Why does Israel ban Gazans from recycling?

A little over a year ago when I was visiting my family in Gaza, driving all the way from the southern tip of this narrow strip to the northern tip, “About an hour’s drive”, it was hard to imagine all the news Gaza received for being such a tiny piece of land. But throughout the drive on Salah Aldeen Road, one could not help but notice piles and piles of scrap metal stored in huge warehouses on the road. Anyone visiting Gaza can tell you those scrap metal piles cannot be missed.

When I asked my family about those warehouses, I was told those loads of scrap metal were waiting to be let into Israel for recycling. Since 2006 Israel, where the only recycling facilities are, has not allowed the Palestinian warehouses that collect and process the scrap metal to let it into Israel so they can be recycled and brought to life again. As a kid, I remember old men on donkey-pulled carts with annoying horn mics asking people to bring their metal junk–mostly aluminum and copper back then, but now they also take steal and plastic. As a kid I would sell old kitchenware pans and pots for a few shekels that would pay for ice cream after school. I would also see kids collecting empty soda cans and whatever they thought they could sell and wait for the old man on his donkey-pulled cart to show up. Items like car parts, pipes, cans, and barbed wire are also popular items to recycle. That was the late 90s, and early 2000, but once Israel imposed its siege on Gaza, Israel banned the import of all metal junk from the Palestinians.  

According to a recent article by Elaph.com, the Arabic news site, there is now 100 thousand tons of scrap metal in Gaza waiting for permission from Israel to be recycled. There are 20 large warehouses that collect recycling material, those twenty warehouse are individually owned by Palestinians. Although the people of Gaza appreciate replacing and having less trash to deal with, for the many Palestinians this is purely a business transaction. For example, a ton of scrap metal in Gaza is bought for a 100 shekels (about 30 US dollars), the warehouse would sell it to the Israeli recycling facilities for 250 shekels (about 70 US dollars). On average, each of those 20 warehouses sold 500 tons of scrap metal a month. Prior to the blockade each of those 20 warehouses employed 10 workers, and there are a reported 9 thousand individuals with donkey-pulled carts.”

Those warehouses would make a nice profit, improve the environment and provide local jobs.

As for the Israeli recyclers, they seem to have found alternatives for the time being as the Israeli government continues to maintain the blockade on importing the Gaza scrap metal. More recently, a few tunnel operators started smuggling their brass, aluminum and copper into Egypt  for recycling, but there is so little you can smuggle underground when you are talking about 100 thousand tons of scrap metal. For Israel, it is about economic activities. They do not want anyone in Gaza to have an economy that stands on its own; instead, they want the people of Gaza to turn into a nation of beggars chasing food stamps. According to Israel this breaks their will and tells them that Hamas is really bad for them. But when Palestinians recycle and create jobs in the process, Israel’s hideous and cruel plans fail.

Posted in Israel/Palestine

{ 78 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. eee says:

    Can someone explain to me why Israel should help Gaza’s economy?

    • annie says:

      Can someone explain to me why gaza should help israel’s economy?

      • eee says:

        Hey, I thought you disapproved of answering a question with a question. But to answer your question in the hope you answer mine, Gaza should not help Israel’s economy. Why should they since they view Israel as the enemy?

    • annie says:

      perhaps to eee not bombing gaza’s factories would also constitute ‘israel helping gaza’s economy”!!!!

      • eee says:

        The allies in WWII bombed the hell out of German and Japanese industry because they help sustain the war effort. It is an accepted act of war. Why shouldn’t Israel do it?

        • annie says:

          you don’t fool me w/your tone deafness. go peddle your nonsense to someone else.

        • Cliff says:

          Were Gazan chicken farms, flour mills, sanitation, etc. producing WMDs?

          This is civilian infrastructure.

          By eee’s logic, Israel should bomb schools too. Wait, didn’t they do that?

        • eee says:

          Cliff,

          Gazan chicken farms, flour mills, sanitation, etc. are producing things needed to support an economy of an entity which is at war with Israel. Why would we not bomb them, just as the Allies did in WWII? Why should we let the Gaza economy thrive and have Hamas use the tax base and infrastructure to wage better war against us?

        • annie says:

          it wasn’t a war it was a slaughter, a massacre.

        • Cliff says:

          More about the exploitation of the Palestinian economy.

          This time, from Shir Hever.

          Short Bio from RealNews.com:

          Shir Hever is an economic researcher in the Alternative Information Center, a Palestinian-Israeli organization active in Jerusalem and Beit-Sahour. Researching the economic aspect of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories, some of his research topics include international aid to the Palestinians and Israel, the effects of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories on the Israeli economy, and the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaigns against Israel. He is a frequent speaker on the topic of the economy of the Israeli occupation.

          A brief history:

          The Political Economy of Israel’s Occupation, Repression Beyond Exploitation:

          Dependency

          The Palestinian economy under occupation has undergone many changes, but its defining characteristic is still that it has been under the control of a hostile foreign power for over 42 years. Today, every aspect of the Palestinian economy is affected by Israel.

