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 Theater US & Canada New Play Explores the ‘Arrogance’ of American Jews Critical of Israel, Playwright Says

    New Play Explores the ‘Arrogance’ of American Jews Critical of Israel, Playwright Says

    In his new play Mr. Goldberg Goes to Tel Aviv, playwright Oren Safdie tackles an issue that he has a major concern with: the relationship between Israelis and left-leaning Diaspora Jews with their “I know better” critical views. At the heart of the one-act play is Tony, a Jewish and gay Palestinian sympathizer who expresses strong anti-Israel sentiments when the play begins and at one point even sides with a Palestinian terrorist who holds his captive. Tony, who is also an [...]

    Read more →
  • Music US & Canada Hassidic Parody of Taylor Swift Song Apes Long Jewish Holidays (VIDEO)

    Hassidic Parody of Taylor Swift Song Apes Long Jewish Holidays (VIDEO)

    A Jewish comedy troupe released a parody video on Wednesday of Taylor Swift’s hit song Shake It Off in which they joke about taking extensive time off from work for Jewish holidays. “And the goyim gonna stay, stay, stay, stay, stay. And the Jews are gonna pray, pray pray, pray, pray. I’m just gonna take, take, take, take, take. I’m taking off,” goes the chorus for I’m Taking Off. Menachem Weinstein, the video’s lead singer, is the creative director at [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish Literature On 75th Anniversary, Looking at the Jewish Influence on Gone With the Wind

    On 75th Anniversary, Looking at the Jewish Influence on Gone With the Wind

    JNS.org – The 75th anniversary of the premiere of “Gone with the Wind” on Dec. 15 presents an opportunity to examine the Jewish influence on one of the most popular films of all time. That influence starts with the American Civil War epic’s famed producer, David O. Selznick. Adjusted for inflation, “Gone with the Wind” remains the highest-grossing movie ever made. It earned the 1939 Academy Award for Best Picture, the same honor another Selznick film, “Rebecca,” garnered in 1940. Selznick [...]

    Read more →
  • Featured Music US & Canada EXCLUSIVE: Matisyahu Provides Most Extensive Analysis Yet of His Religious, Musical Evolution (INTERVIEW)

    EXCLUSIVE: Matisyahu Provides Most Extensive Analysis Yet of His Religious, Musical Evolution (INTERVIEW)

    Matisyahu got candid in an exclusive interview with The Algemeiner on Monday about his religious and musical journey – after shedding his Chassidic skin, yarmulke, long beard and all – from the start of his career in 2005 when he became a reggae superstar with hits King Without a Crown and Jerusalem. The singer-songwriter embarks on his Festival of Light tour this month, an annual Hanukkah event that stops in Montreal, New York, and other cities before ending in San Juan, [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Personalities ‘Sheriff of Mars’ Unveils Endearing Life of Jewish Music Star Hidden in the Fields of France

    ‘Sheriff of Mars’ Unveils Endearing Life of Jewish Music Star Hidden in the Fields of France

    JNS.org – It was an era of steel strings, guitar heroes, and storytellers—high on heroin, rebellious. Outlaw country music, the hallmark of Nashville’s powerful and angry music scene of the 1970s, was the brew of greats such as Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, and Townes Van Zandt. But there is another, little-known music hero of that era: Daniel Antopolsky. A Jewish lad from Augusta, Ga.—the son of immigrants who settled in the south and ran a hardware store on Main Street—the [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada Iranian Actress Replaces Israel’s Gal Gadot for ‘Ben-Hur’ Remake

    Iranian Actress Replaces Israel’s Gal Gadot for ‘Ben-Hur’ Remake

    Iranian actress Nazanin Boniadi replaced Israeli star Gal Gadot as the female lead in the new Ben-Hur remake, Hollywood.com reported on Tuesday. The Homeland actress will play Esther, a slave that Ben-Hur sets free and falls in love with. Gadot quit the movie when it became clear that filming conflicted with her schedule for the Man of Steel sequel. The Israeli actress plays Wonder Woman in the superhero film Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Actor Jack Huston takes on the [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Personalities Biography Sheds New Light on David Ben-Gurion’s Place in Jewish History

    Biography Sheds New Light on David Ben-Gurion’s Place in Jewish History

    JNS.org – There is one sentence in “Ben-Gurion: Father of Modern Israel” that made me sit up in surprise. I thought that I knew the basic facts about how Israel came into being, but while describing what it was like in the days and hours before the state was declared, author Anita Shapira provides one important anecdote I was not aware of. On the 12th of May, the Zionist Executive met to decide what to do. Moshe Sharrett had just returned [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada ‘Death of Klinghoffer’ Actress Compares Met Opera to ‘Schindler’s List’

    ‘Death of Klinghoffer’ Actress Compares Met Opera to ‘Schindler’s List’

    An actress starring in the controversial Met Opera The Death of Klinghoffer defended the show on Tuesday by comparing it to the 1993 Holocaust film Schindler’s List, New York Post reported. “To me, this was like [the movie] Schindler’s List. We make art so people won’t forget,’’ said the actress, who plays a captured passenger in the show and asked not to be identified. The Met Opera focuses on the infamous murder of Lower East Side Jewish resident Leon Klinghoffer, 69. The wheelchair-bound father of [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.