Yesterday, I wrote about how the so-called “easing” of the siege of Gaza has in fact led to the further “strangulation” of the Gazan economy. In the comments section, Chris, who blogs at Notes From a Medinah: Perspectives on the Middle East and who is currently “living in the West Bank and working at a community development NGO,” makes an important point:
Interesting article Alex, reminded me a lot of the history of Taybeh beer. I am not sure if you have ever been to the West Bank, but if you get a chance go to Taybeh and talk to the owner of the Taybeh brewery. If you do, Nadim will tell you about the how the Second Intifada nearly ruined the brewery. In a nutshell, the beer was selling like mad pre-Intifada (it was established after Oslo), but during the Intifada Israel disallowed exports to Israel and, eventually, to the rest of the West Bank and Gaza. By confining sale of the beer to only the small town, Israel nearly wrecked the brewery.
Nadim was forced to borrow money from many relatives in the US to keep up with payments and was forced to lay off workers. It is only in the last year that the brewery has become profitable again. And Nadim is still paying back relatives.
Certainly the circumstances are different, but it is yet another example of private enterprises paying a stiff cost for Israeli-imposed limitations.