Tuesday, February 14, 2006

What the hell was Arafat thinking?

We all know that the Intifada was an amazingly bad move on the part of Arafat, taking the Palestinian Arabs from being hopeful about a possible future state into a suicidal terror existence. We know that most Palestinian Arabs were employed in Israel before the Intifada and that the Palestinian Arab economy has plummeted because of the loss of most of these jobs.

But I just stumbled onto some Palestinian economic statistics showing to what degree Palestinian Arabs depend on Israel for their livelihoods. Without Jews buying their goods, Palestine could never exist.

(Palestinian Arab) Foreign Trade
Foreign Trade Indicators, 1997-2000 Value in Million US $

Exports Imports Indicators 1997 1998 1999 2000
Total Palestinian Exports 382 395 372 401
Total Palestinian Exports by Country

Exports to Israel 358 382 360 370
Exports to Arab Countries 19 11 10 29
Export to other countries 5 2 2 2

Over 92% of their exports went to Israel before the intifada. The same site shows 73% of Palestinian Arab imports came from Israel in 2000.

Arafat must have known these statistics. He must have known that starting up a war with the very nation that you are completely dependent upon is economic suicide.

Yet, who among the Arab world is willing to say a bad word about Arafat? Who has the honesty to say that Arafat caused more pain to the Palestinian people than any other human being? While Israel built their infrastructure, increased their life expectancy and decreased their infant mortality rates, gave them jobs and electricity and water and a hope for peace and independence, Yasir Arafat single-handedly threw it all away.

As long as Arabs consider him a hero, as long as their capacity for self-delusion is so spectacularly high, as long as their hatred for Jews surpasses their love for their own people, there is no hope for peace. And everyone with a brain knows this.