          From an economic perspective, the early years of the occupaiton brought an unexpected wave of prosperity to the Palestinian population. Taking a lesson from the wave of decolonizaiton and the mid-century fall of empires, Israeli forces used light-handed methods to control the Palestinians, relying on the cooperation of the occupied population, and took steps to ensure the continued functioning of the Palestinian economy. There are five main reasons that the Palestinian economy experienced a boom shortly after the Israeli occupation.

          First, in order to minimize cheap exports to the Israeli market, Israel followed an “open bridges” policy, which enabled the Palestinians to continue to trade with Jordan and to some extent with Egypt, countries with which Israel did not have diplomatic relations at the time.

          Second, Israeli professionals were sent to the occupied territories to “modernize” the Palestinian economy – implementing innovations in irrigation, vaccination of livestock and land reclamation.

          Third, Israelis began to tour the Palestinian territories, marveling at the cheap prices and buying local products.

          Fourth, and most importantly, Israeli employers began to employ Palestinian workers, paying them only a fraction of what Israeli workers would normally get. These salaries were nonetheless considerably higher than wages for jobs within the West Bank and Gaza, resulting in a surge of the Palestinian population’s income in the OPT.

          The Israeli government even created special projects to employ Palestinians in order to secure employment for the occupied population.

          Fifth and last, after the rise of oil prices in 1973, the Gulf states began to encourage Palestinian migrant laborers to perform skilled work in these newly wealthy countries. Remittances from these workers were sent back to the OPT and promoted growth in the Palestinian economy.

          However, although this period of relative prosperity was shaped by Israeli economy interests, it was not an accidental result of the situation that emerged after the occupation.

          Hever goes on to explain the “premeditated” plan of dependency and exploitation.

          [...]a premeditated and well-planned policy of the Israeli Ministry of Defense and the military leadership. High-ranking Israeli officials have attested that they made conscious efforts to improve the standard of living of Palestinians to increase employment and productivity, in order to improve their control over the occupied population and stifle resistance.

          These policies were largely successful in suppressing Palestinian resistance for the first two decades of occupation. They made it more difficult for the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) to recruit members, and hid the true extent of the subjugation of the Palestinian economy to Israel.

          Israel’s authorities put in place a complex system forcing Palestinians to obtain permits for nearly any economy activity, from going to work inside Israel to setting up a shop in the OPT. These permits had to be renewed repeatedly, and were revoked in the case of any Palestinian accused by the General Security Service of dissenting political activity.

          Between 1968 and 1972, the West Bank saw an average annual growth rate of 1.5 percent, and the Gaza Strip of 11 percent. Although rapid growth was expected, as the Palestinian economy was still recovering towards its pre-war economic levels, the Central bank of Israel published a report stressing how the occupation benefited the Palestinian population.

          However, in parallel with these measures benefiting the Palestinian population, severe restrictions were imposed as well. Israel prevented Palestinians from developing any local industries that could possibly compete with Israeli industries (including most types of heavy manufacturing, as well as many forms of light manufacturing), augmenting and perpetuating the Palestinian economy’s dependency on Israeli imports. Industry’s share of the Palestinian GDP fell from 9 percent to in 1968 to 7 percent in 1987. Israel also prevented the Palestinians from operating financial institutions in OPT.

          The Palestinian economy has grown in overall size, as measure in total income and in average household consumption, but it has also become increasingly dependent on the Israeli economy. As local sources of income were suppressed by Israeli authorities, the main source of income to the Palestinians became remittances from Palestinian workers working in Israel, in the Jewish settlements in the OPT, and in the Gulf States.

          By 1974, a third of the Palestinian workforce was already employed in Israel, comprising nearly 70,000 workers. Many Palestinian farmers abandoned their farmlands in order to work in Israel, and Israeli authorities often took advantage of this and confiscated land that remained uncultivated for a certain period of time.

          I think I’ve made my point.

          The claim that Palestinians love working in Israel is obviously a joke. There is a backstory as to why Palestinians may prefer working in Israel than not working at all in their territory. Why would a Palestinian farmer abandon HIS OWN LAND?

          Tell us the whole story eee. Why do Palestinians work in Israel? Why?

        • Peter H says:

          “The allies in WWII bombed the hell out of German and Japanese industry because they help sustain the war effort. It is an accepted act of war.”

          No, it’s not. What the Allies did in WWII would be completely illegal under the current rules of international law.

        • eee says:

          Cliff,

          The Palestinians like to work in Israel because the salaries are higher and the bosses not as mean (on average).

          You explained it yourself:
          Fourth, and most importantly, Israeli employers began to employ Palestinian workers, paying them only a fraction of what Israeli workers would normally get. These salaries were nonetheless considerably higher than wages for jobs within the West Bank and Gaza, resulting in a surge of the Palestinian population’s income in the OPT.

          That is called win-win.

