It’s estimated that the direct and indirect economic cost to Israel for the 51 day Gaza war was in the area of $3 billion dollars. It’s broken up between military costs, and economic damage.
I only mention that number because of an interesting article I read in Makor Rishon this weekend.
Assaf Gibor interviewed some young men (in their 20s and 30s) in Gaza who wanted to leave. They want to move to Europe, to start new lives and families there, away from Gaza, Hamas and war.
One man gave broke down the costs. He needed $12,000 to make a new life.
$5000 goes to pay the tunnel smugglers to get him out of Gaza and into the Sinai. Another thousand more to get him from the Sinai to Alexandria in Egypt. And two thousand dollars more to pay off a former Syrian woman named Um-Salim who helps Syrians (and now also Gazans) sneak into Europe via boat.
The boat goes out every Thursday with 300 people on it.
Once the boat reaches Italy, and the passengers reach shore (whether by docking or swimming), they head over to the local Red Cross office, they then get sent to jail for a short period of time, and soon after that, they are set free to go look for work and life in Europe.
At $12,000 a person, you could smuggle a million Gazans into Europe, and it would be far cheaper than what the European Union is going to waste in rebuilding Gaza, just so Hamas can get it all destroyed, when they attack Israel again. And the EU wouldn’t even notice the minuscule spike in new immigrants.
You’d need a lot more boats, but you get the idea.
When at least 70% of Arabs want to leave the Land of Israel (including Gaza), relocation is a concept seriously worth exploring.
There are financial solutions that would bring real peace. Just no one wants to talk about them.