Two Real News videos on Obama's visit and Ramallah's 'Prosperity' under Occupation
- 1) Palestinians Reacted Angrily to US President's Visit
2) The Ramallah bubble: Prosperity under occupation?
By Lia Tarachansky and Max Blumenthal
From street level in downtown Ramallah the economy seems to be thriving.
Gleaming storefronts display an array of brand-name products, American fast
food restaurants are sprouting up and the city is host to a bustling
nightlife that could rival Tel Aviv. For years Israeli officials have
pointed to economic growth in the West Bank, arguing the occupation is not
as detrimental as many argue. Israeli Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs
Minister Yuli Edelstein and Eitan Dogat, head of the branch of the Israeli
government in charge of the occupation (COGAT), have quoted figures showing
annual growth as high as 9.6 percent in the West Bank.
These figures, promoted also by Palestinian Authority officials, come from
World Bank reports, but as Palestinian economist Ibrahim Shikaki points out,
behind this veneer of prosperity is an uncomfortable reality.
In September, the West Bank was rocked by anti-austerity protests, directed
against Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, the chief architect of the Palestinian
economy since the Oslo Accords. By signing the Paris Protocols, part of
Oslo, the Palestinian Authority agreed to a forced dependency on the Israeli
economy. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu termed the situation
³Peace through Prosperity.² The Real News¹ Lia Tarachansky and independent
journalist Max Blumenthal look at what lies behind this policy.
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