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What does everyone think of the recent improvement of the West Bank economy? How does this connect with the peace process, if at all?

I encourage everyone, regardless of their belief about "economic peace" to learn about the impact of microfinance in the West Bank. By providing deserving Palestinian entrepreneurs small loans to start or improve their micro-business, the entrepreneurs are able to sustain themselves and provide for their families. Through microfinance, there can be a sense of sustainability in the region and therefore less reliance on outside aid.

LendforPeace.org is a website which enables people from all around the world to make loans to specific micro-entrepreneurs in the West Bank. Please check it out! www.lendforpeace.org

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Alexi,

while "economic peace" (Netanyahu's dogma) is not the be-all and end-all of the conflict, it is, however, crucial and can thence lead to 'political peace'. A panacea for economic growth doesn't exist (and some, often the poorest, won't even gain from general growth), but still it can be said that greater stability and increased international aid efforts led to the improvement of the West Bank economy you mentioned. But still there are restrictions and problems to be solved, problems imposed mainly by Israel:

http://blog.taragana.com/n/west-bank-economy-can-enjoy-robust-growt...

Ironically, one might argue that the separation wall both triggered greater West Bank stability and thus to an extent can be said to have accounted for the improvement of the economy (due to improved security in Israel and thus less Israeli retaliation efforts) and is a cause for greater (economic) restrictions.

In the long-term, however, as the Palestinian economy is still in its fledgling stages, we need to focus on empowering people to create secure and sustainable livelihoods.
Yes Oliver. You wrote "we need to focus on empowering people to create secure and sustainable livelihoods."

That is precisely what www.lendforpeace.org is about.
Yes - and exactly this focus on empowerment through micro-credit makes lendforpeace and similar organisations around the world so important.
Is Haack not a Dutch name? I am glad , my dear chap, that you have come to the conclusion that wealth or poverty plays no role in terrorism and "economic peace" or economic well being will not end the conflict. I believe that the problem lies in the ideology of Islam and this is what must be turned around. But Netanyahu may be on to something as material well being trumps nationalism or even a need for a state that would be mired in corruption and poverty.

The separation fence has done wonders for both Jews and Arabs and we must applaud it and not try to tear it down. Security is important for both people and the years of living in a democracy may also be paying off for the Palestinians who I hope will shed their clan mentality and opt out for living with the Jews in peace and harmony.
Shea,

Haack is a North-German name, but it is familiar in Holland, too.

Anyway, regarding your comment I must say that if you interpret my argument that way I will certainly "applaud" you for not being able to recognise the effects of the occupation (I know, for you and some others here there is no 'occupation'..). Poverty plays a great role in terrorism, although it mostly works as a 'trigger' for the actual 'making' of terrorism and terrorists.

This discussion is not about the "ideology of Islam" and whichever ideology you mean (i.e. whichever aspects of Islam you so despise), it has nothing or very little to do with economic aspects as such.

Regarding the 'fence' (a fence, however, looks different, I have a fence in my garden, and, my dear Shea, I must say that the thing I saw in Bethlehem and elsewhere does look more like a wall, doesn't it?), it will only serve as a short-term security measure. Long-term security (both economic and political) needs to be implemented differently.

You mention the assumed Palestinian (or Arab, Islamic? in general) "clan mentality". You don't seem to recognise other cultures, do you?
Dear Oliver,

You wrote to Shea: "You mention the assumed Palestinian (or Arab, Islamic? in general) "clan mentality". You don't seem to recognise other cultures, do you?"

Why do you seem to think that Shea does not seem to recognise other cultures?

Be well...
==PmR
Paul,

well, if you read "clan mentality" in the context of what Shea wrote (in her above comment) - taken together with statements about "the ideology of Islam", it is possible to come to the conclusion that she is - politely said -not very fond of Arab culture.

But ask her directly - I at least didn't get an answer to my question..
Economic Peace is like locking a group of people in a small room and when you feel you want to be good to them you give them few extra things but if they behave against your wish you can punish them anytime and take away all the few things that you gave to them, and I say few because when you are looked any small piece will be considered much while it is not.

That what happened exactly before 9 years when the Electronic Intifada broke and it could happen again anytime Netanyahu and his gang decides that Palestinians have started to stand on their feet and be strong.

Economic peace could be good in some ways but it is more of a slogan than a solution, the solution is by setting the locked group free and give them what belongs to them so they can do economics by themselves not by what others decide to give them or take away from them.
There are many projects (by the international community, NGOs etc.) - including micro-finance organisations like lendforpeace, that potentially give the people hope and a genuine perspective.

(For everyone who can read German, here is an article about a Mercedes training facility for young people in Beit Sahour):

http://www.sueddeutsche.de/G5238W/2993935/Autos-zum-Traeumen.html

[Unfortunately, there is no English translation]

But I think Hillel is right - despite these projects and well-intentioned efforts, the occupation still prevails and with it the hate and mistrust it creates and nourishes. The 'social worlds' of the people (of both Israel and the Territories) are still dominated by defense and showing strength on the one side, and resistance on the other.

The election results of both Israel and Palestine show this.
My dear old chap.

What exactly are ya saying. I guess "the occupation" made them do it. Whatever "it" is.

Are ya actually saying that it Israel demolishes the "wall" and just leaves than peace will sprout its wings and we will live happily forever and a day.

Your theories have been debunked long ago as to poverty=terrorism magnet. You just seem to cling to them.

Once the ideology of Islam as the world conqueror will be debunked than so will terror. Islam cannot claim all the lands it conquered and lost again as theirs and Israel is no exception.That is the essense of the conflict everything else is just a side issue.
Shea,

I don't know where you draw your conclusions from. I don't know where you read from my reply that "peace will sprout its wings" if Israel demolishes the wall, or fence, or whatever.

But as I said (and Alexi, who posted that discussion, will certainly agree) this discussion is not about the usual 'blame games' concerning evil Islam and angelic Zionism (and vice versa) but about economic issues. No need to repeat your conspiracies concerning the "ideology of Islam as the world conqueror" here.
Oliver, me lad.

So if you say that economic prosperity will not bring peace and the wall and Israel leaving Judea and Samaria will not bring peace. Than what will ?

So leaving and demolishing the wall and giving the Palestinians a pile of money will bring peace?

I am not sure what your take is other than the Wall is bad, the "occupation" is bad, zionism is bad. Culture has nothing to do with terror and neither does Islamic extreme ideology. So the question is "What is it all about?"

What are the economic issues and what are the water issues? What is it about as far as you are concerned?

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