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...

  • Education Why We Should Invest in Jewish Children

    Why We Should Invest in Jewish Children

    JNS.org – My wife Suzy and I will never forget our wedding day. It was not just the uplifting ceremony and beautiful party that left an indelible mark. Some life-altering advice that we received from one of our guests informed and shaped our lives from that day forward. My high school teacher, Rabbi Moshe Yagid, pulled us aside just before the chuppah and challenged us to choose one mitzvah that would be the foundation of our marriage and our lives. He explained [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Sports LeBron James’ New Coach Shaped by Summer on Kibbutz and Jewish ‘Life Lessons’

    LeBron James’ New Coach Shaped by Summer on Kibbutz and Jewish ‘Life Lessons’

    JNS.org – Influenced by his Jewish upbringing and a summer on a kibbutz, basketball coach David Blatt is embarking on his highest-profile challenge yet: coaching LeBron James, the four-time National Basketball Association (NBA) Most Valuable Player who has made waves for returning to his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers. After guiding Israel’s storied Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball franchise to its 51st Israeli league championship and 6th Euroleague title this past season, Blatt landed the Cavaliers head-coaching job in June. Just weeks later, [...]

    Read more →
  • Food Jewish Identity Young Syrian Jewish Restauranteur Continues a Family Legacy

    Young Syrian Jewish Restauranteur Continues a Family Legacy

    JNS.org – At the turn of the century, a young Jewish immigrant arrived in New York. So begins the history of many American Jewish families. It is 27-year-old Albert Allaham’s story, too, with a few unusual twists. Albert’s “century” is the 21st—he arrived almost 100 years after the massive waves of European Jewish immigration. Rather than coming from a small town along the Danube river, his shtetl was Damascus. His first American business was not a pushcart on the Lower East [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Jewish Identity A Holistic Look at the Rebbe’s Life and Career (REVIEW)

    A Holistic Look at the Rebbe’s Life and Career (REVIEW)

    Did you know that in the entire Bible, only one birthday is mentioned and it is that of Pharaoh? And did you know that according to some scientists, by accepting Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity, it is impossible to prove or disprove that the sun is the gravitational center of our solar system? In his new book, REBBE, best-selling author Joseph Telushkin reveals many surprising and sometimes shocking details as he chronicles the life and teachings of the charismatic Rabbi [...]

    Read more →
  • Food Mitzvos New Jerusalem Eatery’s Uniform Pricing Seeks to ‘Help People Make It’

    New Jerusalem Eatery’s Uniform Pricing Seeks to ‘Help People Make It’

    JNS.org – Omelet sandwich: 5 shekels. Iced coffee: 5 shekels. Tuna sandwich: 5 shekels. Fresh-squeezed orange juice: 5 shekels. Cheese bureka: 5 shekels. There’s plenty more on the Cofizz menu, but you get the idea. Dani Mizrahi and Amir Amshalm, two Israeli men in their early 30s, asked themselves: Why not launch a take-out food joint in busy neighborhoods around Jerusalem where everything—and that means everything—goes for five shekels, or about $1.50. They’d seen the concept take off in Tel Aviv, where [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Israel New Primetime Drama ‘Tyrant’ Filmed Entirely in Israel (VIDEO)

    New Primetime Drama ‘Tyrant’ Filmed Entirely in Israel (VIDEO)

    The new FX Network drama Tyrant was shot entirely in Israel, just 10 miles north of Tel Aviv, Bloomberg News reported last Tuesday. Tyrant follows the life of an Arab dictator’s second son Barry, played by Adam Rayner, who reluctantly returns home to the Middle Eastern nation of his birth to join the family business away from his suburban life in America. The elaborate set production for the primetime drama included a crew of 300 and a reported cost of over $3 million [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada Supermodel: Jewish Mothers Are Constantly Trying to Set Me Up With Their Sons

    Supermodel: Jewish Mothers Are Constantly Trying to Set Me Up With Their Sons

    Skokie, Il-born 25-year-old Erin Heatherton (Erin Heather Bubley) is rocking the modeling world. And in a new interview accompanying a cover spread for Miami’s Ocean Drive magazine, she says Jewish moms are “constantly trying to set her up with their sons.” Imagine that – who would have thought? “The moms, they’re doing what they do. It doesn’t matter what country they live in, what city – grandmothers, too,” she admitted. “But I’m probably going to do that too one day.” Heatherton was [...]

    Read more →
  • Education Israel First Ever: Turkish Academics to Visit Israel Holocaust Museum for Seminar

    First Ever: Turkish Academics to Visit Israel Holocaust Museum for Seminar

    Some 15 Turkish university professors and lecturers will take part in a first of its kind seminar at Holocaust museum Yad Vashem’s International School for Holocaust Studies starting next week. The trip is especially significant as Holocaust denial is rampant in the Arab world. A Palestinian professor was recently forced to resign after he led a trip to the Nazi extermination camp Auschwitz. Participants in the week-long program at Yad Vashem will experience in-depth tours of the museum’s archives and [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.