Stanley Fischer and the Palestinians

by on December 13, 2013 at 12:10 am in Economics, History, Political Science | Permalink

Palestinian Monetary Authority Chief Jihad Al Wazir suggested Mr. Fischer was skilled at navigating political sensitivities to focus on economic challenges.

“During Stan’s tenure [at the Bank of Israel], the relations remained on a professional level,” Mr. Al Wazir said from Ramallah. “It was devoid of politics. There was an understanding of the issues.”

…Mr. Al Wazir said Mr. Fischer helped ease strain in the Palestinian banking system during recurring liquidity crises because of shortfalls in foreign aid and occasional freezes in Israeli transfers of tax revenue collected on the behalf of Palestinians. He helped to get shipments of cash into the Gaza Strip’s blockaded economy.

That is from this story.  Here is much more on Fischer and the Palestinians.  Here are Fischer’s parting comments upon leaving his job in Israel.

Anthony Alfidi December 13, 2013 at 12:15 am

The Gaza Strip is blockaded for a good reason. Any material support entering the strip is likely intended to support Hamas rocket and mortar attacks against Israel. The Palestinian proto-state is not viable without foreign aid. There is one viable alternative from history:

freethinker December 14, 2013 at 4:40 am

what about Israel’s ill-treatment of the Palestinians ? why total silence on this? Do you think Israel is always the victim and never the perpetrator?

Ray Lopez December 13, 2013 at 1:20 am

I find it interesting that S. Fischer speaks Hebrew ‘with an Anglo-Saxon accent’. Some believe that modern Hebrew is an invention, and given to my knowledge that ancient Greek and modern Greek are so different, I can relate to this theory. A flavor of the debate here: Typically, like sporting events in modern Olympics, there is a nationalist angle to these debates.

prior_approval December 13, 2013 at 2:42 am

What strikes me as interesting is how one develops an ‘Anglo-Saxon Hebrew’ accent – just think of the variety of forms of speaking English, even within the oddly proscribed idea of Anglo-Saxon.

George Bush senior and junior fit most reasonable definitions of ‘Anglo-Saxon,’ but their accents are notably different. And yet, somehow, the idea of describing their accent as ‘Anglo-Saxon’ seems bizarre – especially as most people can tell the difference between New England English and Texas English – regardless of how Anglo-Saxon the speaker may be.

And I would assume that a random Hebrew speaker from NYC (completely leaving aside the question of Yiddish and background) does not share a simple accent with a Hebrew speaker from SF (though the Russian emigration connection is definitely there, in terms of possible influence of accent from that direction).

Which then leads to the point, considering that 1 and a 1/4 Russian Jews emigrated since the 1960s, mainly to Israel, though many to the U.S. also, whether it would not be better to speak of non-Russian speaker influenced Hebrew and Russian speaker influenced Hebrew. Which would then likely make the American amalgam of Hebrew more Russian influenced than the UK version.

Of course, some of this is based on the experience of a ‘parallel’ language – Yiddish, which is essentially a German dialect with a number of mutations over the centuries. A language/dialect that is in decline, since it is not being preserved for religious reasons (Latin, Hebrew, and Arabic all come to mind as examples of languages which are of the ‘Book’).

JJ December 13, 2013 at 9:31 am

Context helps here. Hebrew speakers refer to native English speakers of Hebrew as “anglo”–it captures a cultural similarity between immigrants from the anglosphere, and mostly just refers to Americans and some Brits living in Anglo enclaves like some neighborhoods in Jerusalem, Gush Etzion, and Ranana. When they say an “Anglo-Saxon accent” that’s journalistic translation of this particular reference and it means “with an American (or British, South African, Australian etc) accent.”

Ricardo December 13, 2013 at 11:13 am

English speakers who learn Spanish as adults will speak Spanish with a detectably “English” accent, regardless of their native dialect of English. When listening to such a person speak Spanish it is immediately clear that his/her native language is English, but not so immediately clear what kind of English.

TallDave December 13, 2013 at 1:59 am

“Palestinian Monetary Authority Chief” Admit it, this made you chuckle.

It’s unfortunate they’ve made so little progress in building good institutions, though a lot of blame has to go to their sponsors. Of course it’s always very hard even under the best of circumstances, but the elections gave people some hope that the delta might be more positive.

Rahul December 13, 2013 at 2:08 am

I was surprised to hear Palestine even has a Monetary Authority. Do they even have their own currency?

Steve Sailer December 13, 2013 at 2:33 am

Yes, but is it good for the Americans?

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