Ramifications

The poor penniless people of Gaza don't seem to be really that Penniless. Between buying basic survival necessities such as Cement, Motorcycles , and Dish receivers , they have spent almost half a billion dollars there in less than 2 weeks: 480 million dollars to be exact.

Now, them having that kind of money isn't a shock really. The people who can smuggle in weapons can also smuggle in cash and food, and everyone knows that Iran is picking up that tab, so the entire Gaza diet no money thing, well, was never really logical from the get go. But let's ignore that for a second, shall we? Let's take a closer look at what's happening economically in Al Areesh right now. In case you didn't know, the prices there have skyrocketed to ridiculous heights, with the majority of major goods scarce and economically out of reach for the average egyptian living in Sinai or out of stock. Gadosh has more details on this:

The
impacts on the Egyptian economy in the short term have already taken
shape. The duration of this crisis is also directly co-related with the
negative shock the economy might take.

I am sure it doesn’t need an economic genius to realize the impact of the increase of population of the North Sinai province (Arabic link to official website) from 306,790 residents to over a million. The influx of around 750K Gazans to the North Sinai
province has resulted in a massive increase in prices with in the
province. One resident of the province outlines the following changes
in his expenses since the influx of the Gazans:

Product
—- EGP Before Breach – EGP After Breach – % Increase in cost

1k
cream cheese — 15 – 70 – 466%

1
can flava beans (foul) — 1.5 – 15 – 100%

1l
vegetable oil — 9 – 30 – 333%

1k white sugar
— 3 – 15 – 500%
transit
— 1 – 5 – 500%

1 pita bread —0.15 – 1.5 – 100%

Rumors
have been circulating in the last few days; that the shortage of goods
and products accompanied by increase in price, has reached the 3
Suez Canal
provinces. I can’t think of a more direct and worst impact on the
average Egyptian in the short term than this massive increase of prices
outlined in table above.

So you can imagine that the average Egyptian there, making approx. 300 egyptian pounds a month and who requires a minimum of 2 pieces of pita bread (Regheif el 3eish ya3ny) a day would end up spending 90 EGP, which is 30% of his salary, on bread alone. That's not even counting or factoring in the concept of him having a family or even wanting to get anything besides bread. On the other hand, the government has stopped allowing any food supplies from reaching Northern Sinai, because they figured if that area ran out of goods, then the majority of Palestinians would end up going home without the egyptian government having to exert any violence to do so. While this approach is smart when it comes to getting the palestinians out,  it's leaving the Egyptians residing there out in the cold as well. With no goods in stores, whomever didn't stock for food at their homes is now literally starving, with no way to remedy the situation until the Gazans leave. 

This has, naturally, caused some of the Gun-toting-Sinai-residents to express some, ehh, resentment, in regards to their palestinian brothers:

Armed Egyptian Bedouin opened fire in the air to warn away
Palestinians, highlighting growing anger over food shortages and price
rises triggered by the breaching of the border wall with Gaza,
witnesses said.

The confrontation in the town of al-Joura occurred as residents on
the Egyptian side of the border said shops had run out of goods since
hundreds of thousands of Palestinians poured into Egypt when Hamas
militants blew up the wall last week.

"The stores are empty and what is available is so expensive," said
Youssef Ali, a Bedouin in the divided border town of Rafah. "The
Bedouin are poor. The income of many Bedouin is not more than $30 a
month."

[...]

But the emptying of shop shelves and a block by Cairo on new
supplies has prompted thousands of Palestinians to go home since
Sunday, with some saying it was now easier to shop in Gaza than in
Egypt.

"The places are closed or empty. I am going back empty handed," said Mahmoud Mansour, a 52-year-old from Gaza City.

Rafah residents and shopkeepers said the price of tea and some
other goods had tripled. A pack of cigarettes had increased to 5
Egyptian pounds (90 cents) from 1.5 pounds.

[...]

Many Egyptians say they are suffering since Cairo began blocking
supplies of food, petrol and medicine to the Sinai peninsula to
discourage Palestinians from crossing into Egypt.

"There were too many people and too much money coming in. All the
food is finished and the petrol is finished," said 36-year-old Mohamed
Farah, an Egyptian government employee.

Many shops in Rafah were shut on Monday due to lack of supplies and even those that were open had nearly empty shelves.

Mohamed Suleiman Mahmoud, who owns a small supermarket, said he had
ordered 20,000 Egyptian pounds of cheese, milk, fruit and vegetables
but the shipment was still being held up by Egyptian authorities at a
bridge linking Sinai with mainland Egypt.

A Reuters reporter saw hundreds of trucks carrying sugar, rice, medicine, livestock and carpets at the bridge on Monday.

