Monday, February 22, 2016

  • Monday, February 22, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon
There have been meetings recently between the Israeli and Palestinian finance ministers. But that it about all that the Israeli and PA media agree on.

Times of Israel reports it this way:
Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon has met several times with his Palestinian counterpart Shukri Bishara in recent weeks to hammer out a plan for boosting economic assistance to the Palestinians, according to a Sunday report.

Kahlon is now slated to bring a raft of new initiatives to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for approval in the coming days, Channel 10 reported.

The plan is the result of a series of meetings between senior officials in the Israeli and Palestinian finance ministries, over the last several months, despite spiraling street violence. The last bilateral meeting of the finance officials took place last week.

The proposal focuses on both knowledge-intensive industries such as healthcare and high-tech, as well as expanding Israeli-Palestinian economic integration in the construction sector.

Officials in Israel said the measure is intended in part as a gesture to the Obama administration, after Netanyahu promised US President Barack Obama last November to expand efforts to reinvigorate the Palestinian economy.

But it is also seen in Israel as key to tackling lowering tensions in recent months amid the collapse of peace talks and a wave of Palestinian terror attacks since October.

Under the new plan, Palestinian doctors will reportedly be invited to train in Israeli hospitals, especially in medical fields relevant to the recent wave of violence, which has claimed 166 Palestinian lives, about two-thirds of them attackers attempting to kill Israelis at the time of their deaths, and 31 on the Israeli side, including three foreign nationals.

In what may be a significant boost to the Palestinian tech sector, Kahlon is also expected to propose new study and internship opportunities for Palestinian tech entrepreneurs and engineers in Israel’s world-leading high-tech industry.

Palestinian construction companies and contractors will also be allowed to operate in Israel, expanding access to the Israeli market from the current situation in which only Palestinian day laborers are allowed into Israel to work for Israeli companies.

There was no immediate Palestinian confirmation of the initiative.
The Palestinian media reported this completely differently. It says that Bishara denies the report about any discussion of cooperation in high-tech or allowing Palestinian construction companies to work in Israel. He claimed that the meetings were entirely about Israel paying money that is reportedly owed to the PA and adjustments to the costs of energy and tariffs that Israel charges the PA.

The idea of cooperation and normalization with Israel is kryptonite to the Palestinian leadership even as they know that their power and their people's livelihoods depend on such cooperation. But instead of telling their people the truth that Israel is here to stay and they need to work together, they tell them that Israel is their implacable foe and the only thing that is worth negotiating with Israel is its capitulation to their demands and eventual surrender. But under the radar they work together. (Which mirrors how much of the Arab world deals with Israel.)

The divergence between what Palestinians are being told by their leaders and the truth is getting only wider, and that is a major reason for the current wave of attacks. When the only information the people get about Israel is incitement, all they will want to do is kill Jews. Which means that any economic cooperation must be tied to a significant reduction in incitement in official PA and Fatah media. Otherwise, bringing in workers who have been fed a steady diet of antisemitism is going to result in more terror attacks, not less.



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