Abbas boycotts supermarket magnate: 'He is a settler'

Founder of 'Rami Levy' supermarkets banned from meeting between Abbas and academics, businessmen supporting two-state solution.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Rami Levy
Rami Levy
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas banned the participation of businessman Rami Levy, founder of the Israeli supermarket chain bearing his name, from a meeting between himself and his entourage with a forum of academics and businessmen seeking to advance political negotiations for a “two-state solution.”

According to a report in Yediot Aharonot, the “Breaking the Impasse” forum, of which Levy is a member, met with Abbas last Thursday, and prior to the visit in Ramallah the list of participants was given. However, Abbas' associates ordered that Rami Levy's participation in the meeting be cancelled, asserting that Levy is "a settler."

The newspaper reported that "The condition transferred by the [Abbas] bureau left the forum members with two options: to give in and prevent Levy from arriving or to announce the cancellation of the meeting. The members of the forum chose to exclude Levy from the meeting.”

Ilan Paz, one of the forum members who attended the meeting, told Yediot Aharonot that Levy's arrival at the meeting was sensitive to the Abbas bureau. According to Paz, it was agreed that a separate meeting would be held with Levy. Paz refused to address questions, however.

Rami Levy's worldview is based on creating coexistence via economic incentives. As part of this concept, Levy hires both Jews and Arabs as workers in the shopping centers he owns throughout Judea and Samaria, and is establishing a new “Israeli-Palestinian” mall in the Atarot industrial area of northern Jerusalem.