Thousands of Palestinians Could Lose Jobs Due to EU Sanctions on Territories

August 9, 2013 8:31 am 1 comment

Foreign journalists visit Israeli businesses that employ Palestinians. Photo: Government Press Office.

In the wake of the European Union’s resolution to boycott the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria and terminate all financial contacts with them, foreign journalists toured the Barkan Industrial Park and Ariel University in Samaria last week.

This event was organized by Israel’s Government Press Office (GPO) in conjunction with the Yesha Council and The Manufacturers Association of Israel (MAI). The event highlighted the ramifications of the EU’s decision on financial coexistence in the area. The focus of the tour was the joint financial projects between Israelis and Palestinians, which now stand to face financial hardship and possible termination as a result of the EU’s recent actions.

Some 40 journalists, including reporters from CNN, Al-Jazeera, The Financial Times, and French, Chinese, German, and Dutch news agencies, visited the Lipsky plastic factory. While there, they met Rashid Marar, head of the assembly division, who is one of the 3,000 Palestinians employed at the Park.

The reporters also witnessed the coexistence displayed at Ariel University, where Palestinian students study alongside Israelis. “We don’t make distinctions between workers according to what side of the green line they live on,” said Dan Catarivas of the MAI. “We want to have the best economic possibilities. The Palestinians are a major part of Israel. We try to concentrate purely on economic issues, not politics.”

Starting in 2014, products made in Judea and Samaria that go to EU countries will no longer be labeled “Made in Israel,”’ but rather in the “occupied territories.” The decision will require the EU and its members to stop cooperation with and funding of Israeli institutions and businesses in the area.

Catarivas said that the EU’s decision is “a storm in a teacup,” assisted by disinformation in the media. But, in reality he said, “there will be no functional effect on the Israeli economy.” He explained that exports from Israel totaled nearly $46 billion in 2012 compared to just $250 million from Judea and Samaria (0.55%).

Furthermore, goods from Judea and Samaria have been taxed by the EU since 2005, and are not subject to the Free Trade Agreement enjoyed by the State of Israel. Those who do stand to be harmed by boycotts on Israeli products from Judea and Samaria are the Palestinians themselves.

There are 14 industrial centers dispersed throughout Judea and Samaria, which include some eight hundred factories and businesses. Seventeen thousand employees work at these centers, eleven thousand of them Palestinians.

According to data presented by the Palestinian Bureau of Statistics, the employees earn two to three times more than the average pay earned by the Palestinian population, and receive full social benefits as prescribed by Israeli law. Based on the Arab familial structure in the region, which is comprised of Hamulot, large families, it is estimated that these workers support more than 100,000 dependents.

Further, a secondary source of livelihood has developed around these industrial centers in the form of transportation for the employees, haulage of products and materials, and services and equipment suppliers. Therefore, boycotting Israeli products from the settlements essentially harms many Palestinians’ livelihoods.

If these factories are shut down, most Israeli workers will find another source of employment, as opposed to the Palestinians who could remain with no source of income.

Officials reported that the tour was successful and satisfying, receiving positive feedback from the attendees. Ron Paz, a PMO official, told Tazpit News Agency: “We focused on financial issues and refrained from touching on political topics. The reporters received a clear message: sanctions against Judea and Samaria pose a threat to the mutual financial cooperation in the region and hinder any possibility of peace and normalization.”

Dani Dayan, former head of the Yesha Council explained that peace begins from the bottom up. You start with employment, raising the standard of living, working side by side, and build peace from there. “Peace is not imminent,” he said, “and in the meantime we need to work on fostering relations.”

Yigal Dilmony, deputy director-general of the Yesha council, stated that the purpose of the tour was to expose the truth: “All residents of Judea and Samaria can properly support themselves and live side by side in peace. There is nothing like a first-hand encounter to present the truth”, he told Tazpit News Agency

1 Comment

  • Warren Smith

    Dani Dyan does not present a picture of equality, at least not during a lengthy bbc interview where he unquestionably stated his position on settlements, two states, right of return, and peaceful coexistence.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Arts and Culture US & Canada ‘Jewish Giant’ Headlines New York Jewish Museum Exhibit

    ‘Jewish Giant’ Headlines New York Jewish Museum Exhibit

    Eddie Carmel, dubbed “The Jewish Giant” by American photographer Diane Arbus, is the centerpiece of a new exhibit opening April 11 at The Jewish Museum in New York. Arbus met Carmel, who was billed “The World’s Tallest Man,” at Hubert’s Dime Museum and Flea Circus in 1959 but waited until 1970 to photograph him at his parents’ home in the Bronx, according to the museum. The son of immigrants from Tel Aviv, Carmel posed for Arbus with his head bowed to [...]

