Why Boycotts on Products from Judea and Samaria are Counterproductive (JEWISH PRESS) By: Aryeh Savir, Tazpit News Agency 04/30/12)
JEWISH PRESS Articles-Index-Top
Recent reports of a major British supermarket chain tightening its
boycott on products from Israeli companies and businesses beyond the
Green Line has again raised the question about the effectiveness of
such boycotts. The questions should not be how effective they are,
but rather who is affected by them. The answer is that those harmed
by boycotts on Israeli products from Judea and Samaria are first and
foremost the Palestinians themselves.
There are fourteen industrial centers dispersed throughout Judea and
Samaria, which include some eight hundred factories and businesses.
Seventeen thousand employees work at these centers, eleven thousand
of them Palestinians. According to data presented by the Palestinian
Bureau of Statistics, the employees earn two to three times more than
the average pay earned by the Palestinian population, and receive Ė
as prescribed by Israeli law Ė full social benefits. Based on the
Arab familial structure in the region that is comprised of Hamulot,
large families, it is estimated that these workers support over
100,000 people who are dependent on them.
A secondary source of livelihood has developed around these centers
in the form of the provision of transportation for the employees,
haulage of product and materials, services and equipment suppliers,
so an even larger segment of the local population makes a living
through Israeli entrepreneurship in this region.
The Palestinian Authority has recently encountered a severe financial
crisis, which intensifies the Palestinian need for these workplaces
in the settlements.
Firas Raad, representative of The Quartet, has stated that itís a
fact that economical cooperation is good for both sides. Israel
provides a large and strong economy, financial and technical
knowledge, transit capabilities and contacts with outer markets, and
the Palestinians offer a quality and comparably cheap workforce.
Therefore, boycotting Israeli products from the settlements
essentially harms Palestinian livelihood. If these factories are shut
down, most Israeli workers will find another source of employment, as
opposed to the Palestinians who will have no source of income. Such
an example occurred recently when a factory from the Barkan
industrial park was moved within the Green Line. The Jewish workers
were able to keep their jobs, as opposed to the ninety Arab workers
from the nearby villages who lost their jobs because they did not
receive the proper work permits.
It is sufficient to mention the disengagement from Gaza, which
resulted in the destruction of the many fields, green houses and
factories that provided a source of employment for the local
population. These workplaces were shut down after the disengagement,
leaving many Arabs, who were former employees, behind with no source
All these facts stand in stark contrast to claims of usury and
disinheritance of the Palestinians that are lobbed against the
Return to Top
MATERIAL REPRODUCED FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY