PA Torches Jewish Products

PA Prime Minister Fayyad helped torch Jewish products from Judea and Samaria, but the Histadrut labor union warns he may be burning Arab jobs.

Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu, | updated: 15:06

PA burns Jewish products from (illustrative)
PA burns Jewish products from (illustrative)
Israel news photo

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad tossed Israeli products from Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria into a bonfire Tuesday. The protest action followed confiscations of Jewish merchandise as part of an international campaign against a Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria.

The Histadrut national labor union has warned that the boycott may backfire and cause many PA Arabs to lose their jobs if companies are forced to reduce production or close down operations. A small number of firms already have transferred their operations outside of Judea and Samaria in order to satisfy anti-Israel boycotts from Europe.

Last month, the PA confiscated from its local shops some $50,000 worth of cosmetics produced by the Ahava Dead Sea company. Fayyad has told PA Arabs to halt purchases of Jewish products, which he said amount to approximately half a billion dollars annually. He has not called for a boycott of products produced outside of Judea and Samaria.

Tuesday’s public bonfire burned products that were found in an Arab village near Shechem, in central Samaria.

“We must join all our efforts on official and popular levels to ensure the continuation of this campaign to clean our markets of settlement products,” Fayyad said, as the fire raged. He expressed hopes that Arab industries would replace those in Jewish hands and called on increased international pressure against Israel.

Consuming settlements' products is wrong, nationally, economically, politically, and must stop right away," PA Minister of Economics Abu Libdeh told a news conference.

Several countries in South America have clamped down a boycott on goods from Judea and Samaria, and Britain has issued non-mandatory guidelines to supermarkets for marking products from Judea and Samaria as "Produce of the West Bank (Israeli settlement produce).”