And they are not getting through until the border is sealed again. And it better be soon, or else the Bedouins will engage in fire-fights with the palestinians, and things could end up getting ugly pretty damn quick!

Comments

  1. what about the 300k amn markazy troops we have. i still can not understand how israel and US are not pushing, or allowing, mubarak to send them to put some order.

  2. So, then, would that mean that the Egyptian gov’t is collectively punishing the people of Sinai because the Palestinians invaded? But collective punishment is bad. Isn’t it? Innocents suffering due to the actions of the Palestinians? Who’ d of thunk it?

  3. my conspiracy theorist mind says that perhaps Israel wants to return Gaza back to Egypt so that they can have more bridges and power stations to destroy in their helpless attempts to reign over an occupied people. In other words, they want to have us to fight hamas for them.

  4. The law of unintended consequences strikes again! Really, this is amazing.
    Why can’t the PA just agree to buy the stuff directly? It would seem a very simple thing to carry out.

  5. So this is what democracy tastes like.

  6. No amgad, we’d prefer for you Egyptians to have the Gazans (back) entirely. Hey, look at all the wealth they’d be bringing into your country –they obviously earn more than the average Egyptian living in the Sinai. Hrmmm if the Sinai Egyptians could only be “oppressed” would they have more money too? I’d certainly vote to be “oppressed” if it meant I could afford to buy a satellite dish or a motorcycle or a car –taking public transportation sucks.

    Israel pulled out of Gaza 100% nearly 3 years ago –we have a border with them, Egypt has a border with them. If they are being “oppressed” it is by both Egypt and Israel both of whom have borders with them and neither of whom want them spilling into their countries.

  7. satiricohen, yes I know, we need to come to some sort of trade agreement with Gaza.

  8. Why not leave the border open? Pals can get their welfare check in Gaza and spend it in Egypt. Win/win for everyone.

  9. The mass jailbreak of Gazans into Egypt revealed the bankruptcy of both Israel’s policy of collective punishment and Bush’s attempt to make Mideast peace.

    It was a heart-wrenching story. Hundreds of thousands of people, trapped for endless years in an open-air jail and recently subjected to an airtight siege, blew up their prison wall and poured out to freedom.

    A 24-year-old man named Fares Al-Ghoul talked to the Chicago Tribune. “It was like a dream,” Al-Ghoul said. “Suddenly in the morning we found out that we could travel. Everybody started to rush to the border, and I found my way inside. We walked a few kilometers but we were not tired. I was ready to continue walking forever. I wanted to explore everything. It was a taste of freedom.”

    Freedom. It’s the ultimate American ideal. It’s what George W. Bush says he launched his “war on terror” to defend. But because this is Gaza, and the people are Palestinians, their freedom isn’t worth defending. Al-Ghoul is not going to walk forever, or even for more than a few days. He and the rest of his fellow prisoners are going to go back to their jail. And we’re going to forget about them.

  10. Roman Kalik says:

    what about the 300k amn markazy troops we have. i still can not understand how israel and US are not pushing, or allowing, mubarak to send them to put some order.

    This makes me wonder… Has Mubarak actually asked for a (temporary, even) revision in the peace agreement, seeing as this is pretty much an unexpected situation when looking back to time of the agreement?

  11. I do not understand why anyone needs to take of the Palestinians – are they children?
    If they can kill people they can also grow food, establish industry, make trades with other countries.
    Enough already with treating them like they are helpless babies. Babies don’t launch rockets at civilians…or plan to annihilate whole populations.

  12. Holy Shit!!! (a.k.a: A7A!!)

  13. Well with the piece treaty limiting Egyptian presence of 750 lightly armed soldiers for 12km of borders; it is rather difficult for Egyptians to have done something quick. I think Egypt needs to ask for a revision but it has to be permenant and I dont think Israel will accet that. They barely accepted the 50 soldiers back in 2005.

  14. “I do not understand why anyone needs to take of the Palestinians – are they children?”

    Well Satiricohen, they sure act like ones!!
    Actually, i bet they like being treated like children (although they won’t admit it of course)…gives them many excuses to make mistakes & then simply say “I’m thowy!”.
    That’s just Paaaaaaathetic!!

  15. SM,

    Slight correction:

    1 can flava beans (foul) — 1.5 – 15 – 1000%
    1 pita bread —0.15 – 1.5 – 1000%

    Extra ’0′ is needed.

  16. Behavior of Egyptian government is wrong. Supplies have to be delivered or Palestinian will find their way East and South. You can see, they have money.

    I also suspect local shop owners are sporting two sets of prices. They are not idiots and understand that Palestinians will go eventually but community will stay and will remember.

    Palestinian money will run out and posted prices will get back to normal.