        • tree says:

          I doubt that the bread factory and chicken farm in Gaza were “helping sustain the war effort”.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “Why would we not bomb them, just as the Allies did in WWII?”
          Because of basic morality. Once a governmental policy is disconnected from the basic idea that every INDIVIDUAL (notice the emphasis is not on group, people, tribe, ethnicity, etc.) has basic human rights which ALL governments and people must respect (unless, of course, that INDIVIDUAL has committed a crime or similar act, which permits governments to take certain other actions [not unlimited, of course] against that INDIVIDUAL), then the foundations of all civilization is destroyed and “right” would be based on “might.” And then it’s all genocides and holocausts.

          “Why should we let the Gaza economy thrive and have Hamas use the tax base and infrastructure to wage better war against us?”
          Putting aside the silly notion that the ability or desire of Hamas to attack Israel is, in any way connected to the Gazan tax base (although believing that must make the attacks on the civilians easier for you to stomach, or would if you didn’t ascribe to the morality you do), mostly because it might flip the incentives. It’s easier to get a man to shake hands with you when you aren’t punching his wife in the face and kicking his kid.

        • Shingo says:

          Why would we not bomb them, just as the Allies did in WWII?

          The population in Israel supported the attack on Gaza, so why wouldn’t Hamas target them?

        • Shingo says:

          The Palestinians like to work in Israel because the salaries are higher and the bosses not as mean (on average).

          I’m sure the fact that living in Israel reduces the risk of white phosphorus or dime bombs being dropped on them is a factor.

          That is called win-win.

          That is called exploitation in an apartheid society.

          The wheels are really falling off aren’t they eee? You’ve given even trying to sound reasonable or humane.

        • andrew r says:

          things needed to support an economy of an entity which is at war with Israel.

          You are one sick bastard, eee. Gaza is only a separate entity from Israel because it was created by Israel through the ethnic cleansing of 1948. And don’t even tell me the Egyptians occupied Gaza – If they hadn’t, the Zionist forces would most likely have occupied all of Gaza as well. In short, it exists as a separate entity because the segregationist offensive met an obstacle and when Israel did occupy Gaza it did not allow the refugees to move back where they were expelled, while Israelis could live in Gaza. Even after Aug. 2005, its territorial waters are controlled by the occupying entity and there’s a designated freefire zone 300 M into the strip (It’s really longer than 300 M).

          In short, Palestine is split into multiple entities by the racist occupier.

        • Welcome back Cliff. I, for one, missed you dearly.

        • Cliff says:

          That is a twisted way to look at things.

          Palestinians may not ‘like’ working in Israel but they would most likely prefer it to working under the restrictive conditions in the OT.

          Furthermore, Israel created these conditions, by and large.

          You lack basic reading comprehension if you think Palestinians would prefer working in Israel while they are an occupied people to working in a Palestine without the constraints of an occupying foreign power (Israel).

          But I did expect you to spin what I wrote. Do you have anything meaningful to say about my post? Or did you purposefully miss the point?

        • pronomad says:

          eee: During WWII, the Allied strategic bombing campaign was two-pronged: targeted raids against sites with military significance (factories, infrastructure, military bases, etc.) and “area bombing” designed to literally destroy enemy cities, such as the massive raids on Hamburg, Dresden, and Tokyo..
          What the IDF has done is different; undoubtedly farms, dairies , and bakeries were destroyed during WWII area bombing raids, but these raids were indiscriminate: they targeted anything in their path. The IDF, by contrast, is targeting chicken farms, flour mills, dairies, etc. The rules of war require that military force be used in attacks on military objectives: how does one justify these types of targets as military objectives? What do they have to do with the “war effort”?

    • Jim Haygood says:

      Wrong question. But a revealing one. And you wonder, in another thread, why commenters gratuitously sneer at Netanyahu? It’s a reaction to attitudes like the one expressed in your question.

      Can you explain why Israel continues to impose collective punishment on Gaza?

      There’s no security hazard in exported scrap metal. As Hani Almahdoun asserted, Israel’s policy is simply about grinding down a people psychologically through imposed poverty. It’s hateful; it’s illegal; and one way or another (even if I have to emigrate) I’m going to free myself from the disgrace of subsidizing it.

    • Chu says:

      love thy neighbor, is probably better solution
      than covet thy neighbor’s land.

    • tree says:

      Of course what Israel is doing is hindering Gaza’s economy. Israel has an illegal blockade on Gaza that prevents goods from going in and goods from going out. It is intended to cripple Gaza’s economy. For someone who thinks that BDS is wrong, you are yet again proven to be a hypocrite, since you obviously think that the draconian blockade is simply a case of Israel not “helping” the Gaza economy, but BDS is a punitive measure.

      The restriction on Gaza sending recycled metal into Israel also puts the lie to the assertion that the blockade is intended to prevent weapons from being made. You can make a lot more weapons from scrap metal than you can make from macaroni, unless of course, you are a Pastamancer.

    • Potsherd2 says:

      Because Israel is the occupying power and has this responsibility. If Israel wants to end this responsibility, it should withdraw its troops.

