Haaretz, Sep. 30, 2015


Separate reports by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank report released this month point to a more plausible reason for the upsurge: The steady deterioration of the West Bank economy over the past three years.

[...] Although it achieved a brief surge of growth last year, West Bank economic growth has slowed to zero per capita, i.e., Palestinian standards of living are stagnant. [...]

Apart from employment in Israel, the only reason the West Bank has a functioning economy at all is that the Palestinian Authority provides well-paying work, helped by generous (albeit steadily declining) foreign assistance. [...]

The security forces alone employ 65,000 people. That's not much by the standards of other comatose but repressive Middle Eastern economies, but it is very big by global standards. [...]

Bibi has spoken about the link between economics and unrest, though as the record shows, he’s not interested in an economic peace either. It's just an excuse to avoid embarking on a diplomatic process.

Israel has taken some measures to ameliorate the West Bank’s economic distress, but is effectively in league with the PA in doing nothing to solve it.

Even from Bibi’s point of view, this makes no sense. On the one hand he’s a dedicated friend of the status quo; on the other he seems intent on allow the conditions in the West Bank to fester that could potentially undermine that status quo.  One can only assume he is beholden to the rightist fear that Palestinian economic development would fan the flames of political independence. In any case, it would require the settlers to treat the Palestinians in their midst as economic equals – co-workers, business competitors and even employers of Israelis, not just a ready pool of labor at the bottom of the market.