  17. Anna @ 5,

    What democracy? Do you mean Hamas? Do you mean that in order to have democracy all you have to do is just drop your bulletin in the ballot box?

  18. Roman Kalik @ 10,

    “Has Mubarak actually asked for a (temporary, even) revision in the peace agreement” [to increase number of Egyptian troops in Sinai]

    If I am not mistaking, in the past, before Gaza breach Israelis were complaining to Egypt about continued smuggling of weapons from Egyptian side. Mubarak attributed it (rightly or wrongly) to low levels of Egyptian troops in Sinai as per treaty but Israel did not want to address this issue.

    I look like today it is even more so not in the best interest of Israel to allow Egyptian troops increase in Sinai. Perhaps, unless Egypt agrees to take Gaza under its arm.

    Just a thought. Is there restriction on number of Egyptian police force in Sinai and on weapons they could have?

  19. to leo, yes there is. Sinai is divided into three regions with respect to the weaponry that egypt can have. the last region close to the Israeli borders is almost completely demilitarized

  20. reine.de.tout says:

    OMG, I am SO very much enjoying your take on the Palestinian invasion into Egypt.

  21. Dysfunctions Last Updated: Jan 27, 2008 – 2:36:02 PM

    ——————————————————————————–

    Hamas Takes Over Egyptian Sea Port
    By David Bedein, The Bulletin 25/1/08
    Jan 27, 2008 – 2:34:17 PM

    Email this article
    Printer friendly page

    Indeed, what most observers of the Middle East have missed is that the Hamas army has conquered and taken control of the Egyptian sea port of Rafah in a matter of days, under the cover of tens of thousands of men, women and children flooding Egypt under the pretext of a “humanitarian crisis” in Gaza.

    As thousands of Gazan families spilled over into Egypt, the Hamas military seized Egypt’s strategic deep water port of Rafah on the Gaza Mediterranean coast, using an American arsenal of light weaponry that was seized from the Fatah Palestinian Authority security services last June.

    To complement that startling feat, the Hamas forces may pull off the same conquest of the El Arish deep water port on Egypt’s Mediterranean coast within a matter of days

  22. Sandmonkey,

    I fear you called this one correctly. It is an invasion, and Egypt is the next Lebanon. I sincerely hope that I am wrong about this.

  23. from “The Gaza Breakout” (Bret Stephens, WSJ):
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120156765863623885.html :
    (…)
    A more serious question is whether the military might take a more indulgent view of the Brotherhood, either because it has been infiltrated by Islamist officers, or because it seeks a condominium with the Brotherhood in order to shore up its own legitimacy. (In this connection, U.S. efforts to “engage” the Brotherhood in a political dialogue would have a disastrous effect, as it would signal to the military that it could cut its own deal with the Islamists without having to pay a price in U.S. support.)
    (…)

  24. the increase from 0.15 to 1.5, and from 1.5 to 15 is not 100% but 1000%.
    weird numbers, strange figures. I don’t trust them that much. and besides, since when is a flow of foreign money bad to local economy? economy is usaly based on the principal that you WANT foreginers to buy local goods.

  25. @ Leo, # 15:
    I noticed that too, but imho the increase of these 2 prices is “by a factor 10″, but in percentage wouldn’t that be a “900 % increase”?

  26. I will repeat my line:

    When the Palestinians decide to drop the macho machine-gun tough guy we will win shit and learn to be a decent neighbor…everybody…EVERYBODY benefits.

    I look at the pictures and did some very basic calculations…numerous assholes with there machine guns…and then mom’s and pop’s with their kids trying to get some food or TV’s or whatever…

    I still think the biggest oppressor and destroyer of Palestinians is and has always been the Palestinians…

  27. You aren’t going to like this, but in the States some are saying that Gaza should revert to Egypt. Egypt used to own it before they suddenly discovered they were really Palestinians. This invasion may increase Egypts territory and problems. It’s a bit like relatives who come to stay and never ever leave.

  28. amgad, I can’t believe that! We have to get permission from the US and Israel to have a military presence in our own friggin country, that’s OUTRAGEOUS! Is that why they sent unarmed riot police to the border? Could you give me a source of info. please?

  29. Anna-

    I don’t know…that sounds kind of odd because there were incidents of them shooting some Darfur refugees trying to get into Gaza and/or into Israel…

    On the other hand, it is probably part of Camp David agreements which apparently need to be dusted off and reassessed, but likely have something to do with a demilitarized zone between Israel and Egypt…but I am only guessing.

    Permission might be too strong a word…If it was an agreement…it should be kept…if it is proving to be an untenable part of the agreement…it should be amended…and like…right now.

    What made sense in 1980 may not apply anymore.

