Analysis: This is a lesson for the residents of Gaza

The notion that Israel is strangling the PA economy is part of the standard Western narrative — though it has little bearing in fact.

While the rest of the world is deep in economic crisis, the economy on the West Bank is growing by 7 per cent. Mr Brown, eat your heart out.

The lessons are twofold. First, while the “official” peace process seems stuck — Mr Obama’s efforts notwithstanding — on the ground, something real is happening.

The Palestinians on the West Bank are investing positively in their futures for the first time in years.

Shimon Peres’s vision of a “New Middle East”, in which economic co-operation, industrial parks and high-tech made war undesirable, has been widely ridiculed, but perhaps the Israeli President will have the last laugh after all. Second, for the Palestinians in Gaza — where there is 40 per cent unemployment — there is a stark choice. Are they going to continue throwing in their lot with Hamas, which is ever more radical, or are they going to follow the path of prosperity, along with their brothers in the West Bank? The choice has never been clearer.

Last updated: 2:26pm, November 8 2010