Know More About Palestine

Monday May 10, 2010 4:37 PM (EST+7)
OPINION: Buy Palestinian products

Read more: Boycott, settlement economy, Palestinian economy

RAMALLAH, May 10 (JMCC) - Haaretz columnist Akiva Eldar confronts arguments against the Palestinians right to boycott products made in illegal Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian territory.

As Palestinians enact laws against the sale of settlement products in their territories and the prevention of Palestinians working in the settlements themselves, many in Israel have openly threatened the Palestinians with measures against the Palestinian economy.

Suppose some Palestinian group managed to set up a new settlement on land abandoned by refugees of the 1967 war in the Jordan Valley. What would your average Israeli patriot have to say about an Israeli contractor who agreed to build it, or about Jewish workers clambering on Palestinian scaffolds? What an outcry we'd hear from the Israeli right about such traitors! Never fear, our forces would never allow the uncircumcised to fix even a peg in the occupied territory under absolute Israeli control (some 60 percent of the West Bank ). The imagined scenario of Jews building homes for Palestinians was created only for the sake of discussion - specifically of the protests in Israel against the ban recently imposed by the Palestinian Authority against Arabs working in the settlements.

It takes no small amount of audacity to threaten the Palestinians with harm to their economy if they refuse to continue building Israeli settlements on their own land. Only we are allowed to threaten boycotts every Monday and Thursday against countries that dare to criticize us. After all, we, as is well known, have the monopoly on patriotism. Remember the treatment the Etzel and Lehi underground militias meted out to Jewish girls who went to bed with British soldiers?

Buy Israeli goods is an important ethos - with emphasis on the word Israeli. Many Israelis, including this writer, and peace-seekers all over the world boycott products made in the settlements. But if Palestinian factory workers dare leave their jobs in the Barkan industrial zone in the West Bank, the president of the Manufacturers Association, Shraga Brosh, says he'll make sure that the government closes off the Haifa Port to Palestinian goods...

Read the full article at Haaretz...






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