  30. http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Peace+Process/Guide+to+the+Peace+Process/Israel-Egypt+Peace+Treaty.htm

    I haven’t looked at it properly but i take it, we’re referring to the article 2 bit where it talks about zone a-d- map1? At first glance it looks like there are loads of restrictions on our side

  31. LN @ 25,

    You are correct. Change is +900% but absolute value is 1000% compared to what was.

  32. Amgad @ 19,

    Thank you

  33. Anna @ 28,

    To echo Howie,

    Whether it is true reflection of what needs to be today as compared to 1979 I do not know. Egypt and Israel may and probably should review current agreement again but until then it is what it is. If one side will decide to brake it another side will no longer be bound by it either.

    “At first glance it looks like there are loads of restrictions on our side”

    I am guessing it was price of Sinai at that time.

  34. If the amount is correct, it means that an average Gazan has spent 160.000 dollar in less than two weeks.

    ….

    wow

    …. i havent even earned an tenth of this in my life (im 28) till now

  35. Suzanne @ 34,

    I think it is much less than 160K: 480M / 750K

  36. anna,

    amgad, I can’t believe that! We have to get permission from the US and Israel to have a military presence in our own friggin country, that’s OUTRAGEOUS!

    Look up “demilitarized zone”. It’s a very old principal, designed to establish a buffer zone between two warring nations, when they make peace. To prevent incidents that may lead to resumption of hostilities. It doesn’t work very well at all when there are stateless third parties who take advantage of the demilitarized zone to provoke. Hezbollah has been doing it in Lebanon for years, as well.

  37. Sandmonkey, it looks like Egypt has a little Tijuana border problem. Beware of the multicultural backlash. You can’t look at the Palis through Egyptian eyes.
    Sarcasm off.

  38. to both:
    Suzanne @ 34
    Leo @ 35

    I think the figure is somewhere around 700 U.S dollars/Palestinian (+/-).

    Which for an “allegedly oppressed” nation is still considered quite too much to have & actually spend in a couple of days, don’t you think??!!

  39. SLaViN @ 38,

    It is difficult for me to say without knowing environment but I would agree it is kind of hard to save this much for somebody supposedly earning $2 a day.

  40. I wonder how Amy and Noby are doing amongst the confusion… Amy is probably planning on running away to become the wife of some handsome hamas militionary.

  41. ++

    i’m not getting all this conspiracy talk about the 1967 borders..

    Hamas Leader: We’ll Accept Israel Within 1967 Borders

    seems like somewhat of a convoluted contradiction to me, but
    then again, everything is convoluted when it comes to Hamas..

    ==

  42. Actually, I see leaving the border open some and then holding back supplies to Sinai as the Egyptian government playing one of their political cards. The Egyptian government doesn’t want Hamas and the MB getting together, so what they do it let the Palestinians flood Sinai just enough to let supplies run low and make prices go up and hold back supplies to create the effect. This creates anger in Sinai directed at the Palestinians and as a result, a more hostile population towards Hamas, making it difficult for them to spread. This also makes it easier for Egypt to crack down on those crossing over, as there will be little opposition to it because of the anger at the Palestinians.

  43. ++

    a very well written, un-biased summation imho..

    Blame Hamas for the suffering

    ==

  44. I gotta say SM practically ur entire audience is yahoud…if they only knew who u really r huh babe..

    I think it’s safe 2 say that the entire world has just gotten tired of the same ol boring Israeli-Pali problem. 2 much money 2 be made selling weapons 2 both of these loser nations. Let them keep killing each other 4 another 1000 years..who gives a fuck. I wonder if Hamas or Fatah or whoever the fuck runs their government could ever recoup the billions arafat stole from his “people”.

    Majority of Palis hate Egyptians plain and simple…and any Egyptian who has ever lived through 1 of the previous wars knows that the Pali cause is definitely NOT worth spilling a single drop of Egyptian blood…wake the fuck people

  45. Take all of this “Americans want” stuff with a truckload of salt.

    There is no interest in preventing a sovereign country from defending it’s borders, as we are dealing with the same problems here. There is no U.S. political groundswell Mubarak from acting, nor do we particularly care that the Palestinians are amusing themselves blowing up your stuff for a change.

    Frankly, we’re waiting to see how you deal with your “mexicans”. It might work for us, too.

    I suspect that $480,000 income in TWO WEEKS, is making a lot of people smile, and that Pita Production will be kicking into high gear as long as the demand and high prices hold out. (Capitalism at it’s finest!)

    Don’t dry up the gravy train until you’ve gotten their last dollar. The profits will be more than enough to refill the shelves as soon as you have the border sealed up again.

    Best wishes!

