A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman
August 22 , 2007 Israeli Ecnonomy Grows Rapidly
Good news on the Israeli economic front. The Israeli economy grew by 6.6% so far this year-- twice the US and European rate. The Per capita income increased by 5.7% so far this year, twice last year's rate. Israelis increased their purchases of cars and expensive electronics by 30% this year. These figures are per capita, of course. One of IsraelŐs major problems, in the last few years, has been the growing gap between rich and poor. Thus, while the economy is growing, many are not benefiting from the growth.
Yesterday on London and Kirshbaum, Avi Drucker reported about an interesting public opinion survey that Prime Minister Sharon had conducted on his behalf during SharonŐs period as Prime Minister. The most interesting question that was asked was whether you would support a peace deal, a deal that would include giving back all but 4% of the West Bank. It included dividing Jerusalem, with Israel holding on to the just the Armenian and Jewish Quarters, as well as the Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem. According to the survey question, Israel would accept 50,000 refugees as part of family unification.
The most interesting statistics of the survey: In March 2002, in the heart of the Intifadah, 73% of Israelis said they would support such an agreement. That number steadily decreased, so by the time the pull-out from Gaza took place, the number was down to 44 percent. What was happening in March 2002? The worst of the suicide bombing. You can draw you own conclusions.
The first segment of the CNN Special presentation: "Warriors of the Gods" was shown last night. CNN and Christian Amanpour showed their hand in the way they put together the segment. I am not one of the people who goes around and talks about the bias of the media, but this show which would have been fine if it stuck to the topic of "Jewish Warriors of God", instead threw in unrelated criticism of Israel, by talking about the power of AIPAC, and interviewing President Carter on the same topic. In addition, Amanpour did a segment on the "separation fence", which was really irrelevant to the topic. Furthermore, as I learned tonight on Israeli TV, Amanpour did not interview many of the Israelis that were seen in the segment. Rather at least according to Hanan Porat, he was interviewed by someone else for what he claimed was a different purpose.