February 11, 2006
WAR: Buy Palestinian!
Taranto notes this Jerusalem Post article:
Hamas leaders said Wednesday they plan to make the Palestinian economy independent of Israel's . . .
"Gradually, we want to separate our economy from the Israeli economy in agriculture, industry, health, and environmental issues," said Mahmoud a-Zahar, a Hamas leader from Gaza, speaking at a press conference in Cairo Wednesday.
The Palestinian economy is closely linked to and very dependent on Israel's economy, and separating the two would be very difficult for the Palestinians. The currency Palestinians use is Israeli and much of the agricultural produce and manufactured goods made in the Palestinian Territories are sold to Israel. Exports to other countries is limited. Industry is limited, which is why many Palestinians once worked as laborers in Israel.
Since the intifada broke out in 2000, Israel limited the number of these laborers greatly for security reasons, causing Palestinian unemployment to skyrocket. Israel said last year it wanted to stop all Palestinian workers from entering Israel by the year 2008.
The conventional point to make here is that the Palestinians have been cutting off their nose to spite their face, attacking Israel when it's essential to their livelihood.
But there's also a broader point, for all those out there - Arab nations, Europeans, American liberals - who feel that the Palestinians are being mistreated or not getting a fair shake. The PA obviously doesn't have a whole lot of exports, but it does export some food and manufactured goods, and might be able to export more if there was a genuine external market for Palestinian-made goods, especially if they could be shipped eastward through Jordan rather than through Israeli ports. So, for everyone out there complaining about the treatment of the Palestinians, here's your chance to really help and put your money where your mourth is, not with more "aid" to corrupt officials, but to Palestine's citizens: a campaign to buy Palestinian goods. Every Arab country, every left-leaning Middle Eastern Studies program, should be trumpeting the call to "Buy Palestinian," helping to create opportunities and incentives for the growth of peaceful industry in the PA.
If they really mean it, that is.
The whole reason for being of the Arab is to kill Jews, not be happy. The Moslem is not a normal man.
If they wanted to be happy, they could have done so 50+ years ago. They would rather sit in dirt , accepting refugee handouts from the UN, rather than build a nation . Why? Because they'd have to admit that the Jew beat them. Misery rather than truth is their motto
Its more complicated than that, I think.
"The Moslem" is entirely normal. He may not be reasonable, but he's entirely normal. Reason, the sine qua non of Western civilization, is a hard-fought for proposition not at all in keeping with the drift of human history. Its had a decent 500 year run in certain parts of the world, but it has not prevailed everywhere. Understanding this is essential to helping its spread. Mystification, reduction and demonization won't help a wit. Since, thanks to our host, this is hard question Saturday, lets ask ourselves, are we interested in the spread of reason- and willing to take the necessary actions and make the necessary sacrifices- or do we wish merely to be done with the unreasonable?
Muslims, like everyone else, are mostly quite normal. Even today, with those loons protesting over some stupid Danish cartoons, that were not even funny, why hasn't anyone noticed that India and Indonesia, the largest Muslim nations, were silent, as were the Muslims here. I have Muslim friends, and I have many Catholic ones, and one of my best friends is Lutheran. Arab leadership is decrepti; Muslims care about their families and children as much as anyone else. Right now, a small percentage of dangerous gangsters is trying to hijack an entire religion; the religion that, more than any other factor, BTW, helped ignite the Rennassance.
If I were Israeli, I would by as many Palestinian products as I could, and would do so here, if the quality was good enough. Nothing will help Israel as much as a stabile Palestine, and nothing will either discredit, or force a change on Hamas, as much as a successful free market. It's not so much democracies that don't war on each other, it's democracies with free market capitalism. People don't fight as much when they have some skin in the game.