At the Fourth Conference of Israeli Agriculture, scheduled for next week, one of the main topics of discussion will be the millions of dollars in financial damage to the Jordan Valley caused by European boycotts on Judea and Samaria.
Haim Alush, editor of the monthly magazine "Agriculture Feedback," will give figures about the delegitimization campaign against Israel at the conference, which will be held at the offices of Ben Gurion Airport.
Speaking to Arutz Sheva, Alush reports that "these days we know of forces organizing in Europe against supermarkets that sell Israeli produce. The owners of the chains don't want trouble, so they prefer to bring produce from elsewhere."
"The large chains in Europe that have been buying Israeli agricultural produce for years have stopped buying fruits and vegetables; according to our figures we're talking about damage worth a hundred million shekels ($28.5 million) in the last year," reports Alush. "The produce from the Jordan Valley was considered excellent till today, but the boycott critically harmed it."
The Jordan Valley has been a particularly hot topic in the peace talks with the Palestinian Authority. So far Israel's government has held fast in rejecting American pressure to withdraw from the key security area. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has reportedly rejected plans to have NATO forces replace the IDF in Judea and Samaria.
"We are trying in the meantime to find other countries like Russia and in the Far East that are not partners to the boycott, but it's definitely not easy," remarked Alush. "We think we need to separate politics and economy, and any mixture like this isn't right; the economy has to motivate peace and not the opposite."
It is worth noting that US Secretary of State John Kerry threatened Israel with an international boycott two weeks ago if peace talks should fail, a threat made all the more troubling by reports that Kerry himself is orchestrating the European boycotts.
Yaakov Berg, CEO of Psagot Winery, reported in January that the international boycotts began in Tel Aviv, where his products from Judea and Samaria are being boycotted by fellow Israelis.