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Photo: Dan Balilty
Elyakim Haetzni
Photo: Dan Balilty
Is this what peace looks like?
Palestinian Authority boycott on settlement goods hypocritical, phony

The Palestinian call to ban settlement products brings a sense of déjà vu for me: This is how my father’s business was boycotted in my hometown in Germany.

 

Yet this ban raises several questions: Should the boycott succeed, the Palestinian workers who produce settlement goods will lose their jobs. Is the “national Palestinian economy” capable of setting up alternate factories? And if so, why hasn’t it done so thus far using the billions of dollars poured into the Palestinian Authority since Oslo; funds used to fund terror and make PA leaders rich?

 

Should Palestinian leaders wander through the “land of the settlers,” they will discover that many Palestinian villages make a living through their settler neighbors in various areas: Construction, crafts, landscaping, and car mechanics. Moreover, supermarkets, malls, and gas stations in the settlements are full of Arab shoppers. Ever since Oslo, I’ve seen Arab businesses “settling” outside my town, Kiryat Arba – garages, raw material stores, and so forth. Does the PA demand that they shut down their businesses?

 

And what about the Palestinian drivers in “occupied” Jerusalem – will they stop serving the 200,000 Jerusalemite “settlers”? And where will the Palestinian patients who require the medical care of Jerusalem hospitals go? After all, these medical centers are full of “settlers” – doctors, nurses, and support staff. And what about the Arab doctors and nurses? Will they stop treating settlers? Palestinian students also study at the Ariel University Center. Should they leave at once?

 

Is stealing from Jews allowed?

The PA is attempting to drive a wedge between the settlers and the Palestinians. However, should only half the Jewish population adopt a counter-boycott, how many Palestinians will be thrown out of hotels, restaurants, and factories on both side of the Green Line? Is this what peace will look like? The Israeli government would also be unable to ignore a boycott against its citizens by our “peace partner” and adopt counter-measures. Did the PA forget that the IDF safeguards the lives of their “president” and “prime minister”?

 

As a settler myself and as a lawyer, I provided professional services to Palestinians. One such client was suspected of theft and was acquitted, yet his Jewish employer, a distinguished public figure, held up his assets and caused him financial damages. I advised my client to file a suit with the rabbinic court headed by Rabbi Dov Lior. He won, and was given significant compensation. Yet if I reveal his name, will authorities in Ramallah jail him? Another Palestinian had his land rights violated after the National Jewish
Fund paved a road through his territory. His attorney, the settler, was able to get him full compensation – should this Palestinian return the money now?

 

On a final note, we’ll mention an “illegal subsidy” which the Israeli economy involuntarily grants to the “national Palestinian economy” – 50,000 stolen vehicles a year, stolen cattle, stolen irrigation equipment, counterfeit brands and textbooks, rotten meat, and goods sold without paying taxes. So if the Palestinians are not allowed to buy from Jews, are they allowed to behave as parasites and steal from them?

 


First published: 05.13.10, 17:36
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