Settlement boycott starts to bite

by Pamela Olson on August 17, 2010

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.

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