“We are seeing a process in which every time we make another concession, we are spat upon in return,” says a top Yesha Council leader. “After Netanyahu’s two-state declaration, the Palestinians tried to have our IDF officers arrested in Europe. After we announced the construction freeze, they started calling public squares after terrorists. Now we agreed to proximity talks, and they start burning our produce.”
Naftali Bennett, director-general of the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria (Yesha), was called upon on Sunday to address the latest burning issue, that of the PA boycott of Israeli-made produce in Yesha. The boycott is a flagrant violation of the Oslo Accords – specifically, the Paris Agreement of 1994 governing economic relations between Israel and the PA. The agreement stipulates there be no trade borders between the Israeli and Palestinian Authority economies, and is predicated on fair business practices – such as no boycotts.
Leading PA officials, such as prime minister Salam Fayyad, have pushed very strongly for the boycott, and chairman Mahmoud Abbas has joined the bandwagon as well. Abbas said over the weekend that the boycott is not illegal, “because the settlements are illegal.” This, despite the fact that neither the Fourth Geneva Convention nor the original UN Resolutions 242 and 338 declare the settlements illegal.
“The government has not taken any significant action against the PA boycott,” Bennett told Arutz-7’s Hebrew newsmagazine, “except for some weak declarations of discomfort, and so the Yesha Council is trying to fill the void, together with Knesset Members.”
The Council is working on two levels: Encouraging Israelis to purchase the boycotted products, and attempting to have the government restrict PA imports.
“We have translated, from Arabic, the list of boycotted products,” Bennett said, “so that Israelis will know what they should buy [see below – ed]. Many don’t realize that the boycott includes even products made in parts of Jerusalem, the Jordan Valley and the Golan Heights! But most important is that the government should stop PA imports. It is laughable that we allow them to trade with the world while they implement economic terrorism against us.”
A boycott of united Jerusalem areas would affect the boycotters adversely. The Har Chotsvim industrial park, adjacent to the Ramat Shlomo neighborhood which caused Biden and Obama's distress, is home to world famous Teva Pharmaceuticals and Intel, among others.
Bennett said that Israel need not fear that such a move would instigate a wave of protests against Israel. “We must stop making concessions and ignoring their aggressions,” he said. “We should have stopped the proximity talks as soon as this boycott was announced, in keeping with Netanyahu’s old policy of ‘if they give, they will get, and if they don’t give, they won’t get.’”
Israel National News has translated and abridged the Hebrew version of this list and the Yesha website has posted it in Hebrew.
Among the affected businesses are the following:
Beigel & Beigel (pretzels)
B & D (juices, rice cakes, natural spreads)
Achva (halva and cookies)
Maya (spices, dry fruits)
Zahavi Yemenite Foods
Tzuriel Cheeses and Yogurts
Field Produce (nuts)
Aroma (fresh spices)
Nahar HaYarden [Jordan River] dates
Taaman (chocolates, canned foods, juices)
Achiya olive oil
Mei Eden mineral water
Rav Bariach locks and doors
Schick Design furniture
Fried blankets, towels
Palphot student aids, greeting cards
Bianco cleaning products (Nicole, scotch-brite)
Zro’ot Barkan (electronic product stands)
Supergum rubber, plastic, insulation
Brita water filters
Gazoz carbonated drinks
Progressive kitchen utensils
P.V. Ran – plastic and paper
Lipsky plastic piping
Amgazit gas products
Ay Tech computer accessories
Dr. Byte computer and office accessories
Intellinet security and marketing
Ahava mineral products