Economics and Peace in the Palestinian Authority


Professor Paul Eidelberg makes the cogent argument that focusing on the economy, as Kerry is, is completely meaningless.

During this period when the West Bank and Gaza were run by Israel, the territories received little foreign aid. [Nevertheless] the economy boomed, and the Palestinians increased their business activity and their standard of living rose dramatically. Here is George Gilder’s assessment:

“At the inception of the occupation, conditions in the territories were quite dire. Life expectancy was low; malnutrition, infectious diseases, child mortality were rife; fewer than 60 percent of all male adults had been employed, with unemployment among refugees running as high as 83 percent. Within a brief period after the war, Israeli occupation had led to dramatic improvements…improvements …[The number of Palestinians working in Israel rose from zero in 1967 … 109 thousand by 1968, accounting for 35 percent of the employed population of the West Bank and 45 percent in Gaza. Close to two thousand industrial plants employing almost half the work force, were established in the territories under Israeli rule.

“During the 1970s, the West Bank and Gaza constituted the fourth fastest growing economy in the world … with per capita GDP expanding tenfold between 1968 and 1991… Life expectancy rose more than 48 years in 1967 to 72 in 2000.…By 1986, 92.8 percent of the population … had electricity around the clock, as compared to 20.5 percent in 1967… (Similar advances occurred in hygiene, child mortality, immunizations, and communications, which all rose to levels equal or exceeding other Middle Eastern countries]. The number of school children … grew by 102 percent … Even more dramatic was the progress in higher education. [From zero in 1967] by the early 1990s, there were even [universities] boasting some 16,500 students.”

I don’t agree that the economic issues are meaningless in this conflict. They just don’t work the way that the Western model of a rising tide floats all boats expects it to.


1. The conflict has made the creation of controlled alternative economy based around monopolies, whether it is the Palestinian Authority’s monopoly on cigarettes or Hamas’ monopoly on smuggling tunnels, possible.

These monopolies are one more reason to perpetuate the conflict in order to prevent free trade. Hamas wants an Israeli blockade. The Palestinian Authority wants constant economic insecurity.


… and this is an important one


2.  Christians and Jews out-compete Muslims economically in every country. That’s why the Muslim Brotherhood with its network of businesses wants to drive Coptic Christians out of Egypt.

Muslims invariably have lower levels of education, skill and employment than their non-Muslim counterparts. They only win, as they always have, by killing their competitors or reducing them to second-class status.

Israel has 1.2 Muslims inside the Green Line who account for 52 percent of its social benefits. Israel’s national unemployment rate is 5.6 percent. The Arab unemployment rate is 27 percent. Only 59 percent of Muslim men and only 19 percent of Muslim women are officially part of the workforce.  That’s compared to 56 percent of Jewish women and 52 percent of Christian women.

The average Israeli family has double the monthly income of the average Arab family. Half the Arab sector officially lives in poverty. The Israeli Jewish GDP is nearly three times higher than the Arab-Israeli GDP.

Israel within the Green Line only has about 150,000 Christians and about as many Druze, and both groups perform better economically. Christian Arabs have a higher employment rate and a better rate of higher education than Muslims.

You can see the same numbers when you compare Muslims to Buddhists or Hindus. Islam is hostile to education and competence. Its theocracy strives to keep its followers backward.

Muslims do better economically in non-Muslim countries. Muslim countries with non-Muslim minorities perform better than 100 percent Muslim countries.

The non-oil Muslim countries who are closest to Israel are Malaysia and Lebanon, 32 and 33 places behind Israel. Both countries also have sizable non-Muslim populations. Muslims make up only 50 percent of Lebanon and only 60 percent of Malaysia. No Muslim country without oil has a better GDP Per Capita than a Muslim country with sizable Christian or Buddhist minorities.

Within India, Muslims are at the bottom of the economic ladder. Their per capita GDP is lower, their literacy rate is lower and they perform worse than Hindus. And yet the average Indian Muslim annual income at 513 dollars is still higher than the average annual income in Pakistan at 420 dollars. This remains consistent with the higher Arab-Israeli income and lower Jordanian Arab income model meaning that Muslims in non-Muslim countries will earn less than the majority, but more than they would in a majority Muslim country.

