The Palestinian Authority’s Policy of Denormalization

The Palestinian leadership’s rejection of normalized relations with Israel that were established in 1993 with the Oslo Exchange of Letters between PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, and the PLO’s subsequent support for the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign have created an economic void. The Palestinian and BDS leadership’s boycotts of Israeli employers of thousands of Palestinians, such as the internationally traded company SodaStream and Rami Levy, a leading Israeli supermarket chain, are hurting the Palestinian public. The Palestinian leadership has failed to fill the economic void by neglecting to meet promises to match the income, benefits, and other compensations for Palestinian employees once BDS causes their termination from Israeli owned businesses.

Major Palestinian commercial ventures that were established under the sanction of the Palestinian Authority, such as Austrian mogul Martin Shlaff’s Oasis Casino in the Palestinian city of Jericho, became centers for international money laundering for terror groups. They did little to benefit the Palestinian public. Some of the foreign-financed Palestinian industrial zones have also been tainted by local corruption, and have failed to provide adequate employment and services for large numbers of Palestinian workers.

In addition to encouraging corruption, the foreign aid dependence of the Palestinian economy has also retarded incentive for local economic development and independence and to establish an advanced infrastructure and rule of law. European aid agencies, EU member states, and organizations such as UNRWA have often stepped in to provide crucial economic assistance and employment in unsustainable cottage industries for Palestinians.

In addition to encouraging corruption, the foreign aid dependence of the Palestinian economy has retarded incentive for local economic development, and the establishment of an advanced infrastructure and rule of law.

Because many of these Palestinian and European NGOs themselves support the BDS movement against Israel or are staffed by people who support Israel’s demise, these NGOs also encourage unsustainable and isolationist Palestinian economic policies while stealing or sabotaging private commercial initiatives.1 Overall, the current Palestinian political economy, influenced far too greatly by the BDS and anti-normalization campaigns amounts to a corrupt, unsustainable, terror-supporting regime that is disinterested in the economic well-being of its own people and the development of a new state.

Downtown Erbil, capital of Kurdistan.

Downtown Erbil, capital of Kurdistan. (Myararat83 | CC BY-SA 3.0)

Economic development is one of the greatest challenges facing newly formed nationstates. Some states that were established in the last 70 years such as South Korea,2 the Czech Republic,3 as well as the autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan4 developed into strong, independent economies due to their willingness to adapt to global markets, join international institutions and treaties with neighbors, tackle corruption, and encourage good governance.5

The Intentions of Oslo

The provisions of the 1993 Oslo Accords, which created the Palestinian Authority proto government in the West Bank and Gaza, encouraged an open Palestinian economy mirroring the development models of the aforementioned nascent states and autonomous regions. The Accords encouraged economic cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians via the establishment of trade treaties, free trade zones, and cooperation in Israeli- Palestinian industrial research, energy, water, media, and other development programs.6

In addition to these joint programs, the Oslo Accords were also intended to develop an independent Palestinian economy, emphasizing business development. However, nearly two and a half decades since the Oslo Exchange of Letters was signed, the Oslo vision has been undermined, largely because of measures by the Palestinian leadership to publicly shun Israeli-Palestinian economic cooperation and stifle domestic Palestinian business initiatives and innovation.

Post-Oslo Palestinian Denormalization of Relations with Israel

The Palestinian leadership has held these joint projects hostage under their undeclared policy of denormalization of relations with Israel.7 Denormalization’s first objective is to intimidate and threaten Palestinians and Israelis who seek peace and a two states for two peoples solution. Denormalization’s second objective is to delegitimize and isolate Israel in the international community. In this regard, denormalization parallels Hamas and other terror groups that are working to destroy any chance of peace between Israel and the Palestinians.8

The Oslo Accords called for the establishment of a Palestinian development bank to independently fund Palestinian economic development. The bank was never established, and most Palestinian development subsidies, grants, and loans, including for infrastructural projects that were slated to be implemented by the Palestinian Authority, are provided by foreign development agencies and NGOs. However, many of these funds earmarked for economic development in the Palestinian Authority have ended up in the pockets of Hamas and Fatah leaders. Palestinian government corruption has been welldocumented since the 1990s.

