Instead of seeking way to solve the financial crisis, Fayyad chose to call on Palestinians to boycott all Israeli goods. He is hoping that by calling for an economic intifada, he will succeed in diverting the anger and frustration on the Palestinian street outward to Israel. This has always been the Palestinian Authority’s way of avoiding responsibility for anything that goes wrong — by putting all the blame on Israel.
Salam Fayyad, the prime minister of the Palestinian Authority, this week called for an economic intifada against Israel.
Fayyad, whose government is facing a severe financial crisis, wants Palestinians to boycott all Israeli goods in response to Israel’s decision to seize tax revenues belonging to the Palestinian Authority.
The revenues were seized and transferred to the Israel Electric Company to cover Palestinians’ debts to the firm.
Fayyad is angry because the Israel Electric Company finally collected its debts from Palestinian consumers. Speaking to Palestinian reporters in Ramallah, he denounced the transfer of the funds to the company as “illegal and immoral.”
Fayyad knows better than anyone else that, for various reasons, many Palestinians have not been paying their electricity bills.
Many Palestinians refuse to pay water, electricity and other bills because they believe the international community, primarily the Americans and Europeans, should be covering all their expenses. Others refuse to pay because they believe the money eventually falls into the hands of corrupt Palestinian Authority officials.
Earlier this year, the Palestinian Authority announced a series of measures to persuade Palestinian consumers to pay their electricity bills, but to no avail. The Palestinian Authority even announced a new law that allows it to imprison any Palestinian who is caught practicing the widespread phenomenon of “electricity theft.”
Because of the financial crisis, Fayyad’s government has also failed to pay full salaries to its employees, sparking a two-day general strike of the public sector in the West Bank.
The transfer of funds to the Israel Electric Company, and the Arab world’s failure to fulfill promises to support the Palestinian Authority financially, have created a severe financial crisis in the Palestinian Authority.
This is not the first time that Arab countries lie to Palestinians. Over the past two decades, Arab nations have promised the Palestinians billions of dollars in aid. But, according to officials in Ramallah, the Palestinians have received less than 10% of what they had been promised.
Instead of seeking ways to solve the crisis, however, Fayyad chose to call on Palestinians to boycott all Israeli goods. How does that help solve the financial crisis? Fayyad did not have an answer. He just wants to punish Israel for collecting on the debt for the electricity bills.
He is hoping that by calling for an economic intifada, he will succeed in diverting growing anger and frustration on the Palestinian street towards the Israelis. This has always been the Palestinian Authority’s way of avoiding responsibility for anything that goes wrong — by putting all the blame on Israel.
Fayyad wants Palestinians to boycott Israel, but at the same time is unable to provide them with better alternatives. Does he really think that Palestinians will stop buying Israeli-manufactured medicine, for example?
As one Palestinian public servant asked, “How can our prime minister ask us to boycott Israeli goods when we can’t even afford to purchase Palestinian goods because he’s not paying us our salaries?”
Added another Palestinian who has been working as a school teacher for 25 years: “If Fayyad wants us to boycott Israel, why doesn’t he himself set an example? Why is he living in Jerusalem, under Israeli rule, and enjoying, together with his family, most privileges offered to Israeli citizens? Today, I’m ready to go and work in an Israeli settlement to feed my children and I don’t care whether Fayyad likes it or not.”
Giulio Meotti points out some very scary parallels between the Nazi boycott of Jewish businesses in Germany in the 1930’s and the European boycott of ‘settlement goods’ in our own time.
We obtained a copy of the document just released by the Europen Union with a list of the Israeli locations beyond the Green Line.
The document is meant to support “the exclusion of settlement goods from preferential treatment”. It’s a very detailed list of all the Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria which must be isolated, targeted and boycotted, including the postal code and the name of the city, village or industrial zone where production conferring status has taken place appear on all proofs of preferential origin issued or made out in Israel.
A note clearly states: “Operators are advised to consult the list before lodging a customs declaration for releasing goods for free circulation in support of which they intend to provide proof of preferential origin issued or made out in Israel. If they find the postal code appearing on the proof of origin in their possession in the list of non-eligible locations, they should refrain from claiming preference”. The communities listed are non eligible for duty-free status under the 1995 EU-Israel Free Trade Agreement.
There is also the correct spelling in Hebrew, from Merom Golan to Beit El, Sha’arei Tikva and Elkana, Alfei Menashe and Bracha, Halamish (“also named Neve Tzuf”) and Kiryat Arba, Psagot and Ofra.
This boycott blacklist not only violates international free trade, it is an obstacle to Mideast coexistence and constitutes the revival of racism.
The EU boycott is reminiscent of the 1933 first Nazi boycott of Jews, in which youth held posters in German and English urging the boycott: “Germans, defend yourselves against Jewish atrocity propaganda.”
The poster of the boycott lobby now says: “Europeans, defend yourselves against Israeli atrocity propaganda.” Where is the difference?
There is also the same feeling of helplessness expressed by the great philolog Viktor Klemperer, a witness of the Nazi boycott: “The boycott begins tomorrow. Yellow placards, men on guard. Pressure to pay Christian employees two months salary, to dismiss Jewish ones. No reply to the impressive letter of the Jews to the President of the Reich and to the government. No one dares make a move”.
Replace placards with labels, Christian with European and Jewish with Israeli. No one dares make a move.
University of Cape Town, 2-4 January 2013This international and interdisciplinary Conference is jointly organised by the Isaac and Jessie Kaplan Centre for Jewish Studies and Research (University of Cape Town), the Parkes Institute for the Study of Jewish/non-Jewish Relations (University of Southampton), and the Department of Hebrew, Biblical and Jewish Studies (University of Sydney).
The conference seeks to explore the connections and intersections between Jews, colonialism, and postcolonialism. The existing scholarly literature, mainly following the work of Paul Gilroy, has begun to recognise this conjunction in a variety of ways whether in relation to ‘multidirectional memory’ (Michael Rothberg), ‘the crisis of postcolonial culture’ (Aamir Mufti), or the exclusions of ‘disciplinary thinking’ (Bryan Cheyette). But there is still a need to bring together these sometimes contradictory approaches and to begin to constitute this topic as a new field of comparative studies.
Proposals are welcome from those who want to promote theoretical engagement between Jewish and postcolonial studies as well as those providing more detailed case studies – including from all periods and all places – relating to the history, sociology, and anthropology of Jews (as both ‘white’ and ‘not quite’) in relation to colonialism and postcolonialism. This conference is part of a growing attempt to explore the substantial ways in which these fields inform each other. We welcome papers – theoretical and case studies – covering all chronologies and locations, including discussions of Jews in imperial contexts from antiquity to the present day. Papers are also welcome on how these tensions and intersections have been articulated in the cultural sphere, including, for example, art, film, literature, museums, music and television.
We have been warned
|….images from some Tree Hugger hypocrite…
Similar situation with Nivea in Germany: Nivea website excludes Israel, includes “Palestine Territories”
A reader left this message on Philosémitisme:
“Hi, I came across a similar situation with the international Website of the French luggage-maker Delsey (http://www.delsey.com/stores/). After lodging a complaint and some adverse publicity, Israel was reintegrated (I believe I still have the e-mail with their apologies). It now seems that it was not enough because I have just checked their site and yet again Israel does not feature on their country list. […]”
Indeed, the famous French luggage creator Delsey sells its products in Israel (Delsey Israel/Facebook) but Israel is not on their list, which has many countries among which … Sudan, Libya, la Syria, Saudi Arabia etc (screenshots below). In spite of our reader’s complaint, Delsey who had put the State of Israel on their country list and offered apologies, has (probably under commercial pressure by you know which “lobby”) removed it again. Should we conclude that Delsey does not have a dealer in Israël but has one in a failed State like Sudan?
You can contact them (US/Canada offices): firstname.lastname@example.org
time to send this company packing
Back to planet Earth: Israel controls the economy of the West Bank and Gaza. Israel decides what goods are let in and out, just as it has most of the control over electric power and water in the territories. This is called “the occupation,” something that EOZ and the likes of him have yet to hear about.
If that is true, wouldn’t one expect to see a certain reluctance about selling Israeli goods in their supermarkets? Wouldn’t one expect that only Israeli staples would be sold, but unnecessary snack items would be eschewed? Wouldn’t one expect that outraged Palestinian Arabs would insist that non-essential items be – boycotted?
Yet in this Gaza supermarket, goods from Osem (for example) are not only sold – but the Hebrew logo is prominently displayed! It is almost as if the shopkeepers want to sell Israeli items to their poor, deprived Gaza customers!
The Israeli ice cream is not hidden by the embarrassed store owners in the back of the store. On the contrary, even the Hebrew display graphics are prominently featured:
And, yes, the Chanukah chocolate coins – complete with a menorah prominently stamped – are not being burned in a bonfire at a Gaza square, but are being sold to unsuspecting Arab victims of Israeli hegemony!