FREEDOM… JUSTICE… DIGNITY
Building upon the popular anger that rejects being turned into beggars who are preoccupied with making a living instead of our national struggle, Palestinians for Dignity calls upon you to join a mass march to demand:
Social justice and the termination of the Paris Economic Protocol
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 at 5:00pm
at the Manara Square in Ramallah
Let us all emerge from our silence and tolerance of the Palestinian Authority’s dependence on the Occupying State, the rampant corruption in our institutions, and our leadership that no longer has options, only justifications…
We call on everybody to raise only the Palestinian flag and to help protect all public and private places from any vandalism.
Long live Palestine free as her sons and daughters
Palestinians for Dignity
Why do we need to abolish the Paris Protocol?!!
Why are prices here, and especially the price of gasoline, constantly rising?
We all recognize that each time the Israeli government raises prices, especially the price of gasoline in Israel, we are obligated to do the same here! This is because the Paris Protocol stipulates that our Value Added Tax (VAT) is only allowed to be less than Israel’s by 2%, and the difference in the final price of gasoline to the consumers in the occupied Palestinian territories cannot be more than 15% of the price to the consumer in Israel, even though the average income in Israel is three times higher than our average income, and the per capita GDP in Israeli is almost 30 times higher than in Palestine! Simply put, the Paris Protocol controls our fuelprices.
Why is our production sector small and weak and why are imported goods expensive?
First of all, the Paris Protocol restricts the Palestinian merchant and the farmer in the export process, allowing Israel to control the borders and the export of products. When Israel allows the export of Palestinian products, the products are subject to security, technical, and laboratory searches that can delay and damage the goods! Also, the agreement imposes Israeli standards on most of the imported products as it concerns customs and purchase tax and fees even though the living standards between the two economies is huge. What’s worse is that the Paris Protocol granted the Occupying State the right to collect taxes and fees instead of the Palestinian Authority, thereby putting a large part of the Palestinian Authority’sfinancial resources and the money of the Palestinian people in the hands of the occupier; and this money has been used to put pressure on us in our political positions.
Imagine if five Palestinians decided to open a small factory to produce national products; the large Israeli factories would enter our markets without any taxes or customs fees and destroy the national product because the Paris Protocol prevents us from protecting our products. Simply put, the Paris Protocol controls our borders and our goods and prevents us from protecting our national production.
Why is it in Israel’s interests that a rise in prices there is tied to a rise in prices here?
It’s in the Occupying State’s interest that its prices are tied to our prices so that the price of goods here will not be lower and the Palestinians market will not become a desirable market for Palestinians and Israelis at the expense of Israeli products. Also this way, all of our financial resources will be in the hands of Israel and Palestinians will remain economically dependent on the occupier. This is simply because the Paris Protocol controls our products and the prices of our market.
Who is responsible for this crisis?
First of all, the primary responsibility falls on those in the Palestine Liberation Organization that signed the Oslo Accords and the Paris Protocol. These agreements have denied us our natural resources (land and water) and prevented our control over our borders so that we can import and export. Second, the Palestinian National Authority, a product of the Oslo Agreement, continued with its reliance on foreign aid and failed to create national industries or support the agricultural sector. Third, some believe that the current government is the cause of the crisis. While it is true that this government contributed to deepening the crisis, the problem at its crux is that the agreement prevents any attempt to establish an independentnational economy. They also deluded us into thinking that we are ready to establish a state with a strong economy, but in reality the dependency relationship with Israel is increasing.
What is the solution? Is there really a solution?
Of course there is an alternative. The alternative is economic resistance that can achieve a redistribution of resources, social justice, and dignity for the Palestinian people. This is not just a slogan! The most important alternative steps we can take are:
First: to start a comprehensive boycott of all Israeli products;
Second: to refuse to adhere to the Paris Protocol and to call on the Palestinian Authority to announce this explicitly;
Third: to impose high taxes on imported products in order to protect our national products and agriculture;
Fourth: to take to the Palestinian lands dubbed “Areas C” that comprise 60% of the West Bank, to unite these areas with the rest of the West Bank, and work together to plant these lands;
Fifth: to establish agricultural cooperatives to fulfill local needs.
Furthermore, there are many other ideas that Palestinian economists can put forth if there is only the political will to implement suggestions and rid ourselves of economic dependency.
By the way, Israel violates most of its obligations under the Paris Protocol and yet we still abide by it!