      • jon s says:

        Israel withdrew its troops from Gaza in 2006.

        • Peter H says:

          “Israel withdrew its troops from Gaza in 2006.”

          Israel is still in effective control of Gaza when it controls Gaza’s airspace & waters, controls what goes into & out of Gaza, controls and who can enter & exit Gaza.

        • Shingo says:

          Israel withdrew its troops from Gaza in 2006.

          Actually, it was 2005. September to be excact, though as Akiva Eldar explains in hos book Lords of The Land,

          After Israel withdrew it’s forces from Gaza, in August 2005, the ruined territory was not released for even a single day from Israel’s military grip, or from the price of the occupation that the inhabitants pay every day. Israel left behind scotched earth, devastated services, and people with nearly a present or a future. The Jewish settlements were destroyed in an ungenerous move by an unenlightened occupier, which in fact continues to control the territory and kill and harass it’s inhabitants, by means of it’s formidable military might.

        • Potsherd2 says:

          Nope, they’re still there, you can see the tracks of the tanks and the bulldozers in Gazan soil.

        • jon s says:

          Oops! Sorry , my mistake. It was ’05.

        • Chaos4700 says:

          How exactly does one “withdraw troops” and still have tanks and soldiers on Gazan soil on a weekly basis?

        • Cliff says:

          Stating that Israel withdrew from Gaza is a superficial truth.

          They control Gaza indirectly and in many meaningful ways, directly.

          Just because they do not by-definition, occupy Gaza, does not mean they do not exert their will upon it whenever they feel. That is the point too – Israel can ‘control’ Gaza. It certainly controlled the Gaza massacre and the events leading up to it. The only thing Israel can’t control is the spin at this point.

    • mjordan says:

      Occupying power is responsible for the welfare of the population under its control – period. This is the international consensus position. Punishing an entire civilian population under its control is collective punishment under the Fourth Geneva Convention.

      Robert McNamara admitted that war crimes were committed by the allies – it’s not a secret – but that should not be a standard for all too follow, especially in the context of a 40+ year occupation where systematic atrocities are regularly carried out by the occupying forces.

    • Chaos4700 says:

      Can someone explain to me why the United States should help Israel’s military?

    • talknic says:

      eee

      UN Charter Chapter XI

      Next ignorant question….?

  2. Cliff says:

    Sara Roy wrote a very detailed (sourced) book about the purposeful destabilization/degradation of Gaza’s economy by the Israeli government.

    Israel controls Gaza indirectly and in many key aspects, directly. So aside from bombing Gaza regularly and killing it’s residents indiscriminately – Israel owes the Gazan socio-economic infrastructure (and the people of course) a lot of money.

    Israel owes Palestinians in general for all the above reasons as well of course.

    I recall reading a response by Hophmi, in which he said that the majority of the American Jewish community ( I think ) and Zionist-whoever, condemned the various Zionist terrorist groups. Of course, this doesn’t matter. His point was to dissociate the terrorists from the ‘mainstream’ – saving face. So basically, the Israeli government comes out clean. Except, the government didn’t compensate the ethnically cleansed Palestinians. They didn’t allow them to come back home. The rest is history.

    Israel is to blame, by and large, for the situation the Palestinians of today are in. This also goes together with that cynical plea from Zionists for Palestinians to forget their history and just accept existing political realities (Witty loves this trope especially). Except, Palestinians are continually feeling the effects of the Nakba. Many of them live in squalid refugee camps. And of course, are still under fire from the Israeli military might. And all of them are under Occupation.

    The war didn’t end for them.

    • jon s says:

      All the Palestinians are under Occupation?
      Not those who are Israeli citizens.
      Not those who are in Gaza, under Hamas rule.
      Not those in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan or elsewhere in the Arab world.

      You’re also ignoring the fact that the Hamas terrorists in Gaza have abducted, and are keeping prisoner, an Israeli soldier , Gilad Shalit, under illegal and inhuman conditions.

      • annie says:

        You’re also ignoring the fact that the Hamas terrorists in Gaza have abducted, and are keeping prisoner, an Israeli soldier , Gilad Shalit, under illegal and inhuman conditions.

        nobodies ignoring anything. you’re implying the blockade was enforced because of shalit. it wasn’t. it was implemented directly after hamas won the elections. it was called an ‘economic embargo’ then. shalit was taken prisoner after IS/US had been starving palestinians for months.

        • jon s says:

          Fact is, Gilad Shalit wasn’t mentioned until I did so.
          You also seem to have “forgotten” the Qassam rocket attacks on Israel’s civilian population.

        • annie says:

          Fact is, Gilad Shalit wasn’t mentioned until I did so.

          obviously. it’s your framing jon. if you have something to add, some point..just spit it out. but slapping ‘the fact’ in your sentence along w/allegations about people ‘ignoring’ or ‘forgetting’ are just cheap rhetorical point scoring political tools we’re all too familiar with by now. have your checked out dkos? you’d probably like it there, one can gain lots of milage w/those tools there cuz the pro team loves rec’cing them. go for it, it’s your kind of place and you could be a real star there.

