Back in April, I posted a link to an article revealing aspects of the prospect of economic viability for the fabled independent Palestinian state – hundreds queueing for hours every morning to compete for the opportunity to risk life and limb in unsafe Israeli owned factories along the Wall for below subsistence wages. Doubtless in future, some will have the privilege of queueing to work in Palestinian owned sweatshops.
The NY Times’s Steven Erlanger reports on another aspect of the Palestinian economy – scavenging the settlers’ rubbish tips.
On a good day, working here from 5 a.m. until dusk, the boys make about $4.75.
NY Times photo
While Erlanger is clearly sympathetic to the scavengers’ plight, he appears to have a not so well hidden agenda, writing
For all the agonizing about nearby Hebron — how far Israel should go to resolve competing Jewish and Palestinian claims to the city — this desolate spot is a symbol of the impact of Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank and of the dire economic state of the Palestinian territories, where about a third of adults are without work.
Now you can imagine all the flashing lights and alarms going off when I spot an assertion like, ‘about a third of adults are without work’. My first suspicion was that, in the tradition of mainstream, and, if truth be told, alternative, journalism, he was mistaking the unemployment rate for the proportion of the adult population without remunerative employment. According to the Palestinian Central Bure
…those individuals 15 years and over who did not work at all during the reference week, who were not absent from a job and were available for work and actively seeking a job during the reference week.
The PCBS also reports unemployment using what they call a ‘relaxed’ definition, which incorporates those who are not looking for work bec
Unless Erlanger has access to more recent data and the situation has changed dramatically this year – and I wouldn’t rule that out – what he appears to have done is to add the Unemployment and Underemployment rates. In the Palestine Labour Force Survey, the underemployed population comprises those working less than standard hours (generally 35) and those who ‘want to change their jobs bec
In reality, both the Unemployment rate and the Underemployment rate are proportions of the Labour force – the employed plus the unemployed, as defined – and not of the total adult population. The proportion of the total population who are technically unemployed – available and looking for work – is actually 9.8%. In
Erlanger comes perilously close to attributing ‘the dire economic state of the Palestinian territories’ to ‘the impact of Jewish settlement in the occupied
But what’s really strange is the insinuation that Israel can resolve conflicting claims to the city, as if it were not in fact one of the parties to the dispute. In Erlanger’s imagination,
In the same vein, Erlanger commiserates with ‘Many of the adults working the site’ who ‘have been unable to get jobs in
There are those who reckon more stringent security measures, sacrificing fingers and hands in bodgy maquilas, and scavenging among the settlers’ dirty nappies and broken bottles is too good for the Palestinians. Arnon Soffer, the notorious
In an interview with Ruthie Blum published in the Jerusalem Post on Wednesday, he complained that he had been misrepresented. In her previous interview with him three years ago, he had said,
When 2.5 million people live in a closed-off
Apparently, some had accused him of suggesting a murderous rampage. But that’s a gross distortion of what he said.
That statement c
It’s not that
We are living in a 100-year period of terrorism, and we have another 100 years of terrorism ahead of us. We will forever be forced to live by the sword. We are not wanted in the
…The Kassams do not constitute a strategic threat, and the Palestinians will get the blow they deserve - though we do have to be c
…This is why we have to fortify ourselves with a fence. Then, whoever tries to cross it gets a bullet to the head.
The alternative, ‘Well, then, we'll cease to exist.’
He has changed his spots, though. In the previous interview he had advocated withdrawal from the
Asked about a return ‘to the ’67 borders’, he replied,
That's not necessary. Thanks to this completely crazy security fence [here he points to another map, and runs his finger along the jagged line delineating it], we have succeeded in reducing the suicide bombings to zero. This by itself is a huge accomplishment. But [former prime minister Ariel]
Today there are 270,000 settlers in the territories, and their numbers are increasing, through natural growth and due to Bnei Akiva members moving there. Through
If 86% of the settlers are ‘at home’, he can only mean he advocates withdrawal as far as the apartheid wall, if that.
When confronted with the view that
…Our government has woken up. The only ones making noise are leftists and so-called human rights lawyers who only care about the well-being of cats, dogs and Palestinians, but never about Jews.
...The purpose of disengagement was not to put an end to terrorism or Kassam fire. Its purpose was to stop being responsible for a million and a half Arabs who continue to multiply in conditions of poverty and madness. I am thrilled that we are out of there.
As a demographer, this is his main concern, to annex as much land as possible while maintaining a comfortable Jewish majority.
Echoing Soffer’s sentiment, Leonard Fein writes in this week’s Forward,
Abu Arar’s missile, it transpires, dangles between his legs.
“Who?” you will ask. And I will answer: Abu Arar is an Israeli Arab who has fathered (gulp) 67 children, as confirmed by
Unfortunately, there is a well developed program to counter the like of Abu Arar. They call it ‘transfer’.
[Hat tip to Sam Bahour.]