Now if you think rationally, this is a reason for Muslims to keep non-Muslims around. But if you think tribally, the only way that Muslims can get ahead is by getting rid of the non-Muslims.

You can’t fix Muslim economic inequality without fixing Islam. And you can’t fix Muslim violence without fixing Islam. And you can’t fix Islam.

The economic issues are certainly there, but they derive from a religious problem.

  • darnellecheri

    “You can’t fix Muslim economic inequality without fixing Islam. And you can’t fix Muslim violence without fixing Islam. And you can’t fix Islam.” Pretty brave statement. I only wish I said it. I sure thought it often enough. A Muslim pre-med student here in California once told me that she intellectually realized that Islam had some gaping fallacies, but, she could not emotionally reconcile the fact that she was lied too her entire life, as well as accepting the fact that she would be banished from her family if she left Islam. Herein, lies some huge issues.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      And so it continues from generation to generation

      • objectivefactsmatter

        Most Muslims are essentially slaves. Many don’t realize it as they’re stuck in a cultural bubble.

    • Veracious_one

      if she left Islam her family may just kill her,,,,and she knows it,,,,

  • Daniel

    I’ve been developing a theory that the greatest beneficiaries of the Israeli “occupation” of “Palestine” are the “Palestinians” themselves (as outlined above.) Perhaps greatest of all, the Arab Muslims under occupation may forge a culture that rivals Nazi Germany in sheer depravity, and they never, ever get held to account for it. After all, they’re being “occupied.”

  • objectivefactsmatter

    “2. Christians and Jews out-compete Muslims economically in every country. That’s why the Muslim Brotherhood with its network of businesses wants to drive Coptic Christians out of Egypt.”

    There’s a key motive for them to align with the left: They share the same hatreds and similar narratives about “the people of the book.”

    • danfan

      indeed, consider Daniel Hannan’s recently published book detailing the history of the greatest influences in history by the English-speaking people

  • danfan

    meaningless as in something less than one percent are savvy enough to understand

  • Jon MC

    It’s a tough call for Muslims isn’t it?
    Keep the Kafirs and you’re bottom of the(economic) heap, but better off – but that’s wrong because the Koran tells you you’re superior to them in all ways so the fact they are better off than you economically means they are cheating.
    Kill or expel the Kafirs and take their goods and property. Okay you are now top of the (economic) heap, but going down for a host of reasons – but at least your “superiority” is assured.

    “Isn’t there a better way!” I hear you cry. Strangely yes. It’s called Dhimmitude. Keep your Kafirs but apply special taxes (Jizya, Kharaj etc.) to them so that although they produce more YOU reap the rewards AND – better still – dhimmitude means they have to treat you and your Islamic “culture” with servile reverence and respect or else you can still kill them and take their goods, wives and children.
    And that’s the reason why kafirs survived in Islamic states. They supplied a source of revenue and an object lesson on how kafirs should be subjugated and forced into inferiority to stroke those oh-so-fragile Muslim egos.

    • bribri

      and you exploit/plagiarise the kuffar/dhimmi/apostate intellectuals, and… tada! Islamic Golden Age ;)

    • Porkys2istan

      Actually throughout islamic history only the Dhimmis payed ANY taxes. I know a lot of you are Norquist fans (or not if you know about his muslim friends), but can you imagine trying to run a country with NO tax revenues at all?

      Those ‘so called’ periods of ‘islamic tolerance’ were nothing more than shrewd muslim rulers realizing that muslims are ONLY good for waging war on neighboring Kuffar states, but if you actually want the roads maintained, the police paid (and not corrupt) and the mail to arrive you MUST have some non-muslims around to pay the bills.

      (Un?)Fortunately, the muslims always run out of easy neighbors to plunder, or grow jealous of the people who actually work and produce and steal it all. Thus, they ensure the destruction of their own governments, and can never grow, or achieve anything.