Therefore, without the existence of a viable independent economy, or government encouragement of the joint initiatives laid out in the Oslo Accords, many Palestinians in the West Bank have become largely dependent on Israel and private Israeli business and industry for their economic livelihoods. The linkages between Israel’s supply of goods for Palestinian consumers and Israel as a market for Palestinian labor that began after 1967 have continued post-Oslo. Palestinian public demand to buy Israeli products and work both in Israel and for Israeli businesses in the industrial zones in Area C of the West Bank can be attributed to the PA’s failed policies and corruption, poor quality of Palestinian goods, and the limited Palestinian labor market.

Without the existence of a viable independent Palestinian economy, many Palestinians in the West Bank have become largely dependent on Israel and private Israeli business and industry for their economic livelihoods.

The Palestinian public faces a two-headed economic challenge. While the Palestinian leadership has discouraged local economic innovation and development, and instead has “locked in” monopolistic control of the Palestinian economy, Palestinian leaders have also called for denormalization of relations with Israel. They have frequently advanced boycotts to prevent cooperation with Israelis. Economically, this has trapped the Palestinian professional and working classes. In short, the Palestinian leadership has quashed any major joint initiatives between Israelis and Palestinians intended to benefit both publics. This unfriendly business environment has also discouraged foreign investors.

Yasser Arafat, Shimon Peres, and Yitzhak Rabin receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994

Former PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat, former Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, and former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994 following the signing of the 1993 Oslo Declaration of Principles. (Saar Yaacov/Government Press Office | Wikimedia Commons)

The Palestinian leadership has been playing a double game regarding its BDS campaign against Israel. PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has sent mixed signals to the Palestinian public, Israel, and the international community, which has generated international confusion over the PA’s BDS policy. The PA cooperates with Israel on issues Palestinians see as vital to their national security such as anti-Hamas, anti-ISIS and anti-Al Qaeda counterterror actions as well as coordination on water, oil, and gas supplies.

At the same time, the PA has sanctioned and trumpeted anti-Israel incitement, in clear violation of its Oslo obligations. These appeals have included BDS in the form of boycotts as well as social, cultural, and sport cooperation with Israel. This is a concerted attempt to denormalize formal and informal relations between Israelis and Palestinians and derail any progress toward peace and reconciliation. This duplicitous message has sowed confusion among the Palestinian public as to the identity of the enemy: are they the Jewish settlers living in the West Bank or Israeli citizens in Tel Aviv? When Palestinian representatives, activists and most Palestinian Islamic leaders place all Israelis and Jews in one “basket,” the Palestinian public is misled that not merely settler products need to be boycotted, but all products from Israel.

This indoctrination by Palestinian political and religious leaders and BDS NGOs comes from the same leaders who insist they are building bridges of cooperation with Israel. Ironically, perhaps in tandem with these “moderating” statements by the PA leadership, every locality in the West Bank has its own voluntary popular committee for boycotting Israel. These groups are manned by NGO “activists,” who are essentially local paid “thugs” who impose and enforce their will on the local communities. They raid grocery stores, intimidate and threaten shop owners, and confiscate Israeli products such as Tnuva and Osem food products, which Palestinian shoppers far prefer over Palestinian dairy and other commodities.

The BDS Movement and the Palestinian Political Economy

The BDS movement exemplifies this attempt by the Palestinian leadership to destroy the peace process and associated joint initiatives while simultaneously hurting the Palestinian people. The frequently asked questions (FAQ) section of the webpage of the BDS movement asks; “Doesn’t BDS Hurt Palestinians?” The response to this question by the BDS movement, which claims to speak for the 2.9 million Palestinians in the West Bank9 says, “Palestinians have made the decision to call for BDS believing that any economic damage they may face is a small price to pay to realize freedom, justice and equality.”10 This is an inaccurate statement intended to mislead the international community to conclude that the Palestinian public supports the boycott movement.

Indoctrination by Palestinian political and religious leaders and BDS NGOs comes from the same leaders who insist they are building bridges of cooperation with Israel.

