Shir Hever

Israel's inclusion in economic organization a threat to democracy

Membership in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which includes 30 of the world’s most developed countries, does not provide money or any special economic benefits. Yet it is easy to see why the Israeli government attributes great importance to Israel becoming one of its members. Shir Hever analyzes for The Electronic Intifada. 

Israel's oil refineries privatized: the Palestinian economy perspective

Over a year has passed since Israel privatized its oil refineries in Haifa and Ashdod to private companies. The Haifa refineries were bought by a group of investors lead by the Ofer brothers, two of Israel’s richest capitalists through their company Israel Corp. The Ashdod refineries were bought by the Paz petrol company owned by Zadik Bino. What may appear to be an internal Israeli matter, has in fact a crucial impact on the Palestinian economy in the West Bank and Gaza Strip as well. 

Occupation and Aid

There is no need to go into details, once again, about the extensive damage caused to the Palestinians by the Israeli occupation forces. We have heard much already of the mounting poverty rate, that GDP has fallen by 9% during the first half of 2006, that 25% of the Palestinian work force is suffering from a severe loss of income due to the sanctions on the PA, and that welfare payments have fallen by US$180 million. Moreover, Per-capita consumption in Palestine has fallen by 12%. Deep poverty is reaching alarming proportions, in Gaza it is already at 79.8%. Additionally, food insecurity is also at very high levels, reaching up to 41% in Gaza. 

Inflation: Another Wall between Israel and the Occupied Territories

Inflation rates differ in Israel and in the occupied Palestinian territories, but they are both the direct result of Israeli policies. These policies are responsible for the deep recession of the Israeli economy, resulting in deflation, and for the harsh conditions of the economy in the occupied Palestinian territories, resulting in inflation. Besides property destruction and damages to infrastructure, the ability of local industry to import has been restricted even further, resulting in more pressure on the diminishing Palestinian industrial and agricultural sectors to meet the demands of the entire population. Shir Hever explains why Palestinian inflation is so high, tackles the causes of Israeli deflation and examines who benefit from this.