Peace Now, the grassroots organization, has long maintained that settlements and the occupation are both a moral and economic blight on Israel. Here are the statistics to prove it, from a business study by the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development) :
"The inclusion of the settlements and east Jerusalem adds about 4% to Israel's gross domestic product, but reduces the GDP per capita by a significant rate of 6.5% a year"
When east Jerusalem, West Bank settlements and Golan Heights are figured in with Israel's overall economic statistics, per capita income is reduced while inequality is increased. With the settlement population growing nearly one hundred percent between 1997 and 2009 (most recent population figures), this does not bode well for the future of the country and the street protestors griping about prices and opportunities. Sever Plocker analyses the stats in Ynet news. One wag says "gross domestic product" is a good caption for the photo above!