          Israel is to blame, by and large, for the situation the Palestinians of today are in. This also goes together with that cynical plea from Zionists for Palestinians to forget their history and just accept existing political realities (Witty loves this trope especially). Except, Palestinians are continually feeling the effects of the Nakba. Many of them live in squalid refugee camps. And of course, are still under fire from the Israeli military might. And all of them are under Occupation.

          no forgetting or ignoring of shalit and quassams because both are by products of starving a population. once one dislodge’s one’s head from the brainwashing of decades of propaganda framing every israeli action as a ‘response’ it does get easier.

        • Shingo says:

          Fact is, Gilad Shalit wasn’t mentioned until I did so.

          Fact is that Shalit was captgured the day after Israel kidnapped 2 Palestinian brothers from Gaza City, but as a Zionist tunnel vision prevents you from aknowledgeing it, let along seeing any connection to Shalit’s capture the next day.

          You also seem to have “forgotten” the Qassam rocket attacks on Israel’s civilian population.

          You forgot the 7,700 shells Israel fired into Gaza in the space of 10 months, beginning from their so called withdrawl. You also seem to have forgotten that there were no Qassam rocket attacks on Israel’s civilian population for 4 months until Israel decided to break the ceasefire.

        • Jon
          To be honest (and I don’t have to) I don’t give a rat’s ass about Shalit! You know why? Because of this type of news:

          Report: One third of Palestinians deprived of visiting their detained relatives
          A statistics report indicated that around 30% of relatives of Palestinian detainees in the West Bank are deprived of visiting their next of kin held in Israeli jails.
          link to palestine-info.co.uk

        • But, you do say you give a rat’s ass about international law.

          So, how about supporting his right to red cross inspection of his condition, explicitly defined as his human right by the Geneva Conventions.

        • Chaos4700 says:

          Witty, didn’t you forget to put “international law” in quotes? I thought you denounced it. You certainly have in the context of the acts of piracy against flotillas in international waters that have, among other things, resulted in the summary execution of a 19-year-old American citizen.

          Geneva Conventions? The same Geneva Conventions that make it illegal for Israel to build those settlements that you insist that Israel must be allowed to keep on the West Bank?

          I only smell one rat’s ass around here. Guess.

        • sherbrsi says:

          So, how about supporting his right to red cross inspection of his condition, explicitly defined as his human right by the Geneva Conventions.

          The Geneva Conventions also explicitly defines occupations, settlements and the blockade to be a crime.

          The Conventions do not only apply to the rights of a single captured soldier part of a criminal army engaged in criminal activity. If proportionately, principally and relevantly mentioned they would stress the welfare and violation of humans right of millions of Palestinians at the hands of Israel.

      • tree says:

        All the Palestinians are under Occupation?…Not those who are in Gaza, under Hamas rule.

        Oh, here we go again. This has been posted and discussed numerous times, but here it is again, for the slow learners among us. Whether an occupation exists or not is determined by whether a force has effective control over an area or not.

        From the Goldstone Report on the subject of the Israeli Occupation of Gaza:

        276. Israel has without doubt at all times relevant to the mandate of the Mission exercised effective control over the Gaza Strip. The Mission is of the view that the circumstances of this control establish that the Gaza Strip remains occupied by Israel. The provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention therefore apply at all relevant times with regard to the obligations of Israel towards the population of the Gaza Strip.

        277. Despite Israel’s declared intention to relinquish its position as an occupying Power by evacuating troops and settlers from the Gaza Strip during its 2005 “disengagement”,162 the international community continues to regard it as the occupying Power.163

        278. Given the specific geopolitical configuration of the Gaza Strip, the powers that Israel exercises from the borders enable it to determine the conditions of life within the Gaza Strip. Israel controls the border crossings (including to a significant degree the Rafah crossing to
        Egypt, under the terms of the Agreement on Movement and Access164) and decides what and who gets in or out of the Gaza Strip. It also controls the territorial sea adjacent to the Gaza Strip
        and has declared a virtual blockade and limits to the fishing zone, thereby regulating economic activity in that zone. It also keeps complete control of the airspace of the Gaza Strip, inter alia,
        through continuous surveillance by aircraft and unmanned aviation vehicles (UAVs) or drones. It makes military incursions and from time to time hit targets within the Gaza Strip. No-go areas are declared within the Gaza Strip near the border where Israeli settlements used to be and enforced by the Israeli armed forces. Furthermore, Israel regulates the local monetary market based on the Israeli currency (the new sheqel) and controls taxes and custom duties.

