Economics and politics - comment and analysis
8. October 2013 I Raja Khalidi I Countries and Regions

What Economic Future for Palestine? Part II

Part II: The big picture: economies at the peripheries Israeli per capita income is today 8 times that of Palestinians (compared to 1944 when the ratio was only 2:1) and the Israeli economy dwarfs the Palestinian economy by 25:1. In its 21st century version, dualism posits that the Arab-Jewish development chasm that has emerged since 1948 and in particular sinc…


Part II: The big picture: economies at the peripheries

Israeli per capita income is today 8 times that of Palestinians (compared to 1944 when the ratio was only 2:1) and the Israeli economy dwarfs the Palestinian economy by 25:1. In its 21st century version, dualism posits that the Arab-Jewish development chasm that has emerged since 1948 and in particular since 1967, is simply a continuation of the old story. According to this version of history, a Jewish (European) industrial, capital and technological head-start began a century ago, while a socially/ politically fragmented and culturally-constrained Arab population has yet to fully shed its agrarian roots and embrace “modernization” and the pursuit of utility. All they need is a good dose of market-based economic liberalism and the comparative advantages of each economy will certainly realize mutual welfare advantages, ceteris paribus (i.e. even under current conditions).

In the eyes of dualists, the notion that these yawning gaps have been accentuated, or that an adverse path of dependency has been created long ago, as a result of the gradual colonization of Palestine and the attrition of its Arab indigenous economic resources and leverage, is “politicization” of pure economic analysis. Likewise mainstream economic thought discounts the systemi…
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