Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Bread and butter issues

The conventional wisdom is that Israeli Arabs are poor, marginalized, and oppressed. I was never able to reconcile that assertion with my empirical observation that large numbers of Arabs seem to live in large mansions and own their own plots of land - both of which are very rare among Jews.

Apparently, though, Israeli Arabs in fact earn incomes which are up to four times what they report for tax purposes (the rest is earned on the "black market"). It's not clear whether the "four times" figure in fact reflects the entire Arab sector, but when officially reported Arab income is 70% of Jewish income, it seems that the average Arab may in fact be richer than the average Jew.

If you want to find real poverty in Israel, look at the charedim.

In other news, the Technion students (but not those of other universities) have decided to end the strike. The student leadership finally realized that though "the struggle must continue", striking hurts students more than anyone else. (I, or any of the students I normally talk to, could have told them that long ago.) I guess that's the thing about Israel. You can expect people here to act reasonably - but only after pursuing every other possible alternative.

UPDATE: they cancelled the cancelling of the strike. What the $#!@?

No comments: