Settlement boycott starts to bite

Israel/Palestine
on 9 Comments

Haaretz today notes that the settlers are becoming apoplectic because the Palestinians won’t stop boycotting settler goods, despite explicit requests by the Israelis that they do so.

The article lists several settlement companies that are targeted: "Shamir Salads, Kobi Burekas, Ramat Hagolan Dairies, Jerusalem Granola, Bagel Bagel, Mei Eden, Soda Club, Barkan Wineries, Ramat Hagolan Wineries, Rav-Bariach and Ahava Products."

When I was last in Palestine in 2009, there was a campaign called Intajuna ("our products"), in which volunteers placed special stickers on good produced in Palestine in an effort to help people make better-informed consumer choices. Now they’re handing out photographs of settler goods to avoid as well.

The settlers, used to abject domination, are beside themselves. They’re whining, absurdly, that consumer boycotts violate international trade rules and policies, even though these rules don’t apply to consumer boycotts — and as if the very existence of the settlements themselves didn’t violate international law. They’re threatening that a decline in the settlement economy will hurt the Palestinians (which is true in the short-term, but last I heard, a fund had been set up by the PA to try to offset the losses of Palestinians laid off from settlement work).

Most delicious of all — the settlers have "asked the [Israeli] Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry for compensation for its members who have been hurt by the Palestinian boycott against goods produced in the West Bank."

Settlements: Built on stolen land, subsidized by the Israeli government, funded by American tax dollars, and now with the gall to ask for even more help because the mean old world is cruel enough to point out, speaking through their own money, that everything they’re doing is illegal.

About Pamela Olson

Pamela Olson is the author of Fast Times in Palestine. She blogs here.

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9 Responses

  1. Shingo
    August 17, 2010, 7:20 am

    Geat article Pemela,

    This is excellent news for multiple reasons.

    1. BDS is clearly starting to take effect
    2. It’s sweet justice against Israel’s arrogant belief that the Palestinians are loving off their back.

    I have heard however, that some goods made in the occupied territories are being falsely labelled as being produced in Tel Aviv to combat this boycott. Have you heard anything more about this?

    Now imagine if this boytcott were extended to all of Israel?

    • Psychopathic god
      August 17, 2010, 3:34 pm

      Perhaps it’s just my increasing awareness –

      A little over a month ago I became aware that Ahava products are carried by Ulta stores, in the US (I think there was a demonstration at an Ulta shop in NYC).

      I’ve noticed recently that Ulta is advertising all over the place on left-leaning blogs (maybe right-leaning as well; I seldom go there). Can it be that Ulta is feeling a little heat for carrying Ahava products?

    • Psychopathic god
      August 18, 2010, 6:15 am

      Helena Cobban reported last month that foreign investment in Israel dropped sharply in 2009, from nearly $11 billion/year in 2008 to under $4 billion in 2009.

      Look at what else those few numbers show, tho: US provides more than 50% of Israel’s outside revenue to Israel, and that’s just the nominal gimmes from US to Israel; it doesn’t include the $203million to buy off 13 rabbis late last spring; doesn’t account for Israel’s access to Fed overnite window, US loan guarantees, tax exempt charities.

      Israel is a US taxpayer funded welfare state.

  2. MarkF
    August 17, 2010, 8:47 am

    Great one Pam.

    From the article:

    Ben-Eliezer said he views the Palestinian decision seriously, and in light of the renewal of talks between the sides, “the boycott must be lifted immediately because of the fact that many businesses in Judea and Samaria employ a large number of Palestinians,” he said.

    I’d say asking the Palestinians to lift the boycott on goods made in “Judea and Samaria” isn’t exactly taking the kinder, gentler approach. I just can’t believe the ignorance or pure hubris using those terms as part of a statement about renewing talks.

  3. yourstruly
    August 17, 2010, 10:27 am

    As BDS does to apartheid Israell what it did to apartheid South Africa, time to consider what a soon to emerge Palestine will look like after Jewish colonizer and colonized Palestinian sit down together and work things out based on one equals one with liberty and justice for all.

  4. Citizen
    August 17, 2010, 10:50 am

    Like your article, Pamela. Wouldn’t it be nice to have our cable TV news pundits and talk shows do a segment on this?

  5. lysias
    August 17, 2010, 12:46 pm

    The pie-thrower who threw an apple pie at Senator Carl Levin (and who is now facing felony charges) was protesting Levin’s view of Israeli policies: Anti-War Protester Charged After Attacking Sen. Levin With Pie:

    The woman, Ahlam Mohsen, is a senior at Michigan State University. She is quoted by the Big Rapids Pioneer as saying, “People tend to blame the war on Republicans, but we wanted to target Levin today to send a message that liberals and Democrats are just as implicated in the violence as the Republicans.”

    Levin joked about the incident while wiping his face, according to the Detroit Free Press. The 76-year-old lawmaker also said in a statement, “They didn’t hurt me, but they hurt their cause even more than their own extreme words had already done.”

    State News reports that Mohsen and Kantar were arrested in January while holding a sit-in at the senator’s office in Lansing to protest U.S. policy towards Israel.

    Kantar has lengthy blogh posts criticizing Israel’s “military occupation” of Gaza. He describes himself as a human rights activist.

  6. lysias
    August 17, 2010, 6:39 pm

    There was an Israeli supporter of BDS interviewed on Max Keiser’s show on RT television this evening. Shir Hever. I thought he did a good job. And Max Keiser was very supportive.

  7. Sumud
    August 18, 2010, 1:55 am

    “Most delicious of all — the settlers have “asked the [Israeli] Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry for compensation for its members who have been hurt by the Palestinian boycott against goods produced in the West Bank.””

    Pamela ~ I recall reading that the compensation, if approved, might actually be funded by Palestinian tax revenue or some such thing withheld by Israel – which would be very bad indeed.

    Have you heard anything along these lines?

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