  46. Therfore bihoueth hire a ful long spoon That shal ete with a feend.
    [c 1390 Chaucer Squire's Tale l. 602]
    Who suppes with the Deville sholde have a longe spoone!
    [1840 R. H. Barham Ingoldsby Legends 1st Ser. 270]
    I hope that Egyptians have plenty of long spoons.

  47. Interesting.

    Palestinians shoot rockets over the border at Israeli schoolchildren.
    World yawns.
    Palestinians push through the border to buy Egyptian groceries.
    World screams.
    Jist call me Yossarian.

    (Glad to see you back, SM – tho’ I am sure I am behind the times &
    you’ve most likely been back for quite awhile)

  48. “The mass jailbreak of Gazans into Egypt revealed the bankruptcy of both Israel’s policy of collective punishment and Bush’s attempt to make Mideast peace.

    It was a heart-wrenching story. Hundreds of thousands of people, trapped for endless years in an open-air jail and recently subjected to an airtight siege, blew up their prison wall and poured out to freedom.

    A 24-year-old man named Fares Al-Ghoul talked to the Chicago Tribune. “It was like a dream,” Al-Ghoul said. “Suddenly in the morning we found out that we could travel. Everybody started to rush to the border, and I found my way inside. We walked a few kilometers but we were not tired. I was ready to continue walking forever. I wanted to explore everything. It was a taste of freedom.”

    Freedom. It’s the ultimate American ideal. It’s what George W. Bush says he launched his “war on terror” to defend. But because this is Gaza, and the people are Palestinians, their freedom isn’t worth defending. Al-Ghoul is not going to walk forever, or even for more than a few days. He and the rest of his fellow prisoners are going to go back to their jail. And we’re going to forget about them.”

    ahaha. I thought I would cut and paste it so nobody missed it. It’s so stupid it’s funny. I can’t tell if it is a joke or serious, but if it was a joke it is really funny.

  49. #21–How accurate is the report that Hamas has actually taken over an Egyptian port?

    SM-great posts, as always. Thanks!

    Gila

  50. Monkey, nothing on the massive appetites of the average starving Palestinian?

    http://www.moonbattery.com/archives/2008/01/boston_globe_ea.html

  51. @Leo & Slavin, that would make more sense, yea

  52. Thank you for bringing us your original point of view and news. Newspaper give too often one kind of information only.

  53. @ BUUUUURRRRNING HOT #51: priceless link! I love Egyptian math. Brace yselves: who’ll calculate the vote percentages in any future elections and how will these papers report them …

    @ anonymous #45: “…practically ur entire audience is yahoud…”
    uh eh, it’s not, but if, ” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4FAKRpUCYY ” ?
    You’d probably be surprised which % of Jews (in Israel) would (still !, I imagine it’s decreasing though) accept a Palestian state, as opposed to the % of Palestinians (in Gaza, Westbank) who would accept a Jewish state …

    Note to self – maybe there are, but they donot dare speak out. Probably the most tragic thing about the whole Palestinian issue – their fr..ng leaders who steal the $$ and Euro’s and crush any thinking out the box.

  54. Uchuck the Tuchuck says:

    LN, Leo wrote:

    “@ Leo, # 15:
    I noticed that too, but imho the increase of these 2 prices is “by a factor 10″, but in percentage wouldn’t that be a “900 % increase”?”

    and Nadav wrote:

    “the increase from 0.15 to 1.5, and from 1.5 to 15 is not 100% but 1000%.
    weird numbers, strange figures. I don’t trust them that much. and besides, since when is a flow of foreign money bad to local economy? economy is usaly based on the principal that you WANT foreginers to buy local goods.”

    There was an article in the Boston Globe last week that castigated the Israeli embargo for reducing the amount of flour reaching Gaza. According to their figures, before the embargo it took 680,000 TONS of flour PER DAY to feed Gaza. In the same article, the authors cited a population of the strip as 1.5 million. That means that each resident of Gaza was consuming…(drum roll please)…906.6 pounds of flour PER DAY. Based on this and other numbers I’ve seen, I don’t trust any figure I see in the press anymore.

  55. Uchuck the Tuchuck says:

    Crap, I knew I should have read all the comments before posting mine…that article got linked to just a couple of posts above. Sorry for the redundancy, folks.

  56. THey’re helping the Egyptian economy..I see nothing wrong with cross-border trade, even letting the rich, educated ones go to Cairo wouldn’t be a problem. These people have been trapped in a prison the size of a small town for three years…let’s have some humanity. They’re only helping Egypt by contributing money to a North Sinai economy that is, for all intensive purposes, non-existent. It is probably, along with Upper Egypt, the least developed part of Egypt. As long as these Palestinians go back to Gaza at night, what’s wrong with them spending their money in Egypt?