This inaccurate BDS claim stands in sharp contrast to the reality of Palestinian employment in Israel. For example, Palestinians dominate the service industry in Jerusalem and feature prominently in the health care, hospital and hotel industries, as well as contracting, transport, and construction. According to a 2015 European Union-funded survey, the average daily wage for a Palestinian working in Israeli-controlled areas is 194.2 Israeli shekels a day (53.23 USD), as opposed to 91.4 shekels a day (25.06 USD) for Palestinians employed by Palestinian employers in the West Bank. Over 100,000 Palestinian workers currently work in Israel and the West Bank industrial zones in Area C. This is still far off the 1986 number of 270,000 Palestinians working in Israel, but still far more than in recent years.11 In contrast, the 2014 GDP per capita for Palestinians in the West Bank was $4,300, ranking it as the 175th poorest economy in the world by the CIA for that year.12 According to these statistics, 18 percent of Palestinians in the West Bank live under the poverty line, and 17.7 percent are unemployed. The industrial growth rate in 2015 for the West Bank and Gaza was 1.7 percent.13 The BDS movement writes that boycotting Israeli employers, including settlements is a “small price to pay.”14 Yet, due to the Palestinian Authority’s failure to supply jobs, combined with the high inequality and high rates of poverty in the West Bank, refusing work from an Israeli employer, or any employer for that matter, even at an Israeli settlement, is not a “small price to pay.” Finding a job with an Israeli employer could be the difference between an economic livelihood and abject poverty.

The BDS movement and its anti-normalization agenda also places blame for Palestinian economic hardship solely on the Israelis. Its webpage states, “Palestinians face high unemployment and are often forced to work for Israeli companies including in illegal Israeli settlements because of Israel’s deliberate, decades-long destruction of the Palestinian economy.”15 This is inaccurate.

Salam Fayyad throws a package into a fire set to burn products from Jewish settlements

Former Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad throws a package into a fire set to burn products from Jewish settlements in the West Bank municipality of Salfit, January 2010. (AP Photo/Nasser Ishtayeh)

On the contrary, it has always been in Israel’s national interest to strengthen the Palestinian economy, to help foster stability and prosperity across the West Bank and in Gaza, until 2005 when Israel withdrew, followed by the 2007 Hamas bloody takeover. Israel has cooperated in massive construction projects in the West Bank such as facilitating the new city of Rawabi, in allowing hundreds of thousands of Israeli Arab tourists to visit and shop in Palestinian-controlled cities in Area A such as Bethlehem, Nablus, Tulkarem, and Jericho.

The BDS movement writes that boycotting Israeli employers, including settlements is a “small price to pay.” Yet, finding a job with an Israeli employer could be the difference between an economic livelihood and abject poverty.

These statements fail to mention that the Palestinian leadership also bears responsibility, perhaps more than the Israelis, because of its official denormalization policies. The Palestinian leadership is also responsible to fulfill the promises of the Oslo Accords, on both joint initiatives and projects that would benefit the Palestinian economy. These ventures, such as the proposed Palestinian development bank, fall within the realm of “acceptable” economic activity according to the BDS movement, because they do not normalize relations with Israelis. However, these Palestinian projects were never carried out.

Palestinian SodaStream employees

Palestinian SodaStream employees saying goodbye after their work permits were revoked in 2016. Their permits were reinstated a year later by the Israeli government, and SodaStream’s Palestinian employees returned to work. (SodaStream/Youtube)

Palestinians Prefer to Work for Israeli Employers

According to Arab-Israeli labor lawyer Khaled Dukhi, many Palestinians prefer to work for Israelis over Palestinians.16 Unlike in the PA-controlled areas, Israeli law protects workers from racial, gender, and age discrimination, and provides paid leave for holidays and sick days. In fact, according to Dukhi, the biggest threat to Palestinian workers is not Israeli employers, but Palestinian middlemen who arrange jobs for these workers, and who are known to pilfer 50-70 percent of Palestinian workers’ salaries. Most Palestinians prefer to work for Israelis directly, and not via Palestinian intermediaries.17 For example, a mall currently under construction by Rami Levy in the northeastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Atarot, when completed, will serve roughly 190,000 Arab and 90,000 Jewish Jerusalemites, and thousands of Palestinians who enter Israel daily via the Qalandia checkpoint, which is only 500 meters from the mall.18 The 60-70 proposed stores in the mall would provide 1,500 new jobs.19 According to Levy, although many Palestinian business owners were interested in renting space in the mall, they backed out because of pressure from Palestinian leaders like Saleh Haniyeh, head of the Palestinian Society for Consumer Protection. When interviewed about Levy’s planned mall, Haniyeh threatened Levy, stating he was “ready to reveal the names of any partners of ‘the settler’ businessman Rami Levy, put them on the blacklist and boycott their commercial interests.”20 However, many Palestinians interviewed by the Times of Israel at the Qalandia checkpoint said they looked forward to the new mall and Rami Levy’s cheaper wholesale prices.