    Read more →
  • Music US & Canada Disney Hit ‘Frozen’ Gets Passover Themed Makeover With ‘Chozen’ (VIDEO)

    Disney Hit ‘Frozen’ Gets Passover Themed Makeover With ‘Chozen’ (VIDEO)

    A Passover themed cover of hit songs Let It Go and Do You Want to Build a Snowman? from Disney’s Frozen has attracted tons of media buzz and a cool 65,ooo views on YouTube within days of going online. The work of Jewish a capella group Six13, the track is aptly named Chozen. We are celebrating “our freedom, our favorite festival, our fabulous fans, and aspiring Disney princesses everywhere” the group said. The Chozen music video tells the story of [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish Identity Retreat Gives Young Artists New Platform to Engage With Jewish Ideas

    Retreat Gives Young Artists New Platform to Engage With Jewish Ideas

    JNS.org – Many young Jewish artists struggle to define who they are personally, artistically, and religiously. Against the backdrop of that struggle, the recent Asylum Arts International Jewish Artists Retreat provided a space for some 70 young Jewish artists to explore Jewish ideas, to build community and a culture of reciprocity, and to learn skills to assist their career development. “We are trying to encourage and excite people to engage in Jewish themes,” says Rebecca Guber, director of Asylum Arts. [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish Literature Darren Aronofsky Adds Psychological Depth, Little Else to ‘Noah’

    Darren Aronofsky Adds Psychological Depth, Little Else to ‘Noah’

    JNS.org – Has the era of large-scale biblical epics returned? Not since “The Ten Commandments” has there been so much torrential water on the big screen (not counting weather-related disaster films such as “The Impossible”) than in “Noah,” the latest blockbuster from writer and director Darren Aronofsky. “Noah” takes the traditional tale and splices it in an eco-friendly and psychologically driven plot. After Adam and Eve got booted out of the Garden of Eden and after Cain killed Abel, mankind [...]

    Read more →
  • Food Israel Israeli Arab Microbiologist Wins on Israel’s ‘MasterChef’ Reality Show

    Israeli Arab Microbiologist Wins on Israel’s ‘MasterChef’ Reality Show

    JNS.org – An Israeli-Arab microbiologist and mother of three won the fourth season of Israel’s most popular reality TV show, “MasterChef.” Nof Atamna-Ismaeel, 32, who holds a PhD in microbiology and is from the Israeli-Arab town of Baqa al-Gharbiyye, described winning as the “the most exciting moment in her life.” She said she plans to use the prize money to open up an Arab-Jewish cooking school. MasterChef is a popular reality TV show that originated in the U.K. It is [...]

    Read more →
  • Europe Theater Play About Muslim Man Who Discovers His Parents Are Jewish Seeking Funds

    Play About Muslim Man Who Discovers His Parents Are Jewish Seeking Funds

    Jewish comedian and writer David Baddiel is seeking public support to help produce a musical based on his film about a British Muslim man who discovers his parents are Jewish. London’s Theatre Royal Stratford East is in development to premiere The Infidel in October, London’s Evening Standard reported on Wednesday. However, the theater needs another £55,000 on top of around £200,000 already raised in order to produce the show. Baddiel, 49, retained the stage rights to the story when he wrote the [...]

    Read more →
  • Europe Relationships Love Guru Says Kaballah Practitioners Tend to Have ‘Less Satisfactory’ Relationships

    Love Guru Says Kaballah Practitioners Tend to Have ‘Less Satisfactory’ Relationships

    British relationship expert Andrew Wallas said Kaballah practitioners are likely to be less satisfied in their personal relationships than other couples, Britain’s Daily Mail reported Wednesday. “All the research is that individuals who have an interest in psychology or spirituality or who practice something like Kaballah (the branch of Jewish mysticism popularized by Madonna) are less likely to have satisfactory relationships,” he said. “A lifetime spent doing self-improvement workshops can just be a case of someone running away from reality.” [...]

    Read more →
  • Music US & Canada Meet New York’s 6’7″ Jew Who Will Rap for You (VIDEO)

    Meet New York’s 6’7″ Jew Who Will Rap for You (VIDEO)

    He’s a 6’7″ Jewish freestyle rapper who roams the streets of New York delivering his rhymes to unsuspecting passersby. Te’Devan, who calls himself the “6’7″ Jew who will rap for you” was recently profiled by the Gothamist blog. In a video posted Monday on YouTube, as part of the website’s No Your City eight-part series created by Nicolas Heller, Te’Devan is seen rapping about “not trying to conform to the status quo” and his mission to “be what I’m supposed to be.” [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.