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1 Political Economy of the Occupation Shir Hever 2011

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1 1 Political Economy of the Occupation Shir Hever 2011

2 2 Definitions Political Economy “The Occupation” – an outdated term? What is Israel? (admission to the OECD exposes the problem in defining Israel)

3 3 The Absent Story of Suffering The means of repression will not be discussed here. The advantage of a rational approach over an emotional response is that it helps to develop tools to change the situation (though the motivation remains emotional). It should actually come as no surprise that occupation leads to atrocities and suffering.

4 4 Three Research Questions 1.The international community involvement. a. Who pays for the occupation? b. Why aid is so high? 2.The cost of the occupation to Israel. a. Is the occupation profitable? b. If not, why doesn’t Israel withdraw? 3.Why is Palestine so important?

5 5 1. International Involvement Aid to the victim is aid to the occupier. The Oslo agreements: Europe enters the game. Humanitarian or development aid? How aid is subverted by Israel. Aid to Israel.

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7 7 Foreign Currency Reserves Central Bank of Israel Millions of US$

8 8 Goal: Aid Project Money transfers Local Management Aid in Kind Where to obtain the needed materials? Import the materials From an Israeli Company Pay Customs to Israel Profits of Israeli company – Taxes to Israel Pay Port fees and storage fees Transport – only Israeli companies The Project Site Obstacles, closures, workers and raw materials delayed, direct destruction

9 9 2. Cost of the Occupation The first two decades of the occupation were profitable. Palestinian resistance made the occupation expensive. Civilian costs: subsidies to colonization. Security costs: suppressing resistance. Social costs: inequality and negligence of public services.

10 10 Calculation of the Costs Over US$ 3 billion annually for civilian costs. Over US$ 6 billion annually for security costs. The total is nearly 9% of the annual budget. Colonist population grows at a rate of 7.13% annually.

11 11 So Why Does the Occupation Continue? Paralyzed political system. Colonists used as scapegoats. Zionist left takes patronizing approach. The occupation penetrates every aspect of life (academia as an example). People do not make decisions only to maximize material gain – national identity competes with class identity.

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13 13 Global Importance of Palestine What if our discussion today was about occupied Tibet? Israel’s key role in Middle East conflict (historically started by the UK). Israel’s dependency on Western support (through colonialism, the Cold War and the “War on Terror”). Palestine as a symbol.

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15 15 Action! Palestinian civil society call from 2005. BDS – Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions. Boycott is not embargo. Israel’s role in the international power struggle is also its vulnerability.

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