Rivlin. 'Hostile campaign'
Photo: Ofer Amram

Rivlin tours West Bank factories, slams PA boycott

Knesset speaker visits Barkan industrial center, talks to Palestinian workers; warns of full blown financial boycott by Arab world

While the Palestinian boycott of settlement goods continues in full swing, Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin held a tour of factories in the West Bank's Barkan industrial center. Rivlin expressed his support for the manufacturers and optimism at the possibility of the boycott failing.


"This boycott should be treated exactly like a boycott of Tel Aviv or Sderot factories. It is a hostile campaign, and should be treated as such," he said.


"I urge the prime minister and finance minister to explore the possibility of reimbursing the factories should the move cause financial damage. Nevertheless, Israel has already survived boycotts imposed by the Arab world and does not need retaliation."


Rivlin was accompanied on the tour by Shomron Regional Council Head Gershon Mesika and Yesha Council Chairman Danny Dayan.


The Knesset speaker stopped to talk to Palestinian workers in the various plants and warned that a boycott may compromise relations between the two nations.


"This is a challenge on co-existence which hurts the chances for normalization. The Barkan industrial center is a true bridge to peace and this step has created a crack that if ignored may extend into a financial boycott by the entire Arab world," he said.


Mesika called on the government to fight the ban. "The factories in Judea and Samaria will get through this since the industry is very strong here. The party being hurt is the State of Israel which fails to react at being publicly spat on.


"Currently, the government isn't taking serious action to stop the boycott. The Palestinian Authority is biting the hand that feeds it while violating economic cooperation agreements with Israel," he said.


Dayan criticized government policy and noted that just this week it decided to extend financial gestures to the PA.


Amnon Meranda contributed to this report


פרסום ראשון: 05.27.10, 14:57
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