  57. Hamasforyourflavabeans

  58. This how rich the Palestinians are

    http://rcnv.org/gaza/pictures.htm#rafah

  59. The Palestinians deserve a break. They have been saving up their shekels with no where realistic to spend them. Now they found the avenue to get rid of their cursed money. The Palestinians are a peaceful people deserving a special place in our history. We should accord them the opportunity to live out their lives and destinies in peace and tranquility. Furthermore, we must look at Israel for the pariah that it is. A rogue state in a sea of tranquil states. Let’s look at reality without a jaundiced eye. Israel is doomed to its own cowardice,avarice, and corruption.

  60. That is great stuff. I hope you can read what I wrote about Gaza. It’s at the top of http://www.darrellepp.com

  61. ” The Palestinians are a peaceful people deserving a special place in our history.”

    Do tell us more!

    Here’s a list of Americans that might disagree with you!

    http://avpv.tripod.com/AmericanVictims.html

  62. I am sick to the teeth of sanctimonious, better than thou ramblings of Israelis and Jews on here. Looked at how you treat your own people, recently? the words pot, kettle and black come to mind.

    The funny thing is Israelis claim the land they’re on now as being theirs because they’ve been living there for 3000 years. But it was mizrahi jews to be exact. Mizrahim are middle eastern jews as oppose to ashkenazi jews which tend to be european/russian origin. So you’d think the rest of the Jewish community would be very grateful to their Jewish brothers for doing so, since without their presence, they have little claim on that land.

    Well you’d expect their ashkenazi counterparts would wanna thank them by giving them decent homes to live in:

    “Mizrahi communities were pushed into the West Bank and Gaza post-1967 settlements through the back door. Both the Right and Left wing Israeli governments prevented any reasonably priced housing solutions for residents of Mizrahi slums.”

    “Mizrahi communities are intricately positioned along the Israel/Palestine divide as a result of the hegemonic sophistication of the Ashkenazim.” yup they put them on the fringes next to their enemies- not feeling the love here guys. So what happens when you put people in the line of fire?

    “Most of the Palestinian suicide attacks have occurred in the public spaces of the economically deprived and legally disenfranchised Mizrahi communities….” yup put them there so they can get blown to bits while the ashkenazi take up the salubrious suburbs in the centre of israel

    Okay so maybe they don’t give them houses but they’d give their fellow Jews jobs right, right? so they could work and better themselves.

    “Mizrahim were the Zionists’ “natural laborers,” employed in near-slavery conditions”

    ” Mizrahi women continue to occupy the lowest-paying scale of the Israeli job market. Having lost their production line and house cleaning jobs to Filipinas, they work as lower level secretaries and service providers, and they constitute the majority of the unemployed. ”

    And the final blow…

    “The Zionist movement’s leadership has always conducted itself, in front of the Mizrahim, the Palestinians, and the citizens of the Arab World, through the tools of occupation, oppression and humiliation.”

    wow, mizrahis, your own people, claim that you treat them just like you do your own enemies! These are people who are the ‘cogs’ of the country who lifted israel ‘out of the rubble’ , the very people who give you legitimacy over your land, your very own people- you treat them like you do your enemies?

    All of the above quotes come from an article, not by an arab, egyptian or whatever but by Smadar Lavie (professor of anthropology), yes a Jew, yes one of you people. The rest of the article for your delectation is here:

    http://www.e-mago.co.il/Editor/english-1149.htm

    There’s more info. here on the Black Panthers organisation, who work to try and bring issues of inequalities affecting mirazhis to the forefront

    http://www.kedma.co.il/Panterim/PanterimTheMovie/EnglishArticles.htm

    Loads of journal articles about this, surprisingly all you need to google is: ‘mizrahim’ and ‘poor’

    And if that’s how you treat arab Jews then God help the palestinians…

  63. brooklynjon says:

    anna,

    My brother-in-law is Mizrahi. He would disagree vehemently with your characterization.

    I’m sorry you think we’re sanctimonious. Maybe we’re just different than you.

  64. Roman Kalik says:

    Anna, both you and Smadar Levy are forty years too late into the the debate, as are the dinosaurs of the Black Panthers (who were frankly little more than a violent supremacist group even in the Sixties).

    Yes, Mizrahim did suffer from discrimination once – the Ashkenazi majority that was here before the big Mizrahi aliyah started feared the changes they brought, and frankly some viewed Mizrahi Jews as somewhat inferior. Still, the housing the Mizrahim got back then was a matter of Socialist logic, lack of planning, and near nation-wide economic failure (the logic hasn’t changed much since, sadly. The Russian aliyah, the Ethiopian aliyah… the government tried to handle all of them by finding the cheapest housing for them – I should know, we lived in exactly such a place once). The largely Ashkenazi Mapai party didn’t do much to improve matters once the resources became available though, and it wasn’t until Begin and the Likud party won the elections that things truly changed for the better.