Products from Israeli food companies advertised in a Gaza supermarket

Products from Israeli food companies Strauss and Osem advertised in a Gaza supermarket. (Elder of Ziyon)

Products from Israeli food companies advertised in a Gaza supermarket

Products from Israeli food companies Strauss and Osem advertised in a Gaza supermarket. (Elder of Ziyon)

The interviewees noted that they were not bothered by the prospect of shopping in the same stores as Jewish Israelis, or in a mall owned by a Jewish Israeli.21 Similarly, shortly after the SodaStream factory in the Mishor Adumim Industrial Zone was moved to the Negev desert in February 2016, 74 Palestinians lost their work permits, and could no longer work at the factory. In 2014, 500 Palestinians worked for Sodastream, side by side with Israelis and earned equal wages and benefits, or even oversaw Israeli laborers. Only two years later, no Palestinians worked there.22 Instead of expressing concern over their own people losing employment, Palestinian leaders celebrated the move as a BDS victory. Mahmoud Nawajaa, BDS Coordinator for Ramallah, said the layoffs at SodaStream were “part of the price that should be paid in the process of ending the occupation.” However, he did not propose any employment alternatives at comparable salaries and benefits.23

Rawabi, a planned Palestinian city

Rawabi, a planned Palestinian city funded by billionaire Bashar al-Masri and Gulf nations. (Wikimedia Commons)

Palestinian Authority Attempts at Employment Initiatives

The Palestinian leadership has also ignored the high unemployment rates of Palestinians, estimated at 22.2 percent in the West Bank in 1998 when the Palestinian Authority and Casino Austria opened the Jericho Oasis Casino.24 Israelis constituted an estimated 95 percent of visitors during the casino’s two years of operation. The casino was intended to help the struggling Palestinian economy, providing tax revenue to the Palestinian Authority.

However, even the Palestinians could not guarantee employee safety in Jericho. Croupiers and table staff, the staff members who interacted the most with Israeli visitors, were Europeans. Housing was arranged for European staff by PLO officials in the neighboring Israeli settlement of Maale Adumim, and not Jericho, due to terror and crime-related security concerns.25

Mahmoud Nawajaa, BDS Coordinator for Ramallah, said the layoffs at SodaStream were “part of the price that should be paid in the process of ending the occupation.” However, he did not propose any employment alternatives.

It is also known that the Oasis also served the purpose of laundering money for Arafat to help fund the Second Intifada.26 During the Second Intifada, Palestinian militants also reportedly used the casino to fire at Israeli soldiers. In addition to funding terror and providing limited jobs for Palestinians, the profits generated from Jericho’s Oasis Casino, the biggest tourism project implemented by Palestinian leadership, were also not reinvested to serve the Palestinian population. After the Oasis Casino was closed after only two years of operation, the PA made no efforts to replace any lost jobs or compensate for lost income.27

The Interdependence of the Israeli and Palestinian Economies

It has been widely proven that BDS actually hurts the Palestinian economy more than the Israeli economy, as seen in the aforementioned examples of Rami Levy and SodaStream, and has the potential of devastating the livelihoods of the over 100,000 Palestinians who work in Israel. The Palestinian and Israeli economies are highly interdependent, with both sides benefitting from bilateral trade. Roughly, 4.37 billion dollars in Israeli exports entered the West Bank in 2012, and 800 million dollars in Palestinian exports entered Israel in the same year. This trade imbalance was offset by an estimated 1.5 billion dollars paid by Israelis to Palestinians employees.28

The former Oasis Casino in Jericho, now the Intercontinental Hotel

The former Oasis Casino in Jericho, now the Intercontinental Hotel. (Wikipedia)

BDS activists have falsely charged that Israelis purposely “flood” Palestinian markets with Israeli goods, creating a trade dependency. The Palestinians have not developed advanced industries and manufacturing. Instead of using these industrial parks to develop manufactured goods created by Palestinians for Palestinian markets, the Palestinian Authority has instead given rights to or sold many of its industrial parks to foreign companies. A Turkish firm has full control of the Jenin industrial zone, and a Japanese firm controls the Jericho industrial park. In the Jenin industrial zone in particular, Palestinian officials are banned from entering or carrying out official duties, and all security is provided by the foreign firms.29

