Sunday, January 25, 2015

Palestinian writes: Boycott of Israel is misguided

Sodastream's upcoming move to the Negev will cost hundreds of  Palestinians their jobs. Anti-Israel activists claim this as a victory- their goal has never been to help the Palestinian people. The goal of the BDS movement is to hurt Israel.  Bassam Eid, a Palestinian  human rights activist and political commentator writes against BDS in the Jerusalem Post, declaring

"There is no boycott, and from a personal standpoint I don’t believe in them as a method of activism."

I don’t know who’s actually pushing the Palestinians toward this idea of an economic boycott of Israel; to the best of my knowledge, Palestinians aren’t pushing it on their own, and neither is the Palestinian Authority, which is simply trying to exploit its momentum....

Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas in one of his televised interviews said that the Palestinians had never called for an economic boycott of Israel, but did call for a boycott of the settlements.

But even such a partial boycott could never succeed; how can one impose a boycott on settlement products when one’s fellow citizens and nationals are the ones building those very same settlements? Does Abbas have alternative employment opportunities to offer these people? Palestinian workers today are basically building homes in the settlements. They are proud of the fact they are continuing to build for Jews, and no one is about to find them an alternative to the type of work in which they are now engaged.

Suppose that the Palestinians launched a boycott campaign against Israel. Would it cause Israel any damage? What do we buy from Israel? Salt, pepper, milk, rice, flour. Do we buy planes from Israel? Tanks? Even if we wanted to, Israel certainly would sell them to us. So the truth is that politics aside, we are irrelevant to this story.

This is reason why, lip service aside, the PA is not trying to push the idea of a boycott.

TWO WEEKS ago, I visited the town of Bir Zeit, north of Ramallah, and saw a large sticker on the entrance to a store testifying that the store was purified of Israeli products – “purified,” not merely “free” of Israeli goods. I entered the store and approached the refrigerated section where the ice creams were kept – and was taken aback to see that the ice cream on display was labeled “Strauss.” I turned to the store’s proprietor and inquired whether there was a Palestinian company called “Strauss.” No, he replied, the product was Israeli.

When I asked about the sticker, the store owner looked at me and said: “You know what? We, the Palestinians, like stickers, just like the Israelis.

Read it all here

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