    Today, Mizrahim live anywhere and everywhere, just as the Ashkenazim do. Take a walk in Tel-Aviv or Jerusalem and see for yourself. Most of my course-mates in uni were Mizrahi, and they earn five-figure monthly salaries now. A good friend of mine came from Yemen as a child – he’s a successful accountant today. Hell, most of my department’s managers are Mizrahi, what of it?

    Anna, the vast majority of Mizrahi Jews came here with no property, and little formal education. They were basically given over to a vast bureacracy that was supposed to somehow turn them from people with next to nothing to their name, to integrated and productive members of society. It took it a couple of decades, but it worked out in the end.

    The myth of Mizrahim today working as cleaners, though… Hah! My father washed floors, Anna, and my mother packed vegetables. That’s the jobs they could get when we came here in 1990, and that’s the jobs they had to stay in until they learned the language. They were lucky, the both had engineering degrees from the Soviet Union, so my father got a better job after several years making floors shine. Those of the Russian (Ashkenazi!) Jewish immigrants who weren’t as lucky work as cleaners, guards, packers… to this day.

  65. Roman Kalik says:

    *Smadar Lavie

  66. brooklynjon says:

    Roman,

    I think it’s really a pretty widespread immigrant’s lament. One of my best buddies in residency was a doctor in Russia. On arrival in NYC, he became a taxi driver. My grandfather, who helped my uncle with his differential equations work in engineering school, was a truck driver.

    And you’re right on pointing out that much of what happened was the Israeli government’s adherance to socialist dogma.

    I’ll add also, that the Israeli government – like many other governments – does not have a sterling record when it comes to treating minorities. Granted, I’d rather be a Muslim in Jerusalem than a Jew in Mecca, but I’d still like to see them be more equitable in their treatment to everyone.

  67. brooklynjon says:

    Uh oh! There I go being sanctimonious again!

  68. Hey…

    I am Ashkanaz and I am married to an Iraqi. Don’t listen to Roman…she cleans my house…serves food when I clap twice and I reward her with a bitch slap…

    That is the way it is, the way it was…and the way the good Lawd meant it to be

  69. “differential equations”

    Ah, those were the days when life was simple.

  70. Anna_

    “Most of the Palestinian suicide attacks have occurred in the public spaces of the economically deprived and legally disenfranchised Mizrahi communities….” yup put them there so they can get blown to bits while the ashkenazi take up the salubrious suburbs in the centre of israel”

    Where the heck did you get THAT one from?…Bombs and bombers have frequented nightclubs, pool halls, movie theaters, hotels, dinner parties, and more than anything busses…Do you also know about the Maxine? This is a resturant famous for the fact that it was owned by Lebanese Arabs and was a gathering place for people who didn’t particularly give a fuck about the Arab-Muslim-Jew thing…It was cynically picked out to frighten off Jew-Muslim dialouge…

    I have personally met and worked with lots of terror victims…and you know…it might be the one thing the Palestinian terrorists do in a democratic manner…murder.

    The Sephardic thing is old bullshit and everybody was racist as hell in the 50′s and Israel has grandly cleaned up their act along with attitudes towads women and homosexuals and all kinds of stuff. My family is completely intermarried with people from all across the ethnic groups…Yes…some dumb fucks get into that stuff…and it is great fun and sport to tease each other about sterotypes…but Anna…if you want to criticize Israel…find a different angle.

    Also…check your Biblical history…the Sephardic Jews has been more of a gradual phenonmena…starting at least with the Babylonia exile. The Ashkanz are likely remanents of the Roman exile around 70 AD and on…

    And all of that lot, I am certain, interbred with all kinds of other mutts in the areas…so to me…beside entertainment… that divide does not mean jack shit.

  71. brooklynjon says:

    Howie,

    My understanding is that the Jews of Gaul and the Iberian peninsula (Sephardic) landed there principally as a consequence of the Roman dispora. The Jewish communities of Tunisia and Algeria (and other coastal Mediterranean areas) originated in part with seafaring members of the tribe of Dan who often travelled together with the Phonecians, establishing settlements that precede the babylonian exile.

  72. Plus, had those Sephardi Jews entering Israel in the ’50s and ’60s been allowed to take along the possessions (or equiv. in money) they had in the Arab states they fled from or were forced to leave, it might have been very different for them to restart their lives.
    Thinking of which, this may hold true too for those leaving the USSR in the ’80s (and possibly still in the ’90s, Roman)?

