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48 MKs Call on Gov't to Boycott Yesha Boycotters

MKs of many parties have signed a call for gov’t ministers to boycott Israeli companies that agreed to boycott Judea-Samaria-Golan-Jerusalem.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 1/3/2011, 2:07 PM / Last Update: 1/3/2011, 3:09 PM

Yoni Kempinski

Knesset Members of several parties have signed a call for government ministers to boycott Israeli companies that themselves agreed to boycott Judea, Samaria, the Golan, and the liberated areas of Jerusalem. The companies agreed to the clause in their contract with the developers of a possible new Palestinian Authority city to be named Rawabi.

Construction work for Rawabi is underway just north and south of the pioneering Jewish towns of Ateret and Ma'aleh Levonah, respectively, in the hills of Binyamin. Some 25,000 Arabs are set to live there, in the first stage. Army Radio reported last week that over 20 Israeli companies had agreed to sign a contract with the developers to provide goods to Rawabi while not using any Jewish-made goods from towns in Judea and Samaria, the Golan Heights, or Jerusalem areas liberated by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War.

The news provoked a great outcry within Israel, prompting calls for action to be taken against this anti-Zionist deed.

Danny Dayan, head of the Yesha Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria, said, “It is disgraceful that just in order to make a few shekels, Israeli companies are willing to sell their Zionist soul to sign an agreement with the enemy that calls parts of their country and their capital ‘occupied’ … It is shameful that they cave in to and join the Arab boycott of Israeli companies.”

The names of the companies are not known, and Dayan acknowledged, in speaking to Israel National News, that “it is not clear if any companies have yet signed this shameful agreement. The reporter from Army Radio herself doesn’t know this information. But we are seeking to find out who, if anyone, has signed, and if we find out, we will demand action against them.”

The 48 MKs who signed the call were canvassed by the Knesset Land of Israel lobby, co-headed by MKs Aryeh Eldad (National Union) and Ze’ev Elkin (Likud). Their letter states, “Israeli companies supplying goods and services for the establishment of the Arab city Rawabi agreed to sign an agreement by which they will take active part in the Palestinian boycott of goods and services..." 

Among the signatories are nearly ten Kadima MKs, including faction leader and former Labor Party member Dalia Itzik, former Finance Minister Roni Bar-On, and Yoel Hasson.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has not yet agreed to allocate land to the PA for a highway leading south from Rawabi towards Ramallah, thus hampering the area’s development. However, Dayan said the city can be built even without the highway. Apartment buildings in Rawabi have not yet been built, but one structure in a possible future industrial zone is already partially standing.

The contract between Rawabi and the Israeli firms states, “The seller is forbidden to use or employ a product and/or services and/or resources manufactured and/or originating in the Israeli settlements for the purposes of or related to this agreement… The areas include, but are not restricted to, occupied eastern Jerusalem, the conquered West Bank, the conquered Gaza Strip [no longer under Israeli control – ed.], the conquered Golan Heights, or any part thereof, or any other area that fits the above definition.”

“It is inconceivable,” Dayan said, “that while there is still a de facto freeze in Jewish areas such as Ariel and Ma'aleh Adumim, the tractors are working freely and zealously to build an Arab city in the heart of our national homeland.”

The Knesset lobby plans to submit legislation that will ban companies such as the above 20 from taking part in government tenders.