Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Great Expectations - Bitter Realities

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Great Expectations - Bitter Realities

Article excerpt

GREAT EXPECTATIONS--BITTER REALITIES

The Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR) held an informative day-long conference in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on April 14. A similar conference was held at Columbia University in New York City, on April 18 (see p. 50 for a complete report). At the two conferences CESR released the results of three years of research on economic and human rights conditions in the West Bank and Gaza.

The organization has documented the dramatic decline in Palestinian living standards and ongoing human rights abuses against Palestinians during more than six years of the "peace process" between the Palestinian Authority and Israel. The CESR report shows that "peace" has brought the Palestinians a higher rate of unemployment, a greater incidence of poverty and a significant decline in gross national product.

Key research findings from the West Bank and Gaza include:

Palestinian real per capita gross national product (GNP) has declined 21 percent since the beginning of the Oslo process, despite over $3 billion in foreign aid. …

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