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The Palestinians are no different from the other Arabs

Reader comment on item: The Palestinian Economy in Shambles

Submitted by Ken Besig (Israel), Dec 27, 2007 at 05:01

I have to disagree with you on this one Dr. Pipes, economic determinism simply does not apply to the Arab/Palestinian/Islamic world. That world is characterized by corrupt dictatorships which grant absolute market control to corrupt and destructive monopolies including banks, building companies, utilities etc. which guarantee enormous kickbacks to the small minority which runs things while simultaneously impoverishing and brutalizing the vast majority of the Arab/Palestinian/Islamic population.

Every Arab state is run this way, from the Persian Gulf, to the Levant, to the Maghreb, and the tragedy is that the Arab public not only expects this to happen, they are happy it does. In a market economic system, personal ambition, talent, initiative, and education determine who will win the economic race, that is who will succeed and prosper, whereas in the Arab/Palestinian/Islamic model, ambition, talent, initiative, and education mean nothing while political or familial connections with the corrupt leadership means everything.

Thus in the Arab world personal failure, which is widespread, can be explained away by pointing out that one lacks connections to the corrupt leadership and is therefore not responsible for one's failure.

I frankly wonder what would really happen if the donor nations stopped donating and let the Palestinians produce their own economic revival. Many would probably leave for Jordan, some would revert to home farming and crafts, others would probably try for visas to Europe or North or South America, and the rest might just come to some compromise with Israel. Or they might just sink into a morass of poverty and ignorance, even worse than their present situation.


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