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Profiles

EU Boycott Against Israel Hurts Palestinian Economy

I don't remember how or when I came to the conclusion that boycotts were not a good idea, but it's a position that I've held for many years.  There are several reasons why I don't like boycotts, but one important factor is that you don't always know who, other than the target of the boycott, gets hurt along the way.  The following article, reprinted from the "United With Israel" website, is a good example of what I am referring to:

The EU policy is expected to “affect everyone, whether Jew or Palestinian,”  Sammer Darawsha, who works as part of a joint Israeli-Palestinian agricultural project located near a Jewish community in Judea and Samaria, told Israel Hayom. “If they take away our livelihoods and food, exactly what kind of peace will be here?”

The Palestinian income from working in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria makes up a critical part of the Palestinian economy, comprising nearly 9 percent of the total PA budget, amounting to $3.1 billion. Additionally, Palestinians working in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria are exposed to Israeli technologies and meet Israeli citizens, fostering the type of friendships that many observers say are needed to build a peaceful future between these two peoples.

For these reasons, Mudar Zahran, a prominent Palestinian pro-peace and pro-democracy activist from Jordan, is also staunchly against the new EU boycott against Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.  “The EU is not helping the Palestinians or peace in the region when it chooses to boycott settlement products or any Israeli products,” says Zahran. He notes, “Little did they know that the only people making the most of the economic growth of those settlements are the Palestinians themselves.”

“The majority of the workers at those settlements are Palestinians making European pay standards just a bus ride away from their villages,” Zahran added. Zahran recommends that the EU ”consider a different approach to trying to achieve peace in the Middle Easter other than utilizing flawed outdated concepts.”

By Rachel Avraham, staff writer for United With Israel

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