The BDS Movement and Palestinian Development NGOs

Takeshi Okubo inaugurates hangars at the Jericho Industrial Park

H.E. Takeshi Okubo, Ambassador for Palestinian Affairs and the Representative of Japan to Palestine inaugurates hangars at the Jericho Industrial Park, which were donated by the Japanese government and UN Development Programme, August 2017. (UNDP in Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People)

The international NGO community, under the false premise of “humanitarianism” and even “development” has also prevented Palestinian economic liberalization and domestic innovation. Palestinian NGOs that receive international funding such as the Arab Center for Agricultural Development, the Ramallah-Al-Bireh District Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Nablus Association for Social and Community Development signed the 2005 “Call for BDS.” It is unclear how boycotting Israel will improve Palestinian development, or how isolating Palestinians from Israeli labor and goods markets will improve their economic status and quality of life.

Furthermore, Palestinian NGOs are often not representative of the populations they are supposed to serve. Tariq Dana, political science professor at Hebron University writes that in the post-Oslo period, Palestinian NGO are led by two elites, “former leaders and activists, generally middle-class and politically affiliated with leftist factions,” and “a younger generation of career-oriented professionals who mostly gained their knowledge and skills from Western universities or professional experience overseas.” Dana adds “another aspect of NGO elitism is the upward concentration of power in the hands of a few individuals.”30 According to a 2011 poll by the Norwegian Fafo Institute for Applied International Studies, 59 percent of Palestinian respondents said that they distrusted Palestinian NGOs.31 However, the international community has been misled that the 2005 NGO call for BDS is somehow representative of all Palestinians, as opposed to a small elite minority.

The Palestine Economy Policy Research Institute (MAS), which supports the BDS movement, writes that “The institute is dedicated to producing sound, innovative policy research aimed at fostering economic and social development in Palestine.”32 However, with three PA ministers who sit on its board and a BDS coordinator as a researcher, MAS’s reports on the Palestinian economy are tainted by a distinct bias against Israel.33 MAS publications are widely cited, particularly by foreign funded NGOs. In particular, the MAS paper “Towards a New Vision for the Revival of the Palestinian Economy,” dedicates four chapters incorrectly attributing nearly all current economic hardship to the “Israeli occupation.” The Palestinian leadership is never held to the same standards as Israel throughout the report, nor is the PA deemed even partially culpable for Palestinian economic stagnation.34 In addition to hindering the Palestinian economy, the BDS movement and its policy of anti-normalization also distort economic reports and recommendations for the Palestinian economy. Economic institutes like MAS recommend banning economic cooperation with Israel, in violation of the Oslo Accords. In place of economic cooperation, Palestinian and international bodies that support BDS will continue to demonize Israel, Israeli-Palestinian trade, commerce, and even security cooperation.

Palestinian NGOs are often not representative of the populations they are supposed to serve. According to a 2011 poll by the Norwegian Fafo Institute, 59 percent of Palestinian respondents said that they distrusted Palestinian NGOs.

Pro-BDS International Development Organizations

International NGOs from countries that have relations with Israel and which operate in the West Bank have also supported BDS. When BDS dogma becomes a component of the activities of international development organizations, these organizations also ignore the potential of peaceful development and shared actions with Israel, and instead focus on demonizing and condemning Israel for Palestinian economic hardship.

These Western NGOs that support BDS are predominately European, church-affiliated organizations like Diakonia, Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI), IKV Pax Christi, and War on Want. All of these organizations receive EU funding.35 These groups have spearheaded the delegitimization of Israel. They have exploited Palestinian, Arab, and European media platforms to create the impression that they represent the authentic voice of the Palestinian street. However, they represent narrow political interests and are detached from public opinion and the day-to-day lives of the Palestinian public.