  73. Spanish Dancer says:

    I love this thread! It’s really refreshing to see that, for some anyway, the discussion has moved beyond the “poor, disenfranchised palestinians vs. evil, imperialist euro-jews” dreck. The situation has always been more complicated, and frankly, anna, I don’t know who has been more self-righteous, sanctimonious, and ahistoric about the whole thing than the BBC and other euro-media who unquestioningly blame the jews/israelis while not seeming to notice or care about the fact that violence has always come from both sides of the table. nor do they seem to make the connection between their own countries actions over several centuries and the establishment of a jewish state for survival.

    A group desperate to survive will do what it must – we don’t always have to agree with their methods, but we shouldn’t demonize them either when they’ve been through european pogroms and genocide. Nobody is trying to exterminate Palestinians – hasn’t everybody been begging them for years to just get busy with their own state already!

  74. brooklynjon says:

    Spanish Dancer,

    The phrase “to mitigate one’s own damages” does not appear to be translatable into the dialect spoken in Gaza.

    As for the west bank, I wonder what will happen to those communities of Arabs who have a majority that wants to be a part of Israel. If Israel ever gets around to giving the Palestinians what the Arab League and the EU thinks they want, I see a whole lot of internecine violence. One has to wonder what the logical convolutions will be that will permit this to be blamed on Israel as well.

  75. LN-

    My wife’s family was ripped off for a huge estate…BJ and many Arab JEws…especially the Iraqis were well-educated. Her family had judges, an MD and business people. They lost three homes, all their savings everything…my wife was born in a tent…

    This is something that rarely makes it into the refugee music played on many of these blogs.

  76. “All of the above quotes come from an article, not by an arab, egyptian or whatever but by Smadar Lavie (professor of anthropology), yes a Jew, yes one of you people.”

    anna
    Self-criticism and self-reflection are alive and well in Israel and throughout the diaspora. Sadly, those in the the Arab Muslim world struggle to do the same.

  77. brooklynjon says:

    Howie,

    I don’t understand your post. Are you saying her family was from an Arab country and was dispossessed? Is this an objection to something I said? I don’t understand. Who dispossessed them? And where? It sounds like an interesting story.

    A propos of mention of “Arab Jews,” here’s an article from Today’s “Forward” (full disclosure: I tend not to agree with the editorial slant of the paper, but I read it for much the same reason that I enjoy my exchanges with Twosret, but I like Twosret better for two reasons: The Forward costs a buck, and Twosret supplies me with Jumbles).

    http://www.forward.com/articles/12561/

  78. Howie @ 70,

    You are lucky fella.

    I have Ashkenazi wife and I have my ass handed to me countless times a day.

  79. BJ-…Naw we cool. And yes the family is Iraqi.

    Leo… Ha ha

  80. Roman Kalik says:

    @LN, quite correct. I think we could take more than the guys who managed to leave earlier, but we could only really take what personal belongings we could load into four suitcases.

    One of them was lost in Ben-Gurion airport, and never was found. We did get some compensation, mind.

    But other than that… The apartment was confiscated (along with anything we couldn’t pack into aforementioned suitcases), our citizenship was taken from us, and as you may imagine Soviet currency was worthless, not that we could take any.

    So yeah, we got to Israel without a penny to our name.

  81. brooklynjon says:

    Roman,

    It’s how my family got to where I am. Except there were no airplanes. Only steerage.

  82. satiricohen said:

    “I do not understand why anyone needs to take of the Palestinians – are they children?
    If they can kill people they can also grow food, establish industry, make trades with other countries.
    Enough already with treating them like they are helpless babies. Babies don’t launch rockets at civilians…or plan to annihilate whole populations.”

    If people would only *stop* taking care of them they’d be a lot better off. Right now their “government” can spend all its aid money digging tunnels, buying weapons, and training “mujahideen” while Israel and the U.S. pick up the bill for their electricity, food, water, medical costs, energy, basically everything their government should be doing. Right now because of the corruption of the rest of the world (EU and UN) they’re free to use all their money and efforts to teach their people to hate Israelis and Jews, that every problem is Israel’s fault, and that jihad is the only path, and the rest of the world blames Israel and the US.. If Israel and the US shut off their aid and take responsibility for themselves, and made sure they knew they weren’t getting a cent until they stopped the bombings and rockets, either Hamas would starve them all to death or they’d revolt against Hamas, throw them out and install a pragmatic secular government that could deliver them the infrastructure they need.. easy as that. The Gazans are only “in prison” because the Arab world, the UN and the EU are keeping them there by forcing Israel and the US to prop them up instead of making them take responsibility for themselves and providing targeted assistance to develop water supplies, electruicity, indutsry etc..