Finance Minister Yair Lapid delivered a scary speech on Wednesday. At the Institute of National Security Studies conference, Lapid warned that if we don’t accept US Secretary of State John Kerry’s framework for negotiations, the Europeans are going to take away our money.
Lapid claimed that Israel’s economic future is dependent on surrendering Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria to the PLO. If we don’t, he said, the EU will abrogate its economic association agreement with us. And such a move on Europe’s part will cause serious harm to our economy.
According to Lapid, “If negotiations with the Palestinians stall or blow up and we enter the reality of a European boycott, even a very partial one, the Israeli economy will retreat, the cost of living will rise, budgets for education, health, welfare and security will be cut [and] many international markets will be closed to us.”
On the other hand, if we give up Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, Lapid promises that we will all get rich.
It took less than 10 minutes for Lapid’s remarks to be exposed as utter nonsense.
The EU delegation to Israel flatly denied that the EU is considering abrogating the association agreement.
“There has been absolutely no consideration in the EU of the abrogation of the association agreement. It is not in the cards,” a statement by the delegation said.
As for the economic benefits Lapid promised Israel would reap from giving in to the PLO, here too, his claims do not withstand scrutiny.
First of all, Israel’s economy will be dramatically weakened, not strengthened, by a deal with the PLO.
As Economy Minister Naftali Bennett explained last week, the establishment of a Palestinian state in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem would cause unprecedented damage to the economy. Like the de facto Palestinian state in Gaza, such a state would serve as a launching ground for missile attacks against Israel. And from Judea and Samaria, the Palestinians would have the capacity to destroy Israel’s economy with just a few, relatively primitive projectiles.
As Bennett out it, “Imagine if just one missile per day fell on [Israel’s technology hub in] Herzliya Pituah, what that would do to Israel’s economy. If even one plane which was supposed to land at Ben-Gurion Airport crashes [due to terrorism] per year, it would crush the Israeli economy.”
Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C., and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post, where this article first appeared.
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