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Ytong Signs with Rawabi, Says It Won't Boycott Israeli Goods

Two companies that signed an anti-Zionist contract with new PA city are Ytong and Teldor Cables. Ytong says it won't boycott Israeli goods.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 1/10/2011, 1:53 PM / Last Update: 1/10/2011, 1:47 PM

Israel news photo

After days of searching for the 10-20 companies that have signed an anti-Zionist contract with the builders of a new PA city, two names have turned up: Ytong Blocks, the manufacturer of a staple in Israeli construction, and Teldor Cables. Itung says it will have nothing to do with a boycott of Israeli goods, while Teldor says, "No comment."

The builders of the new city, to be named Rawabi, said that their contracts with Israeli companies stipulate that the companies refuse to purchase Jewish goods made in Judea, Samaria, the Golan, or eastern Jerusalem.

Army Radio reported last week that up to 20 Israeli companies had actually signed such a contract, but that their names were not known. The companies apparently fear retribution from mainstream and nationalist Israeli public opinion – and purchasing power – should their names be revealed.

Army Radio has now learned, however, that among the signatories is Teldor Cables from Kibbutz Ein Dor, between Afula and the Sea of Galilee.  In addition, Ytong– a licensee of the Itung Company of Germany – has also signed a contract with Rawabi – but Army Radio reported that it was not known whether it signed the controversial clause as well.

Ytong spokesman Yehuda Swizer told Israel National News that his company “refuses to participate in any boycott on any Israeli produce,” and called such a boycott “ugly.” Asked whether Ytong would nullify its contract with Rawabi, Swizer said, “That’s a matter for lawyers. All I can tell you is that we will have no part in any boycott.”

Ytong CEO Sasson Har-Sinai released a statement saying, “Ytong is a deep-rooted Israeli company that is a full partner in building the Land of Israel – in all parts of the Land of Israel… Ytong disassociates itself from any boycott or hint of such of Israeli goods… Ytong has fallen prey to a sordid manipulation by interested parties who are motivated by foreign interests that linked our name to boycotts of Israeli produce… When we discussed supplying our product for the building of Rawabi, we were asked where our installations are located. Our answer was: Ashkelon and Pardes Hana. We did not realize that this innocent answer would end up tying our name to an ugly boycott of goods made in the settlements.”

In response to a query from Israel National News, the Taldor Cables secretary said, “Our official response is, for the meanwhile, ‘no comment.’” She added, though, that Taldo is part-owner of a factory located in the Golan Heights.

The Knesset Economics Committee debated the issue this morning, during which Committee Chairman MK Carmel Shama-HaCohen announced that he would speak with Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein in an effort to find a way to stop the boycott. The committee resolved to demand that the Civil Administration in Judea and Samaria – which governs the areas, and has some supervision over the construction of Rawabi – reveal the names of the companies that caved in to the Rawabi boycott. (Shama-HaCohen recently added ‘HaCohen’ to his name because he is a Cohen, i.e., of Priestly lineage.)                                       

MK Aryeh Eldad (National Union) said, “Every company that signs a political contract of that nature must know that they will pay a price out of its own pocket… Whoever thinks that the [PA] boycott will stop at the Green Line [Judea and Samaria – ed.] is invited to hear this week’s commercial on PA TV regarding Israel’s Tapuchips product… The U.S. put an end to the boycott on Israel by passing a law that whoever boycotts Israel will not be able to sign contract with the US government – and that’s what Israel must do now as well.”