Volunteers from the EAPPI

Volunteers from the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI), a BDS-supporting organization, visit the European Commission delegation in Jerusalem, October (EAPPI/H. Edvindsen)

The British charity Christian Aid, which has been involved in BDS events and encourages boycotts of settlements, reports on the three objectives of its “Palestinian Rights for All” program, a cornerstone of its 2013-2017 organizational strategy. Many of these objectives are devoted to addressing Arab citizens of Israel, and aim to incite and radicalize the Israeli Arab community. Christian Aid’s list of objectives for improving Palestinian civil society fail to provide even one specific suggestion for improving the Palestinian economy. Instead, it primarily denounces Israel for Palestinian economic stagnation.36 Similarly, Trףcaire, the overseas development agency of the Irish Catholic Church, actively supports BDS. Like Christian Aid, its economic solutions for the Palestinian Authority are devoted largely to demonizing Israel and falsely portraying Israeli settlements as an economic threat to Palestinian development, while doing little for actual, sustainable development of the Palestinian economy.37

Conclusion

The Palestinian leadership and its NGO partners and supporters have distracted the international focus from addressing Palestinian economic development, liberalization, and infrastructural development. Instead, they have focused international attention on boycott and denormalization campaigns against Israel. Unlike much of the developing world, which has sought stronger economic relations in an age of technology, globalization, and economic integration, the Palestinian leadership has refused to develop its economy in conjunction with its economically thriving Israeli neighbor, who is potentially the prospective Palestinian state’s strongest trading partner.

Palestinian rally in support of boycotts of Israeli goods and U.S. pressure on Israel.

Palestinian supporters of Mahmoud Abbas and the Fatah party in Ramallah rally in support of boycotts of Israeli goods and U.S. pressure on Israel. January 2015. (Abbas Momani/AFP/Getty Images)

Following the Oslo Accords, the Palestinians had the unique advantage of receiving aid from Israel, unlike other newly formed states. However, under the pretext of refusing to bolster Israel’s “occupation economy,” the Palestinian leadership has publicly declined to cooperate on joint projects with the Israeli government or the Israeli private sector that would benefit both economies.

Instead, the Palestinian leadership has been complicit in its own economic stagnation, due to questionable business ventures and investments that have largely failed to benefit the Palestinian people, and instead have denormalized relations with Israel.

The BDS movement and the Palestinian and foreign NGOs that subscribe to its destructive doctrine have also worsened the economic situation for Palestinian workers, by limiting access to Israel, the largest labor market for Palestinians. Instead of allowing its own people to find well-paying jobs, including salaries that could be taxed by the Palestinian Authority, and encouraging disposable incomes that could be reinvested in Palestinian services, the Palestinian leadership has operated not as a developing state, but a corrupt and even failing regime. This fact has long been evident to large sectors of Palestinian society. They recognize that the Palestinian leadership’s failure on the economic and political fronts has resulted in their attempts to refocus the debate on attacking Israel as an illegitimate, apartheid, colonial implant that is the source of all Palestinian ills.

The Palestinian leadership has been complicit in its own economic stagnation, due to questionable business ventures and investments that have largely failed to benefit the Palestinian people, and instead have denormalized relations with Israel.

There is little doubt that the Palestinian public seeks greater cooperation with Israel in all fields that characterized the pre-Oslo period from 1967 to 1993. The Palestinian public’s demand for employment and economic growth appear to trump their leadership’s unrelenting anti-Israel propaganda.

The Palestinian leadership would be well advised to follow the lead of its citizenry and cooperate closely with its Israeli neighbor. This would result in hundreds of thousands of Palestinians working for good wages and benefits with Israeli neighbors, while learning from and adapting to the Start-up Nation culture that Israeli entrepreneurs have attempted to share with Palestinian colleagues in an effort to forge a better common future.

* * *

Notes

1 Arafat’s Opposition in New York, http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/features/arafat-sopposition- in-new-york-1.40525, see also: David Samuels, In a Ruined Country; How Yasir Arafat destroyed Palestine, September, 2005, https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2005/09/ina-ruined-country/304167/

2 http://www.heritag e.org/index/country/southkorea

3 http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-17220219

4 http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2016/05/30/economic-reforms-will-helpachieve- sustainable-and-inclusive-growth-in-the-kurdistan-region-of-iraq

5 Neoliberal and neo-Gramscian models of economic development, which encourage export-oriented globalized economies, have proven successful in some nations established in the last seventy years.

This model of economic integration has proven particularly successful for the Czech Republic, which declared independence after the “Velvet Divorce” from Slovakia in 1993. Czech independence occurred the same year as the Oslo Exchange of Letters.

