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January 7, 2010
Foreign investment jumpstarts the Palestinian economy

U.S. envoy George Mitchell recently said that Israel has reduced the number of checkpoints and roadblocks in the West Bank, helping economic growth.

For its part, last year the U.S. gave nearly $1 billion in assistance to the Palestinians.

Felice Friedson of The Media Line looks at broader attempts to foster growth and foreign investment in the Palestinian economy.

Do you think the U.S. should do more to promote economic growth in the West Bank?

Tell us what you think in the comments section below. Please be respectful and on-point. Malicious or offensive comments will be deleted, and repeat offenders will be banned.

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If the U.S. is serious about helping the Palestinians and at the same time resolve the Israel/Palestinian problem, just cut off the $3-5 billon our government gives to Israel. The rest will take care of it self. The Palestinians are a resourceful people and can grow their own economy.foreign investments Ukraine


The question that I have is if Israel has only been keeping out weapons or weapon-making materials and letting all the non-weapon materials get through to the Palestinians, why would reducing the number of checkpoints improve their economy?


So little west bank gets a billion dollars even though they shout death to America but the continent of Africa gets the same this sounds ludicrous to me why are we as Americans supporting people who hate us I swear I hate our foreign policy. Here we are giving billions to Pakistan/Iraq/Egypt and etc and all those countries loath us but we let Haiti which is in our back yard become a three world country comparable to an African country no wonder so many died last week.


The way I see it, The PALESTINIAN PEOPLE’S….lives look alway so hopeless …WHY ?
do they allow THEMSELFS to have a corruped Govt. all the Aid-money from them &their children . A perpetual down fall in life & economy
or a ramping up to increase,adding too instibity
by provoking ISRAEL…TO FIRE BACK. It is the innocent people who then are left in poverty !
ALL these years The money putforth to help the Palestinians people it ended up in govt. hands of corrupion ,Generation poverty & a no-man-land !…aid should be only food, water & supplies but no money to ..GOVT. ! …MAYBE SOME TO ..FAMILYS …BY PASSING ..GOVT = HAMAS ? !


# 17: funny reasoning: I come to a country, say: see, I’m here, the indigeneous people say, o.k. but not this way. I do not listen go on installing myself, comfortably in the housing of the indigeneous and call them agressors. Tell me, who’s the agressor if come and take (steal) your belongings?
On US economic aid: Palestinans need to be free, to conduct their economy by themselves. They do not want susidies. The billions of reparations to be payed by the Jewish State will help (see German reparations to Israel since the 1950th..)


First of all, Israel won its wars against the Arab aggressors in 1948 and 1967 without etiher US aid or US arms. The US and Israel got close during the Vietnam war when the US wanted ISrael to act as an “asset” against Soviet penetration of the Middle East, while Israel wanted US war planes after the French betrayed Israel. That was the beginning of the US-Israel relationship.
But then after the ’73 war, the US pushed Israel to give back Sinai for the third time to Egypt. along with the oil fields and bases that Israel had developed, and were supplying ISrael with both strategic depth and half of its oil. So in exchange for Israel giving back all of Sinai, the US promised both Israel and Egypt a certain amount of annual aid, though I don’t why Egypt deserved to get any since it got its land and oil back. Then the US became the major arms supplier to Israel as well as to EGypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Jordan. So the US has allied itself to BOTH sides of the conflict, which is quite unusual in the annals of history. But if the US decides to become neutral again, and withdraw all aid to Israel and to its adversaries, I’m sure Israel could be fine as it was before 1967 without much US aid.


Look. The U.S. has given well over a trillion dollars to Israel since 1967 in foreign aid. For what? So they can continue to occupy, terrorize and murder the Palestinians? Israel would stop the occupation tomorrow if we stopped our money. The money we Americans GIVE to Israel does not count the loans, grants (which have never been paid back) and Jewish/Christian money that has gone into the illegal settlements. According to Israeli sources, Israel gets $15 million a DAY from the U.S., more than all of Africa.

Our money given to Palestinians is tiny. Check out for the real numbers. And, to the Zionist apologist for Israeli war crimes who said that there were no universities in Palestine before 1967, there were no Jewish universities in Israel before 1955, so that kind of argument is specious. Jews, Muslims and Christians all went to Beirut, Amman or Cairo for university training before 1948 when European Jews came in and took the land away from Christians and Muslims.


