By Avi Issacharoff and Chaim Levinson
The Palestinian Authority has upgraded its campaign against products made in Israeli settlements, notwithstanding warnings from Israel.
On Tuesday, some 3,000 Palestinian volunteers, conscripted by the government of PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad through a group set up by the Palestinian Finance Ministry, went from door to door in West Bank communities explaining the reasons they should boycott settlement products.
Each household received a pamphlet listing dozens of Israeli products that the PA has identified as being manufactured in the West Bank and Golan Heights, and explaining that purchasing them bolsters the settlements and undermines the Palestinian struggle.
The volunteers also warned that anyone trading in such items would risk being punished.
Many of the volunteers in the campaign, which has been ongoing for several weeks, are university and high school students. On the T-shirts they were given is a campaign logo: a finger pointing at the viewer, similar to U.S. Army recruiting posters during the World Wars.
The list of items is quite long, and the pamphlet includes photographs in order to make them clear to the Palestinians.
Among the companies boycotted are 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.
Yesha Council fumes
For its part, the Yesha Council of Settlements responded angrily to the Palestinian boycott and joined a call by Israel Manufacturers’ Association president Shraga Brosh to close Israeli ports to Palestinian exports until the boycott is lifted.
MK Uri Ariel (National Union ) announced that he is working on a counter-boycott and other economic sanctions against the Palestinian Authority.
“This is a hostile act on the part of the Palestinian Authority and its leadership,” the Yesha Council said in a statement. “We must respond to this immediately and sharply, just like one responds to a hostile act.”
Sources in the Yesha Council also noted that the boycott was a violation of the Paris agreement that regulates economic relations between Israel and the PA, “and Israel must use the money of the PA it holds in order to compensate the owners of the boycotted industries.”
The settler council also called on the government to immediately announce that it would not participate in the proximity talks with a person – Fayyad – who “conducts economic terrorism against Israel as a strategic policy”.