Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Amira Hass: Palestinians’ Low Salaries Also Linked To Israeli Social Struggle

By Amira Hass, ZNet, Aug. 2, 2011

“A financial crisis in the Palestinian Authority” – that is a convenient description of the situation where, on the eve of Ramadan, the Ramallah government is (again) unable to pay the full salaries of its 150,000 public sector employees. This is a short, but very inaccurate description, however. The crisis, says economist Raja Khalidi, is in the status quo that Israel has enjoyed since the Oslo Accords: Israel is in control of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip – and Palestinian society and the donor countries finance the cost of this domination.

The low salaries in the Palestinian enclaves (on average, less than NIS 2,000 per month) and the PA’s large-scale withholding of wages is not some Icelandic story: These – just like the cost of housing in Israel, our tycoons and the state’s wealth vs. citizens’ miserable salaries – are all linked to the comprehensive economical regime that has been designed by Israeli governments between the river and the sea. It is further evidence of the Israeli crisis, even if for pragmatic reasons it is not talked about in the tent camps.

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