Boycott of Yesha Good Publicity for Israel, Says Samaria Leader
Business are knocking down doors to enter Samaria since the anti-Israel boycott campaign began, says Samaria (Shomron) leader Gershon Mesika, for practical reasons.
“There is a tremendous demand to move to the Barkan industrial area” near the city of Ariel, located approximately 13 miles east of Tel Aviv, Mesika told Arutz Sheva.
Despite articles in mainstream media on anti-Israel groups calling for a boycott of products in Judea and Samaria, the proximity of the Barkan area to the high-speed north-south Highway 6 (Kvish 6) and the local supply of Arab and Jewish labor make it too attractive to resist, Mesika explains.
Approximately 3,000 Palestinian Authority Arabs work in the industrial park, and their need to earn a livelihood has forced the PA to back down on its prohibition of Arabs working for Jews in Judea and Samaria.
Several companies, primarily the Swedish firm Assa Abloy, which runs Mul-T-Lock, and the partly Dutch-owned Barkan Wine Cellars, have bowed to the boycott and pulled out of Samaria. However, “More than 20 companies want to move here in their place," according to Mesika. "Factory owners understand the advantages of the location."
Evidence of growth is the clearing of 140 dunams (35 acres) for preparation for new industrial construction.
Mesika is not concerned about the anti-Israel boycott, which he said not only does not cause economic damage but actually “gives us more publicity and increases sales of products."
The real damage is political, he adds, because it challenges Israeli sovereignty.
The Palestinian Authority boycott of products from Judea and Samaria directly violates the Paris Agreement, he points out. The accord requires Israel to transfer to the PA millions of dollars in tax revenues collected every month for the PA, which is required not to take any actions that damage Israeli production.
Mesika said the violations by the PA have been brought to the attention of Knesset committees several times. Knesset Members have agreed that the complaints are valid, but no action has been taken to rectify the breach of the agreement.