        279. The ultimate authority over the Occupied Palestinian Territory still lies with Israel. Under the law and practice of occupation, the establishment by the occupying Power of a temporary
        administration over an occupied territory is not an essential requirement for occupation, although it could be one element among others that indicates the existence of such occupation.165 In fact,
        as shown in the case of Denmark during the Second World War, the occupier can leave in place an existing local administration or allow a new one to be installed for as long as it preserves for itself the ultimate authority. Although Israel has transferred to the Palestinian Authority a series of functions within designated zones, it has done so by agreement, through the Oslo Accords and related understandings, keeping for itself “powers and responsibilities not so transferred”.166
        When Israel unilaterally evacuated troops and settlements from the Gaza Strip, it left in place a Palestinian local administration. There is no local governing body to which full authority has been transferred. In this regard, the Mission recalls that the International Court of Justice, in its Advisory Opinion on the Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, regards the transfer of powers and responsibilities by Israel under various agreements with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) as having “done nothing” to alter the character of Israel as an occupying Power.167

      • Potsherd2 says:

        No one is ignoring Shalit, we just like to put him in the perspective of the imprisoned Palestinians.

        link to mondoweiss.net

      • Shingo says:

        You’re also ignoring the fact that the Hamas terrorists in Gaza have abducted, and are keeping prisoner, an Israeli soldier , Gilad Shalit, under illegal and inhuman conditions.

        Would you describe the 1000 Palestinians that Israel has abducted ( under illegal and inhuman conditions) to be an example that Hamas shoudl follow? The 2 borthers that were abducted from Gaza City the day before Shalit’s capture (yes, Zionists never discuss them), have not been seen or heard from since.

        But hey, they’re only Palestinians rigt John s?

      • tree says:

        Israeli officials have confirmed to Embassy officials on multiple occasions that they intend to keep the Gazan economy functioning at the lowest level possible consistent with avoiding a humanitarian crisis.

        link to aftenposten.no

        Collective punishment is a violation of the Geneva Convention and International Law.

      • sherbrsi says:

        All the Palestinians are under Occupation?

        Yes, all Palestinians are under occupation.

        Not those who are Israeli citizens.

        There are no Israeli citizens, only differing levels of citizenship accorded to residents of Israel based on their ethnicity and geography. Besides, Israel itself does not recognize Palestinians in Israel, labeling them “Israeli Arabs.”

        You’re also ignoring the fact that the Hamas terrorists in Gaza have abducted, and are keeping prisoner, an Israeli soldier , Gilad Shalit, under illegal and inhuman conditions.

        And you’re ignoring the fact that Shalit was part of an illegal occupying army and an invading one at that, so spare us the nonsense. And if your heart really bleeds for “illegal and inhumane conditions,” why don’t you talk about Israel which has routinely kidnapped, captured, imprisoned, tortured and even disappeared Palestinian civilians and continues to do so?

      • VR says:

        “You’re also ignoring the fact that the Hamas terrorists in Gaza have abducted, and are keeping prisoner, an Israeli soldier , Gilad Shalit, under illegal and inhuman conditions.”

        Yes, the conditions which the Israeli government subjects the Palestinians to in Gaza. Those inhuman conditions are part and parcel of the Israeli “gift” to the Palestinians. Also Shalit can rot in the conditions which Israel has fostered, until they decide to release the thousands of illegally imprisoned Palestinians. Israeli leadership cares as much for precious Shalit as it does for the Palestinians, it uses him as an excuse for business as usual.

        • annie says:

          i don’t want shalit to rot in jail but i don’t object to his incarceration being held to the same standards of his own country. tho i don’t think he should be tortured just because israel tortures..

      • MRW says:

        Hamas terrorists in Gaza have abducted, and are keeping prisoner, an Israeli soldier , Gilad Shalit, under illegal and inhuman conditions.

        (1) He was not abducted. He was captured in a war Israel started. Israel calls it a war.

        (2) You have absolutely no idea what conditions he is being held under, unless you’re a proven psychic and can detail where he is being held. Two years ago it was reported he was taken to Egypt; but that is unconfirmed.

        (3) You can’t have it both ways. Either he’s a POW or he’s not. If he’s a POW, then Israel has declared war, and rockets are legal issue weaponry on both sides, so stop bitching about that. If he’s not a POW, then there is no war, and what Israel is doing to Gaza is illegal occupation.

        (4) If you would bother to read the NYT, Hamas is the elected government of Gaza. What you choose to call the organization does not have the force of law from a governmental sense. It’s an opinion.

      • pjdude says:

        Illegal yes inhuman thats debatable

      • Shingo says:

        You’re also ignoring the fact that the Hamas terrorists in Gaza have abducted, and are keeping prisoner, an Israeli soldier , Gilad Shalit, under illegal and inhuman conditions.

        How’s that Post Zionism working out for you John? Have you fallen off the wagon?

      • talknic says:

        jon s

        UNSC Res 1860

        Next ignorant question…?

        Soldiers are captured and may be held for the duration of hostilities.

        YOU have no evidence he is being kept in inhumane conditions.

        So not only are you ignorant, you make false accusations…. bravo…keep up the good work..

        • Shingo says:

          Soldiers are captured and may be held for the duration of hostilities.

