The World Bank report on restrictions imposed by Israel on the freedom of movement of Palestinians is full of errors and imbalanced, said Deputy Defense Minister Efraim Sneh yesterday, responding to news of the report published in Haaretz on Tuesday. Sneh told Haaretz that the report uses mistaken data. Sneh points out several areas in the West Bank where passage for the transfer of goods and people has been eased, but complains "the World Bank is ignoring a much more basic fact: What is making the life of Palestinians in the West Bank difficult is terrorism, not Israel. From Jenin to Nablus there are daily attempts to carry out attacks on Israel and the World Bank has forgotten that uncontrolled lifting of roadblocks could lead to the loss of lives. If the World Bank knows how to do it better, let it tell us."That's a fair point. Lifting roadblocks is astonishingly well-correlated with getting Israeli civilians dead. But that's just one of the many, many reasons why this World Bank stinks of hypocrisy. We're not experts on political economy, but it can't be easy to develop robust infrastructure or agile industries when the armed forces of the current government are in gunfights with the armed forces from the last government.
[Read an extended version of this post at Mere Rhetoric]