6 http://www.mfa.gov.il/mfa/foreignpolicy/peace/guide/pages/the%20israeli-palestinian%20 interim%20agreement.aspx

7 The Palestinian Authority maintains an “undeclared policy of denormalization” because PA Chairman Abbas cooperates quietly with Israel on Security and anti terror and more recently, water cooperation. However, the PA has refused to cooperate publicly on joint cultural academic, sports and other economic, industrial initiatives and has even publicly supported boycotts against Israel. Also we use the term denormalization and not anti-normalization as the Oslo Accords had introduced the normalization of relations as a normative part of the agreements that the Palestinian leadership and its supporters have cancelled or abrogated. Anti normalization refers to the Arab states whose policies have been to reject any normalization with Israel. However, in fact this is now changing to include some recent indications of normalization in the areas of defense, gas, water desalination, and health care.

8 Khaled Abu Toameh, “Palestinians’ Anti-Peace Campaign,” Gatestone Institute, 14 May 2015.

9 http://forward.com/news/breaking-news/328404/palestinian-population-to-pass-jews-by-2017-inisrael- and-territories/

10 https://bdsmovement.net/faqs

11 http://www.timesofisrael.com/for-sodastream-chief-frustration-with-netanyahus-politics-of-hatebubbles- over/

12 https//:www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/we.html see also; https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2004rank.html#we

13 https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/we.html

14 https://bdsmovement.net/faqs

15 https://bdsmovement.net/faqs

16 http://palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=18436

17 http://palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=18436

18 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqQ4yTe3_Jk

19 http://www.timesofisrael.com/israeli-mogul-erecting-first-israeli-palestinian-mall-near-ramalla

20 http://www.timesofisrael.com/businesses-joining-first-palestinian-israeli-mall-face-boycott/

21 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqQ4yTe3_Jk

22 http://www.timesofisrael.com/victory-for-bds-as-sodastreams-last-palestinian-workers-lose-theirjobs/

23 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/israel/12178844/Last-Palestinians-lose-SodaStream-jobs-after-West-Bank-factory-closes.html

24 “A U.N. Report: Economic Conditions in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip,” Palestine-Israel Journal, Vol 6. No 2. 1999.

25 http://www.nytimes.com/1998/09/15/world/jericho-journal-arafat-s-gamble-a-casino-for-an-israeliclientele.html

26 http://www.cfhu.org/news/winnipeg-jewish-review-when-yassir-arafat-gambled-a-trip-to-theintercontinental- hotel-in

27 Rhonda Spivack, “Why Arafat Gambled: A Trip to the Intercontinental Hotel in Jericho,” Winnipeg Jewish Review, 3 March 2013.

28 “Trade links between Israel and the Palestinian Authority,” Bank of Israel, 2013. http://www.boi.org.il/ he/NewsAndPublications/PressReleases/Documents/Israel-Palestinian%20trade.pdf

29 http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/06/palestine-industrial-parks-developmentillusion.

html

30 Tariq Dana, “Palestinian Civil Society: What Went Wrong?” Al-Shabaka, April 2013. https://al-shabaka.org/briefs/palestinian-civil-society-what-went-wrong/

31 ֵge A. Tiltnes, Jon Pedersen, Silje Sרnsterudbrוten and Jing Liu, “Palestinian Opinions about Governance, Institutions and Political Leaders Synthesis of Results of Fafo’s Opinion Polls in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, 2005–2011,” Fafo, 2011.

32 http://www.mas.ps/page.php?id=644dy25677Y644d

33 http://www.stopthewall.org/ar/node/7850

34 “Towards a New Vision for the Revival of the Palestinian Economy,” MAS Palestine Economic Policy Research Institute, 2016. http://www.mas.ps/files/server/20160409133619-1.pdf

35 “Government Funding for NGOs involved in BDS,” NGO Monitor, March 2014. http://www.ngomonitor.org.il/data/images/File/BDS_Table.pdf

36 http://www.christianaid.org.uk/whatwedo/middle-east/iopt.aspx

37 https://www.trocaire.org/whatwedo/wherewework/opt-israel

Khaled Abu Toameh

Khaled Abu Toameh is a veteran award-winning journalist who has been covering Palestinian affairs for nearly three decades. He studied at Hebrew University and began his career as a reporter by working for a PLO-affiliated newspaper in Jerusalem. Abu Toameh currently works for the international media, serving as the 'eyes and ears' of foreign journalists in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.