“Shockingly, a significant number of people have told me, ‘we want to go back to have Israel in direct control, like it was under occupation, before Oslo.’ They see Fatah and Hamas both as having failed. They remember life before Oslo as easier; it was easier to earn an income, they could work in Israel. They could drive with fewer checkpoints. They now see Oslo as having brought checkpoints, misery.”
Now that might come as a shock or surprise for most people, but not for me. Islamic history scholar, Efraim Karsh totally deconstructed Finland’s former Foreign Minister, Erkki Tuomioja’s analogy between Zionism and Nazism.
“From June 1967 until Israel passed control to the PA in the mid-1990s, life expectancy had risen from 48 to 72 years (compared to 68 years for all the countries of the Middle East and North Africa). Mortality rates fell by more than two-thirds between 1970 and 1990, while Israeli medical programs reduced the infant-mortality rate of 60 per 1,000 live births in 1968 to 15 per 1,000 in 2000 (in Iraq the rate is 64, in Egypt 40, in Jordan 23, in Syria 22).
Per-capita GNP in the West Bank and Gaza expanded tenfold between 1968 and 1991, from $165 to $1,715 (compared with Jordan’s $1,050, Egypt’s $600, Turkey’s $1,630, and Tunisia’s $1,440). By 1999, Palestinian per-capita income was nearly double Syria’s, more than four times Yemen’s, and 10 percent higher than Jordan’s.
While any occupation might not be desirable, life under Israeli rule has been clearly more benevolent than what the Arabs themselves have managed to accomplish. More here. *L* KGS