Skip to comments.“Palestinians” Deserve Better
Posted on 12/08/2003 12:04:56 PM PST by SJackson
In a recent address at the Whitehill Chapel, President George W. Bush declared that Palestinians deserve better leadership. Bush called for Palestinians to strive for democracy as a way to peace with Israel.
Peace will not be achieved by Palestinian rulers who intimidate the opposition, who tolerate and profit from corruption and maintain their ties to terrorist groups. These are the methods of old elites, who time and again have put their own self-interest above the interest they claim to serve, President Bush stated.
Bush concluded, The long suffering Palestinian people deserve better. They deserve the true leaders capable of creating and governing a Palestinian state.
Are the Palestinians better off under Israeli jurisdiction or the Palestinian Authority jurisdiction? Palestinians deserve economic prosperity, employment opportunities, educational development, a higher standard of living, freedom of the press, and political and civil freedoms.
Let us now compare the so-called Palestinians economy, standards of living and rights in the territories under Israeli jurisdiction and under the Palestinian Authority jurisdiction. Consider the accounting balance sheet.
Under Israeli Jurisdiction, 1967-93
Economic prosperity. Israeli investment in Palestinian business, industry, and infrastructure helped the local GNP grow 13% annually between 1967 and 1980; per capita income grew tenfold; unemployment dropped from 40% to below 5%.
Employment opportunities. Except during terrorist upsurges, Israel employs about 120,000 Palestinians from the disputed territories. Their earnings accounted for 43% of the West Banks overall income.
Educational development. Israel built six universities and 20 community colleges for the Palestinians. Illiteracy dropped from 50% to 30% between 1967 and 1980. Standards of living soared.
Health gains. Israel built 166 clinics, provided universal life insurance and medical programs for Palestinians. The mortality rate plummeted by two thirds. (1970-1990 Israel built hospitals and schools. Israel also expanded water, sewage, and electric systems.)
Freedom of the Press. This basic right was extended even for press with anti-Israel opinions. Other civil and political freedoms. Freedom of association, trade unions, civic organizations and opposition parties permitted. Voting rights extended to poorer classes and to women for local elections for the first time in the Palestinian Arabs history.
Under Palestinian Jurisdiction, 1993-2000
Economic stagnation. From 1992 to 1996, per capita income dropped 35% in Gaza. Unemployment increased to over 20% in Gaza and the West Bank.
Employment roadblocks. Arabs intentionally exclude Palestinians during job recruitment efforts, importing Asians and other Arab nationals instead. Kuwait has denied citizenship to and expelled all 300,000 of its Palestinian residents after the Gulf War.
Inadequate education. Schools are closed during uprisings to bus students to the demonstrations. Elementary, highschool and university students are trained in the latest tactics of terror based upon wrongful hatred of Israelis and Jews. This improper education is also promoted in camps and religious institutions.
Corruption and mismanagement. In 1997, 40% of the PA budget "disappeared" and was reported "missing" although its leadership has profited personally from the humanitarian aid money.
Control of the media. The Palestinian Authority has complete control over the media. No democracy has control over the media. A few PA activities include arrests of journalists, closure of media outlets, and using the media to promote hatred and terrorism; especially homicide bombing attacks. A climate of fear and self-censorship exists.
Authoritarian government. Here are a few examples: Restrictions on association; intimidation and even "targeted" assassination of opposition leaders; arbitrary arrests and detentions; torture and unfair trials, especially in the new State Security Courts, which, according to Amnesty International, "flagrantly" violate "fair trial standards" according to accepted jurisprudence standards.
That is not all. Let's consider another important economic reality.
Between 1994-2000, the EU contributed $1.5 billion; the US pledged $500 million. Israel allocated $90 million between 1993-1999. Israel also facilitated investments in the Palestinian private sector and granted 2,522 fellowships to Palestinians for professional training between 1995-1999.
Let's get the factual record straight...
Israel does not want to govern the Palestinians. It has tried repeatedly to negotiate a realistic solution that recognizes the Palestinians right to self-determination. In the interim, Israel has tried to help them.
The Palestinians deserve better. The Palestinians deserve economic prosperity, employment opportunities, educational development, a higher standard of living, freedom of the press, and political and civil freedoms.
Are the Palestinians better off under the jurisdiction of the Israelis or the Palestinian Authority?
You be the judge.
All rights reserved.
Draw the border (we might disagree on the lines) and declare it unilaterally. Leave, no more occupation. If (while) violence continues, let Jordan, Egypt and Syria provides services and jobs.
I'm in my kitchen in Colorado Springs. Snowflakes are starting to fall...
Big clue: I have a VERY HARD TIME caring what you, or other Americans who are to the right of the far right in Israel think. You criticize but you never have solutions. You propose harsh action that would kill more Israelis by continuing or intensifying the conflict.
Israel tried to be humane. We honestly thought we would find reasonable people among the Palestinians as we did with the Egyptians and the Jordanians.
You talk about shattered familes and dead Israelis. How many family members have you lost in Israel's wars? How many friends? Have you even lived in Israel? When you make aliyah you will have a vote in Israel, not before. In the meanwhile you tell us we're doomed, show us how we've done everything wrong, but have no legal, proper, or humane solutions. Give me a break.
Israel is MY country. I have to live or die with the consequences of Israeli government actions if I want to live in my home in Netanya. You, OTOH, are thousands of miles away throwing stones.
I am not ashamed of my support of Oslo. It was an honest attempt to reach peace by Israel. It was totally dishonest by Arafat and the Palestinians. We could not have known that without trying, and it will be the record of Palestinian dishonesty and of violating agreements that will, in the end, justify what unilateral action Israel will have to take to resolve the issue.
Binyamin Netanyahu, in an interview with Fox News prior to the last election, said Israel owes Yitzhak Rabin and Ehud Barak thanks for demonstrating without a doubt that the Palestinians are not interested in peace. I think the then Foreign Minister had it right.
You are an Israeli and everything there is, ultimately, an internal business of Israel. Nevertheless, people can have opinions, and can disagree with each other (in civilized way of course). So the following is just my opinion.
There was a large part of the Israel society that disagreed with Oslo right from the beginning. It was obvious to many here in US (including me) that it was doomed for the failure. You just can't hire a gangster to control another gangsters and believe that you will be safe from any of them. Somebody said addressing American leftists that its always amazing how leftist are surprised when their actions fail time, after time, after time. Like consequences of actions don't exist and can't be foreseen, when indeed they can.
Yes, by Oslo Israel bought some good will from the American left and Europeans. But that was predictably short-lived good will that evaporated as soon as Israel was predictably forced to defend against predictable actions of the Arafat's gang.
It's like facing a known killer and tell him; "I dare you to kill me, if you do, everybody will know for sure that you are a killer".
All the nice words how now everybody really know that Arafat and Co are not really interested in peace worth nothing. Because actions of Europeans and American left (not counting 56 Muslim countries and their third world allies in the UN) give NO credit to Israel. Israel weakened its position for ZERO gain. And Geneva goes the same way. The fact that there is no good solution and good win-win decision does not mean that knowingly bad one should be tried just to do something.