BGU's Marxist Economist (Arie Arnon)
Economist Arie Arnon and Peace Now
By Lee Kaplan
“An economist is someone who doesn't have an inkling of what he is talking about, yet manages to convince those listening to him that they are too dumb to understand him”—source unknown
According to one of his campus websites, “Professor Arnie Arnon is at the Department of Economics, Ben-Gurion University. His areas of research include macroeconomics and monetary theory as well as the history of economic thought. A major focus in recent years has been the political economy of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” Arnon objects to the Israeli security fence that has saved thousands of Israeli lives. Apparently his sense of economy does not include the value of the lives of Israelis subject to terrorist attacks without the security fence. In fact, it seems to merit no comment at all in his economic writings in which he discusses how to resuscitate the Palestinian kleptocracy through economic plans that reflect no reality on the ground. The PA incites for the killing of Jews not because of economic deprivation as Arnon likes to claim, but because it is a religious and Arab nationalist imperative to do so. Arnon’s teachings suggest if Israel just gave the Arabs oodles more of money and business opportunities, they would gladly live side-by-side with Israel in peace. Billions of dollars later since 1993, it’s obvious that most terrorists do not operate out of financial desperation but out of ideology and indoctrination, the same type that Arnon likes to spread in the classroom. What’s more, he encourages economic boycotts against his fellow Israeli academics as a step toward “peace” and encourages Israeli soldiers to desert from the IDF.
When it became obvious to leaders of the Jewish Community in the San Francisco Bay Area that UC Berkeley’s Center for Middle East Studies (CMES) was unfairly castigating Israel and Jews in its curriculum, one multi-million dollar donor from the Helen Diller
Foundation gave the University five million dollars to set up a Jewish Studies department within the CMES. The Arab chairman of the department took the money and did just that. But to the consternation of the donor, he only hired Jewish or Israeli academics that were decidedly anti-Israel and above all anti-Zionist in their writings and activities. One of those academics was Arie Arnon, an economist from Ben-Gurion University who also heads the Israeli group Peace Now (Shalom Acshav) in Israel.
Arnon has also been a visiting professor at other American universities in the US like
Stanford where he can promote his theories of economic justice for the Palestinians that sound nice in books that have little applicability to a Palestinian Authority bent of making Judea and Sameria “Jew-Free.”
To understand Arie Arnon, one must also understand Peace Now, an organization he is a leader of inside Israel, but which is also based in the US. Peace Now has, for a long time, been involved with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) providing funding and cover for international activists to come into Israel from abroad and make trouble and interfere with anti-terror operations of the IDF against Palestinian terrorist groups. ISM trainees are told they can tell the Israeli border control the names of certain Peace Now members who can be called and who will vouch for untruthful stories about entering Israel merely as tourists so ISM activists can clear the Israeli border control. Peace Now, like the ISM, is a non-entity, not even a non-profit corporation, yet has been illegally submitting briefs in Israeli courts against the Israeli government for years against the Jewish state in favor of the Palestinians. While Peace Now claims it is for a two state solution, the only “peace” it really works for is the capitulation to the Arabs of all their demands at the expense of Israeli Jewish sovereignty. Peace Now allies itself with all sorts of Arab groups that claim they are for peace but support violence against Israel.
Peace Now is finally being investigated for being surreptitiously funded by the EU in favor of the Palestinian irredentists in the Palestine Authority. Clearly, Arnon felt right at home as a visiting professor at UC Berkeley where he was welcomed by an Arab Departmental Chair to teach in the CMES Department where he lectured on the Palestinian Economy.
But Arnon’s advocacy and activism did not stop there, nor his links to the EU.
Arnon was also the Israeli team leader of the AIX Group, where experts from the Palestinian Authority, Israel and the international community discuss various economic aspects of the so-called “peace process.” For anyone who has read Bat Yeor’s book, Eurbaia, an understanding of the European Union’s involvement and active courting of the Arab world to Israel’s detriment since the 1950’s can become clear. Europe wants a Palestinian state to please the Arab oil interests.
Arnon, as the leader of the Israeli team in the AIX Group , advances final status solutions based on economic theory to develop a Palestinian state’s economy on a par with that of Israel. That by itself would be fine, if the Arabs were really seeking two democratic states side by side with a genuine peace movement in process (or if the Arabs could be counted on to at least not steal money as always and engage in corruption). But Arnon’s activities can be seen as merely serving European Union interests while he claims he is seeking peace and “social justice.”
Thus it comes as no surprise that one of Arnon’s fields of expertise is Marxist Economic theory. Advancing the goals and needs of Palestinian Arabs has become the cause celebre for Marixsts both inside Israel’s academic institutions as well as those in Europe and America. “Social Justice” is deemed the cure for the world’s ill. At the same time, social justice also means whatever the user of those words says it means when it comes to appropriating, by force, someone else’s hard earned property to right some fabricated wrong from the past.
Reading Arnon’s AIX paper on the economic viability of Palestine and Israel and its solutions is only possible if one ignores, as does Arnon, the incessant comments in Arabic that Palestinian leadership makes, not about two states, but about dismantling Israel and making into one state called Palestine. Machmous Abbas and Fatah, Haniyeh and Hamas all agree daily in the Arab media that all of Israel must become Palestine, not only culturally and religiously, but economically, as well. Arnon’s economic theories conveniently ignore Israel’s attempts to live in peace and harmony with its neighbors without taking note of the daily corruption of those neighbors or their unwillingness to even stop terrorism, or if those neighbors through propaganda, corruption and theft will only squander any economic revival presented to them making thus making economic revitalization unfeasible. Arnon objects to the Israeli security fence that has saved thousands of Israeli lives. Apparently his sense of economy does not include the lives of Israelis subject to murder by terrorists.
Arnon’s ivory tower economic theories for Israel-Palestine never take into account the simple facts on the ground that the Palestinians refuse to stop murdering Jews or accepting Israel’s right to exist. Arnon even pushes for final status negotiations giving
the Arabs whatever they want in terms of economic development. While the average
Al Aksa Martys Brigade terrorist earns as much as $50,000 a year in the Palestinian Authority, Arnon‘s economic theories advance no way for such economic barbarity to stop, instead focusing on final status that includes economic rewards for a Palestinian state with no guaranteed fulfillment of ending terrorism against Israelis.
Arnon accounts for his radicalization against Israel by claiming he heard about atrocities committed against Arabs by IDF soldiers during his own military service. By his own words, he did not see such atrocities, but , only heard about them from Arabs. Just the same, he was enough of a bleeding heart that he now tells young Israelis to refuse to
serve in the IDF. As a leader of Peace Now he has no qualms about his organization spying on Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria for the EU in order to try and get those Jewish communities removed from the area.
Arnon was equally behind the failed Geneva Accords that called for handing the Palestinians everything they could possibly ask for (including control of air flyover space) and yet called for no cessation of terrorism and simply ignored the problem.
And, finally, Arnon has endorsed a call to boycott his fellow Israeli academics outside of Israel. Since the academic boycott is mainly conducted in the UK, no doubt Arnon need not worry about a sinecure within the EU should Israel cease to exist. Meanwhile, he can continue to ply his trade among young Israeli and American college students and convince them of how Economics can be a force used to arrive at peace—by giving the Palestinians what they want with nothing in return.
Sadly, Arnon’s political economics seem to only relate to a minimum usage of common sense.