Palestinian girls hand out pamphlets
Photo: AFP

Industrialists: Palestinians only hurting themselves

Factory owners say boycott of their products is 'hate campaign that will blow up in Fayyad's face'

Major factory owners in Israel began to gird for battle against a Palestinian boycott of their products Tuesday, following the distribution of thousands of pamphlets to homes in the West Bank explaining which products were now off-limits.


In a conversation with Ynet the factory owners called the boycott a "hate campaign" and said it was a political move that would "blow up in Salam Fayyad's face".


Avi Elkayam, who represents 300 factory owners in the area of Mishor Adumim, the largest Israeli industrial zone in the West Bank, said the Palestinians were only hurting themselves.


"The Palestinian Authority is playing in a political arena and in the end it will only harm its own citizens. Our industrial zone employs close to 2,000 Palestinian workers who are providing for thousands of children. If our factories get hit economically, they will be the first to go," he said.


The website 'My Israel' has launched a counter-campaign. "We won't let them subdue us," one campaign leader explained. "When their products are boycotted they will feel the financial damage ten times worse and come back with their tails between their legs to ask for things return to the way they were. Then the world will see who the enlightened ones are and who the warmongers are."


Reports from the Shaar Binyamin industrial zone say some factories have established smaller offices outside the West Bank in order to bypass the boycott, which only includes products made in settlements. The website says their campaign will also expose these factories.


But despite the tough stance, some factory owners claim to have already been hurt by the boycott, which began unofficially a few months ago. "The machines are still and the Palestinian workers have been let go because I just don't have the money to pay them," said M. of Mishor Adumim.


But M. doesn't just blame the Palestinians. He says the Israeli government has a lot to do with his dire financial situation. "Ministers and MKs have come here promising to help, but in actuality, just as the state does nothing to boycott Palestinian goods, it also does nothing to prevent the factories harmed by the boycott from collapsing," he said, adding that the state must take action to force the PA to capitulate.


פרסום ראשון: 05.18.10, 17:16
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