Before Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was elected, I wrote an editorial in Voices Magazine about Bibi's desire to take the spotlight off physical (no war) peace, and redirect it to economic peace. If a bombless-terrorless-warless situation was impossible between the Arabs and Israel, Bibi wanted to promote an economic peace. I guess anything with the word "peace" in it sounds good.
Over the past few months, the Prime Minister has spoken with pride over the rising economic health of the Arabs in Judea and Samaria. Their economy has improved more than 7%. Netanyahu wants the Arabs of Yesha on their feet.
Would that Bibi's dreams of economic peace would come true! But to have peace, you need two sides working toward the same goal, or it is a unilateral economic peace objective, and it doesn't work.
While Israel works to sure up the Arabs' economy in Judea and Samaria, the Palestinian Authority, led in this issue by PA Prime Minister Salam Fayad, is doing everything it can to destroy Israel's.
Israel's Economic Prosperity, B"H
The State of Israel has announced that its exports hit a record $67.5 billion last year, with 10% (about $74 billion) more expected in 2010. Goods produced in Judea and Samaria are a good part of that production.
Israel's industrial centers throughout Israel, including Judea and Samaria, are busy profitable places. Israel's farms, including those in Yesha, are responsible for some of the finest produce in the world.
In fact, Israel has just been accepted into the for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) because of its sound economy. Mazel tov.
So, wouldn't it be nice - since we worry so much about the betterment of Palestinian Authority economy - if the Palestinian Authority would support Israel's economy as well?
But economic peace (like all other peace attempts) has thus far proven totally one-sided. I read recently in the terrific HaMoadia newspaper that "PA officials smashed 7.5 tons of watermelons ...and vowed to put merchants who were selling them on trial for 'collaborating' with Israel."
Well, that's not very friendly, but it does go along with the tone of: "no Arabs may shop in Rami Levi", "boycott 1000 Israeli products from Yesha".
And make no mistake, today PA PM Salam Fayad may nix watermelons from Yesha. Tomorrow, he's liable to put the squeeze on oranges from Jaffa and Pardes Hanna.
The Palestinian Authority is very determined now to hit Israel in its pocketbook. Firstly, it is reaching out in all directions to make sure the PA is a Judenrein/Israel-free zone. Next, if its kassams and Arab terrorists are not succeeding, B"H, in defeating Israel, its on to its next front - an economic war.