I teach writing at a Palestinian university in the West Bank. Several of my students have been gracious enough to share their experiences with +972, albeit anonymously. This is the first of four short essays. It was a sunny day. I woke up at six o'clock to get ready for my new life because it day was a big day; it was my first day of college, so I was super excited and nervous at the same time. I wore my new clothes and asked mom for her blessing. When I arrived at the college I took some lectures and…Read More... | 11 Comments
When the Dutch prime minister offered a way to safely transport goods from Gaza to the West Bank, Prime Minister Netanyahu made sure to put the kibosh on the plan. Why? Because. That's just the way it is. Security reasons. By Itamar Sha’altiel You may have read in Haaretz that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with the Dutch prime minister this week to explain a few things about Israel's national security. Maybe you didn't quite understand why this is a story. That's not surprising. The story is Gaza, and it's a story that doesn't make it to the news too much. So, if…Read More... | 17 Comments
The high rate of unemployment in the Palestinian territories and the gap in wages and quality of life between the Israeli and Palestinian economies have led to a constant supply of Palestinian workers seeking work with Israeli employers, since the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip began in 1967. The number of workers has changed over the years in correlation with restrictions Israel has placed on entry into its territories. This Kav Laoved report details the obstacles and forms of exploitation faced by Palestinians on their road to earning a living in Israel and while employed in the…Read More... | 1 Comment
'There is no denying that we are a part of Israel’s economy. If Israel raises the price of cigarettes, our cigarette prices go up. If the price of gas goes up, so does ours. If things are expensive in Israel, they are expensive here too.' In April 1994, Israeli and Palestinian negotiation teams met in Paris to sign one of the most important annexes to the Oslo Accords – the Paris Protocol, the agreement which regulates the economic relationship between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Today, 18 years after the protocol was signed, demonstrations against the agreement have spread across…Read More... | 1 Comment
Palestinians in the West Bank often face an internal clash between identity, ideology, politics and reality. In truth, they live in a place where making any decision in life is a dilemma. A few weeks ago, on a tour I was leading through the Old City of Jerusalem, I stopped next to a souvenir shop with a t-shirt display outside. I wanted to explain certain cultural and political things that were printed on these shirts. On one of the shirts was the famous cartoon figure "Handala," created by Naji al-Ali, the most well known Palestinian cartoonist. Al-Ali was assassinated due…Read More... | 14 Comments
Food security and a healthy economy go hand-in-hand. While the latest data regarding food security seems to suggest that Palestine's economy is getting better, this article addresses the illusory nature of those numbers and the role international aid plays in propping up the Palestinian economy. At a glance, the latest data regarding post-assistance food security in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip—released by the Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Food Programme and UNRWA last week—seems to warrant optimism. 2011 was the second straight year that the number of those living in food insecurity declined in the occupied Territories. The Gaza…Read More... | 7 Comments
Although Israelis spend hundreds of millions of dollars on Palestinians goods each year, these products are usually sold under Israelis labels, since Palestinian-marketed goods are a tough sell. Correction added on 7 March 2012. A video item on the Media Line today tells of a Tel Aviv trade fair designated to help open doors for Palestinian agricultural products such as olive oil, to break into the Israeli market - in their own name. It turns out that Israelis are happy to buy Palestinian goods, says reporter Arieh O'Sullivan (sales were reported at $300 million last year) as long as they're…Read More... | 15 Comments
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