by Melanie Phillips
The choir of Clare College, Cambridge and its pro-'Palestinian' conductor are reported to have cancelled a planned performance in 'east' Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria because they are also performing in Israel.
The Palestine Solidarity Campaign wrote a letter, signed by more than 200 people, asking that the choir cancel its tour of
Betty Hunter, the general secretary of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, says that desire to travel to the West Bank does not excuse the choir's tour of
Is that so. Here is the parlous state of the Palestinians of the
For the time being, International Monetary Fund officials say economic growth in the West Bank could reach as much as 7 percent in 2009 if
Here is more evidence of the appalling conditions the Palestinians are suffering:
The economic situation in the
• As security has been strengthened in the West Bank and suicide bombings have virtually disappeared -- thanks overwhelmingly to
• The unemployment rate in the
• 229,000 trucks passed between
• In 2008, there were just over 2,000 cars imported into the
• The number of employment permits that would allow Palestinians to work inside
• Since 2007, some 170 roadblocks and checkpoints have been dismantled. You can now drive from
• There are even plans to build a
And here is yet more evidence of the Palestinians' agony:
• Growth continues in the
• The second cellular company in the
• Stock market: A 12.5% rise since the beginning of the year.
• Foreign investments in the West Bank: A six-fold increase (!) compared with the corresponding period last year, as a result of the economic conferences that were held in Bethlehem and Nablus, and of the improved security in the area (this figure was provided by the Palestinians and the Joint Economic Conference held on September 2).
• Truck traffic between
• Palestinian sales to
• Palestinian purchases from
• General Palestinian foreign trade (including with
Need I go on? I'm sure we'll all agree that this unremitting picture of wretchedness, destitution and sheer hopelessness (the photograph above is of a shopping mall in Jenin) is just too painful to absorb.
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