Daily Israel Report

Sanctions against Israeli Firms Boycotting Yesha

The Infrastructures Ministry has slapped sanctions against firms who agreed to boycott Jews in Judea and Samaria in order to work with the PA.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 1/24/2011, 1:01 PM / Last Update: 1/24/2011, 1:08 PM

The Infrastructures Ministry has slapped sanctions against Israeli firms who agreed to boycott working with Jews in Judea and Samaria in order to win contracts for the new Palestinian Authority city of Rawabi, near Ramallah.

Copies of the new directive were sent to the national water, electric and natural gas authorities. Nearly half of the Knesset Members have signed a petition calling for a sanctions against firms agreeing to a boycott.

Minister Uzi Landau wrote his senior ministry official, "The Ministry of National Infrastructures under my leadership will not tolerate discrimination between different groups of citizens that is contrary to the basic values of the State of Israel."

The PA has tried to convince Israeli firms to sign an agreement not to sell to Jews in Judea and Samaria as a condition for winning contracts for Rawabi, which is being funded in part by foreign Arab money.

Landau stated, “It is utterly unacceptable for the Ministry of National Infrastructures to enter into any business contract with any of the companies carrying out work for the city of Rawabi that, for the purposes of their work there, undertook not to buy products from Israeli companies in the areas of Judea and Samaria.”

Companies that have agreed to work with the PA include Teldor Cables, based at Kibbutz Ein Dor. Ytong (pronounced in Hebrew “ee-toong” ) is alleged to have signed the agreement, but the company, which manufactures insulated building blocks, has denied the accusations. Its building blocks are widely used in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

Company spokesman Yehuda Swizer told Israel National News two weeks ago that his company “refuses to participate in any boycott on any Israeli produce,” and called such a boycott “ugly.”  

CEO Sasson Har-Sinai stated, “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.”