The average wage earned by Arab Palestinians in agricultural and industrial centres is double the average West Bank Palestinian income. A ban on goods would have a negligible impact on the Israeli economy (Jewish settlers could easily move to Israel proper and re-invest there). But it would have a devastating impact on the Palestinian economy, such as higher unemployment and diminished purchasing power.
The last thing the West Bank needs is damage to its cohesion and stability. This is a classic example of pernicious “gesture politics” that would only lead to suffering for people on the ground; maybe this explains why even the Palestinian Authority does not support this idea of a boycott.
Speaking of boycotts, Israel HaYom‘s Gil Nadal argues that an EU boycott of settlement products would violate existing World Trade Organization agreements.
Rest O’ the Roundup
• Natan Sharansky discussed the Arab Spring with the Times of Israel:
“The free world has to understand: We cannot decide for these people to be a democracy or not. We cannot guarantee the survival of the dictators. We cannot guarantee the creation of free society.” Therefore, Sharansky insists that the West support Egypt’s young democracy — which needs the West’s help to survive — but should tie all aid to Egypt to the strengthening of a free society there and the acceptance of peaceful coexistence with Israel.
• Turkey intercepted a Russian plane bound for Syria and confiscated suspected military cargo. Daily Telegraph coverage.
• Tony Karon (Time) weighs in on the Israel-US-Iran file.
(Image of Sharansky via Flickr/andydr)
For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream.
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