          Yes, and as Israel will argue, the hostilities are ongoing. 1860 pertained to a ceasefirexplitly, one which Israel rejected for 22 days.

          It’s ptyty you don’t read your own Hasbara talking points Jon S.

          YOU have no evidence he is being kept in inhumane conditions.

          And what evidecne do you hav to the contrary?

          Who’s showing their ignrance? Who’s in denial abot their post Ziinism Jon?

  3. Excellent spoof, too; a pity eee is tone deaf to irony [or is it sarcasm?]

    Now, the obvious – can ANYONE explain to me why the USA should support Israel’s economy?

  4. Cliff says:

    Here is an excerpt from Roy’s book, The Gaza Strip: The Political Economy of De-Development:

    Government policy toward the development of Palestinian industry, perhaps more than any other sector, demonstrates official disregard for and outright hostility toward Palestinian economic development in the Gaza Strip. In industry, as in agriculture, economic policy was a product of the state’s larger national-political and ideological imperatives.

    [...]the government’s goals were: (1) to prevent the development of an independent industrial infrastructure in Gaza that could support an independent economic base; and (2) to protect and serve Israeli economic interest by subordinating Palestinian industry and insuring control over areas essential to industrial development: water and land, the registration of companies, trademarks, commerce, tradenames, patents, licenses, taxes, finance, planning, property rights, and trade. This policy has done much to dwarf Gazan industry.

    [...]The absence of policies, institutions, and regulations not only precluded structural change but insured that any local industrial advancements could occur ONLY through economic integration with Israel. That is why the comparative advantage offered by lower labor costs in the Gaza Strip never led to any substantive industrial development, as neoclassical economics dictates. Consequently, and in the Gaza Strip especially, Israel promoted “externalization” of the industrial sector to fulfill its own industrial needs over the “internalization” of industry through indigenous structural reform to meet Gaza’s.

    [...]Through 1993 Israel imposed a one-way system of tariffs and duties on the importation of goods through its borders; leaving Israel for Gaza, however, no tariffs or other regulations applied. Thus, for Israeli exports to Gaza, the Strip was treated as part of Israel; but for Gazans exports to Israel, the Strip was treated as a foreign entity subject to various “non-tariff barriers.” This placed Israel at a distinct advantage for trading and limited Gaza’s access to Israeli and foreign markets.

    Gazans had no recourse against such policies, being totally unable to protect themselves with tariffs or exchange rate controls. Thus, they had to pay more for highly protected Israeli products than they would if they had some control over their own economy. Such policies deprived the occupied territories of significant customs revenue, estimated at $118-$176 million in 1986.

    [...]The official disregard for Palestinian industry did not extend to Jewish industry. Prior to the election of the Rabin government in 1992, for example, the government provided substantial assistance to local industrial investors in Gaza’s Jewish settlements. Investors could choose between a 38% bonus or a 66.66 percent loan guarantee with a 10-year tax exemption.

    The questions people should ask themselves before deciding whether Israel is ‘responsible’ for Gaza (in any way really) is:

    1) How is Gaza connected to Israel?
    2) Does Israel exert power over Gaza?
    a. If yes, how so and what are the causes for it doing so?
    b. If no, then explain yourself. Provide reasons why Israel does not control Gaza in any way.
    i. Sub-question: Has Israel ever had an impact on Gaza? Etc.

    That sort of thing. So, if we focus on the economic part, then I can cite stuff from Roy’s book. Of course Israel has had control over Gaza. And of course, Israel retains a large amount of control today.

    • tree says:

      Glad to see you back Cliff!

    • eee says:

      Yada, yada, yada, through 1993 Gaza’s economy and the well being of its people grew much faster than in Rafah, just across the border in Egypt. What the people of Gaza yearn for is to be MORE integrated with Israel’s economy and be able to work in Israel. What they are not able to grasp is that what they want is not possible with intifadas and the current attitude of the Gaza Hamas government.

      • Taxi says:

        Nah eee I really don’t think you know ANYTHING about what Gaza needs and wants.

        How could you know, living like you do with your head in the zionists hay-sack?

      • Potsherd2 says:

        What the people of Gaza yearn for is freedom.

        Let their people go.

      • Chaos4700 says:

        Oooh, those savage natives, huh, eee? Just yearning for some good old European-style colonial administration, huh?

      • pjdude says:

        you don’t know the first thing of what they want. what they want is to be connected to and be able to move through all of their homeland. they don’t give a damn about Israel or its economy they only reason they attach to it is because it rest on what was stolen from them.

      • Shingo says:

        What the people of Gaza yearn for is to be MORE integrated with Israel’s economy and be able to work in Israel.

        There are somewhere between 700,000 and 1 million Israeli Jews living outside the country, many of whom are unlikely to return. Since 2007, emigration has been outpacing immigration in Israel. According to scholars John Mueller and Ian Lustick, “a recent survey indicates that only 69 percent of Jewish Israelis say they want to stay in the country, and a 2007 poll finds that one-quarter of Israelis are considering leaving, including almost half of all young people.” They report, “in another survey, 44 percent of Israelis say they would be ready to leave if they could find a better standard of living elsewhere,” and “over 100,000 Israelis have acquired European passports.”