No! We give out too much foreign aid. If the West Bank, Gaza Strip can afford Arms and Munitions for war and terror – then they don’t need help – by the US giving them economic help – we’re just facilitating their further investment in war like attitudes. Let Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia help them. Plus we need our dollars at home to help our country with double digit unemployment and let the Chinese and Russians do their part – the US has to be something besides a bread basket to the world. Jim @ USA


To those who say just cut off aid to ISrael and Israel will get some kind of message, should know (a) the large Arab countries surrounding get as much aid from the US as Israel does, and (b) the US actually sells more arms to the hostile Arab states surrounding ISrael (Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Jordan) more than twice as much military equipment as it gives or sells to Israel. Why the media does not report this is beyond me. Imagine if the US was giving equal amounts of aid to both Britain and Germany during the Battle of Britain in 1940. If the US cuts off all aid and arms sales to BOTH sides of the conflict, Israel will do just fine, thank you. Just as fine as Sweden and Switzerland do without US aid, because they are not constantly being attacked by the rest of Europe. Israel won in 1948 and 1967 without US arms or aid, and can handle itself quite well, provided they are on an equal playing field. The Israeli economy in every conceivable field is quite resilient on its own. No less than South Korea, Taiwan or Sweden for that matter. But the US did not send troops to protect Israel in 1948 as it did to South Korea in 1950. I really wish Americans studied more world history.


Before the first intifada, when I lived in ISrael during the 1980s, the West Bank and Gaza were doing just fine. Sure, Arab workers coming into Israel to work had to pass security, just as Mexican workers should do crossing into the US for day labor, but Israel essentially built up the West Bank and Gaza in many ways. The Arabs from the territories alongside Israel achieved a standard of living second to none at that time in the Arab world. There was not a single college in all of the West Bank and Gaza before Israel took over in 1967.
However, it was the first intifada, starting in late 1987, and all the violence and terror that has passed since, that brought a halt to all of that and causing the last 2o or so terrible years to occur. But now that Abbas has taken some steps to stop violence coming from the West Bank, Israel has removed and eased up on many checkpoints, making the flow of goods and workers much easier, and business there more predictable. And Arabs are far more educated today in part due to the influence of Israel next door, with its high tech, colleges and all. And ISrael wants to help the West Bank now to contrast it with Gaza, so that the Palestinians will have a clear choice: economic progress if they are peaceful and cooperate, or boycotts and backwardness if they choose to resume violence. Carrots for the West Bank, and sticks for Gaza. That’s Israel’s latest policy. Cooperate and things get better. Don’t and they will regret it.


The question that I have is if Israel has only been keeping out weapons or weapon-making materials and letting all the non-weapon materials get through to the Palestinians, why would reducing the number of checkpoints improve their economy?


Yes but, only if we see both ethnic groups are moving toward normalicy and no violance what
so ever.


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Promoting economic growth will not solve the basic problem of Israel controlling every aspect of life on the West Bank. Economic development doesn’t work very well when the Israeli government shuts off the water to Palestinian areas without warning, so Israelis can build fish farms in the desert. Technical skills are hard to come by when Israel arbitrarily shuts down the Universities. Making business contacts is difficult when Israel does not allow Palestinians to travel beyond their borders and restricts travel within their borders. We give the Palestinians a billion dollars to build their economy, so we can feel better when Israel uses the billions of dollars we give them to blow it up. I have a better idea. Lets keep our money here and spend it solving our own problems.


the United States ,borrows money ,has a debt that can’t be paid in our life span , tells it’s people social security is going bankrupt , yet it builds and gives aid to country’s through-out world , i don’t know how long things can continue as they are , but hurting ties with China sure won’t help


The Palestinians are the biggest recipients per capital of foreign aid from the EU, the UN, …

The aid has fed into the mentality of victimhood, and refusal to look forward. It has been counterproductive.

It is also remarkable that oil rich Arab states contribute so little. They make promises at times (much less than the West) but don’t actually deliver.


The US should give aid to the Palestinians only when they start educating for peace, and give up their stated goal of destroying Israel.

For decades the Palestinians have been given a free ride – lots of aid, and sympathy, while ignoring their refusal to compromise.


If the U.S. is serious about helping the Palestinians and at the same time resolve the Israel/Palestinian problem, just cut off the $3-5 billon our government gives to Israel. The rest will take care of it self. The Palestinians are a resourceful people and can grow their own economy.


[…] addition, the World Focus piece included an eye-opening video clip (above) that provides a fresh, but welcomed, perspective […]


Oh yes, for sure, give them lots more money so they can buy more rockets to rain down on Israel. That is what they have been doing with our money for the past 20 years. Why should we stop now? Look at all the good we are doing for the Egyptian and Iranian economies.


I think the US should help, proportionatly to what can and should be given by the Arab nations in the area.
Its ashame that Arabs for years having been using the palestinians as pawns and when its time to ante-up, where are they, their own bretheren !

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