothing about the climate of innovation in the Israeli culture, and how it has continually overcome adversity — factors that help explain the large disparity between the GDP per capita of Israelis and Palestinians.
How can the viability of the Palestinians be increased? Clearly, there are problems to be resolved besides the acute one of differences between the Fatah control of the West Bank and the Hamas rule of Gaza since 2007.
If the Palestinian narrative has gained some resonance in the political realm, the PA has lacked competence in economic matters and not been devoid of corruption. It could try to build a better business and investment environment by reforming the legal system, especially relating to land, now composed of a disparate group of layers of Ottoman, British Mandate, Jordanian, Egyptian, Palestinian laws which differ between Gaza and the West Bank, and Israeli military concerns. Although the report speaks of the well educated, entrepreneurial population in the West Bank, it is apparent that the skill level of Palestinian workers needs to be improved by more emphasis on cognitive and behavioral skills, such as discipline and work effort.
Most importantly, and not sufficiently stressed by the World Bank report, are the benefits that would accrue to the Palestinians were there a peace settlement. Economically, these would include a well-balanced customs union between a future Palestinian state and Israel, and a non-discriminatory policy of free trade agreements. Above all, the fundamental requisite for economic and political progress is to end the violence.
Originally published by the Gatestone Institute http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org
About the Author: Michael Curtis is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Rutgers University, and author of the forthcoming book, Should Israel Exist? A sovereign nation under assault by the international community.
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We take a whole person approach, giving our people assistance with whatever they need.
During my spiritual journey I discovered G-d spoke to man only once, to the Jewish people at Sinai
20 years after the great Ethiopian aliyah, we must treat them like everyone else; no better or worse
Many Black protesters compared Baltimore’s unrest to the Palestinian penchant of terrorism & rioting
She credited success to “mini” decisions-Small choices building on each other leading to big changes
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Realizing there was no US military threat, Iran resumed, expanded & accelerated its nuclear program
“Enlightened Jews” who refuse to show chareidim the tolerance they insist we give to Arabs sicken me
Somewhat surprisingly, the Vatican’s unwelcome gesture was diametrically at odds with what President Obama signaled in an interview with the news outlet Al Arabiya.
The recent solid victory of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party produced something very different.
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“…his neshamah reached out to us to have the zechus of Torah learning to take with him on his final journey.”
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The EU has yet to appreciate the reality that the conflict continues because of the refusal of the Palestinians to accept the right of the State of Israel to exist.
Today, fewer than 4,500 Jews remain in Arab countries. Israel absorbed and integrated 600,000 of the more than 850,000 who left.
The Palestinians have asked the World Heritage Committee (WHC) of UNESCO to recognize Battir, a village about 5 miles west of Bethlehem, as a World Heritage Site and add it to the 936 sites already maintained by UNESCO. The city’s original name was Betar, the last fortress of Bar Kochba and the name of Jabotinsky’s Zionist youth movement.
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