Saturday, March 20, 2010

"Das israelische Wunder"; a piece of naive, lazy or ignorant journalism

While It would appear that the "Süddeutsche Zeitung" journalist Peter Münch has fully subscribed to Israel's Information and Diaspora Affairs Ministry's campaign to improve the Jewish states public image, we should not be too harsh on him and when we look at some of his other articles it is even possible to conclude that Peter's drivel is .... well, just drivel of the sort that requires very little research and certainly no thought. Translating and regurgitating Zionist propaganda is not only an easy option when there is an article to be written to justify a fat salary cheque at the end of the month but it is also what Peter's editor at the "Süddeutsche" wants.

Anyway, there was Peter in a commentary in the economic section of this weekend's 'Süddeutsche' telling us all about "Das Israelische Wunder" and how "Israel has a growth rate of 3.5%". "20% of the Israeli workforce have a university degree" and, wait for it, ..... those immigrants who come into Israel, including one million Russians, are "well-educated and highly motivated. "Blah, blah, blah" and Peter in this form might even get a job as a Zionist parrot. Moreover, conveniently, or otherwise, hidden by this drivel are some very pertinent facts.

The first point I would like to make is that, not only is the percentage of Palestinians with Israeli passports who receive a higher education significantly lower than that of their Jewish counterparts, but Well educated Arabs are also much less likely to find jobs commensurate with their level of education. Not a problem for the "Jewish Democracy" though, which welcomes "well-educated Russians" into the country with open arms. Of course, if there were real democracy in Israel, the state would integrate its Arab citizens by giving them equal access to education and jobs. Who knows, Israel might then find the same "high motivation" among the Palestinians as it does among its Jewish population.

It is, however, the 3.5% growth rate and Peter Munch's Israeli "Wirtschaftswünder" that requires our attention and with Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and the rest of the Wall Street "investors", who I am not for one minute suggesting are bias towards the Zionist state, normally providing estimates that are actually higher than the Bank of Israel forecasts, the Jewish state might indeed be showing resilience during the global recession. Of course, this "resilience has nothing at all to do with the billions of dollars that Israel receives in aid from the United States in particular. One might suspect Mr Munch of naivety but I am going to be even kinder and it might even be that in this case, ignorance really is bliss for a man who is obviously either incapable of or too lazy for serious writing.  Finally, while there are other factors behind this economic growth, for instance, those migrant workers who have even less rights than Israel's Arab citizens, there is one final factor that I would like to look at.

This economy also profits from Israeli and international companies exploiting Palestinians as cheap labour in the illegally occupied territories. Moreover, this not only means that those Israeli and international companies have that “made in Palestine”stamp, which allows their products access to international markets,  but it is also ensures that the value added from products produced by cheap Palestinian labour is reflected in the Israeli economy. An "israelische Wunder" and I am left wondering a lot of things; why are they allowed to maintain an apartheid state, why are American taxpayer dollars being used to support this state and why are they allowed to pursue economic activity on illegally occupied land? Of course, with Israel we can never stop wondering; why is it allowed to kill and maim with impunity, why is allowed to keep its nuclear weapons a "secret", why, why why? The "whys" never stop and the less naive, lazy and ignorant among us never stop wondering why.

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