        These figures are a bad omen for Israel.

      • talknic says:

        eee

        Arrogance 101.

        “What the people of Gaza yearn for…”

        What you are not able to grasp, is that Palestinians yearn for is for YOU and your criminal friends to F%^& OFF!

        In 1993 the ILLEGAL settler’s economy improved .. free land, free water cheap Palestinian labor and millions of shekels going into ISRAELI pockets. More of your stinking style of twaddle here link to wp.me

    • Chaos4700 says:

      Glad to see you back, Cliff. Apparently, you’ve made the same mistake as I have.

  5. Cliff says:

    eee wrote:

    What the people of Gaza yearn for is to be MORE integrated with Israel’s economy and be able to work in Israel.

    First, you should explain to us why people in Gaza may ‘yearn’ to work in any other place other than their own territory.

    When we find out why by reading books on the economic history of the Occupation, by esteemed authors like Sara Roy – we find out that Israel has created this dependency and exploitation.

    Why would Palestinian farmers abandon their own land to work in Israel? After they leave their land, Israel confiscates it. What compelled the Palestinians to do this?

  6. yourstruly says:

    know that feeling

    at the beginning of the first intifada

    upon entering Gaza by taxi

    recognizable

    those semi-dilapidated developing world style warehouses

    always wondered what those were about

    located, as they were back then in what, from the road sign, served as Gaza’s industrial zone

    which explains, back then in the jabilia refugee camp why a couple of boys were so casually playing right next to a tiny stream of dark colored water, unhurridly making its way to the sea. They were alongside that sewage ditch because where else could they play

    building sewage systems costs money

    no economy, no money

    recycling could jumpstart the economy

    recycling has to go

    no matter children dying of one or another form of water-borne dysentery

    and all this in a futile* attempt to break the will of a people

    with nothing taken off the table, not even genocide

    ongoing in Gaza – in slow but accelerating motion

    but due to end this year

    2011, the year palestine free comes into being

    *because the palestinians will not bow down

  7. piotr says:

    Israel clearly cares a lot about the welfare of the Palestinians, particularly those in Gaza, and devotes considerable effort to make it as bad as possible “without creating humanitarian crisis”.

    Usually, an occupying or dominant power is at worst rather slipshod in that respect. But not Israel! Yes, it has some connection with security etc. but the connection is highly circular. The newest revelations from Hasbara circles are that at least 1000 of the persons killed during Cast Lead were terrorists. Basically, a person killed by Israeli security forces is ipso facto a terrorist. Turkish flotilla is the best example: because people were killed, no better proof of their terroricity is needed.

    It was abundantly clear that Israel could have quite spotless security on her Gaza border if it compromized with Hamas: refrained from blockade and killing. But this would cancel the major national source of entertainment. Who else can stand tall in the face of absolute evil and be “resolute and cool in the face of existencial threat” with such small cost and risk? Was Hitler deprived of coriander? No, but he should! Today Israel can retroactively correct errors of 1930s. And only Israel!

    eee January 6, 2011 at 1:13 pm
    The allies in WWII bombed the hell out of German and Japanese industry because they help sustain the war effort. It is an accepted act of war. Why shouldn’t Israel do it?

    One could quibble that Allies were engaged in an actual war, and they at least tried to bomb actual industry. And German and Japanese troops were in possession of actual weapons. In Gaza, the “resistance” had basically the form of Hamas resolutely hiding, and IDF refusing to go after them. So they destroyed random targets instead. It may surprise some Israelis but this is actually not the usual war practice.

    I actually almost falled out from my chair when GWB complained about the lack of proportionality in war conduct. After last Lebanon war I thought that it was convincingly proven by experts (like Alan Dershovitz) that the principle of proportionality is a false doctrine. Then Georgia attacked Russians and for several weeks was on the receiving end of a superior force. And that was disproportional. Somehow nobody took my challenge explaining how was it that Russians actions in Georgia were disproportional and Israeli actions in Lebanon and Gaza were not.

    For example: Russian did not destroy the main airport of Georgia and did not even try. Georgia received some military help in that route — 2000 soldiers returned from Iraq if I recall — but Russia, quite correctly, deemed that help to be of marginal importance. IDF demolished Beirut airport. Russian destroyed only a few apartment buildings, and these were in the vicinity of an actual airport in the actual war zone. IDF demolished whole city blocks far from the actual hostilities. Russians did not use cluster bombs at all.

    So should we, Americans, apologize to the Russian government for raising the non-issue of proportionality?

    PS. There were of course other reasons why Russians were wrong. As Sen. McCain observed, Georgia as the “second oldest Christian nation” and it is not nice to attack such. Short quizz: what is “the oldest Christian nation”, and which countries are her allies? So this doctrine suffers from a little demerit, but it has the advantage of making it imperative to support “the oldest Judeo-Christian nation”.