Thursday, July 09, 2015

  • Thursday, July 09, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Haaretz: (This is the entire article.)

Thirty-four year old Samir is busy slicing wood on his ban saw for a kitchen cabinet he is building for neighbors in the Beitar Ilit sttlement across the road.

The planks of wood were imported from Sweden and purchased in Israel. They are stacked in his carpentry workshop on the muddy main street in the village of Husan, in the Jerusalem hills near Bethlehem. "I have clients from Beitar and Gilo, and if I could make contacts in Efrat, I would," he says in fluent Hebrew, referring to nearby Jewish settlements. "We trust each other. It is not about politics; it is about cooperation for survival."

Outside, workshops, construction supply depots, garages and stores all have signs in Arabic and Hebrew, and they are relatively busy with contractor customers, both Israeli and Palestinian. A young, bearded Haredi man drives his van away from a gas station after filling up. Nobody looks twice.

The BDS movement in Europe and the United States, which includes activist groups and student unions, has been stepping up calls to cut off Israel in the fields of culture, business and education, in order to protest the occupation.

But why are they not calling on Palestinians in the West Bank to take part on a local level - to cut contacts with Israelis, and stop buying Israeli goods and services? It might sound like a logical move, but it is here, in the West Bank, that the boycott movement loses its logic.

The push by BDS leaders has made the boycott the most fashionable way for Europeans and Americans to protest against the Israeli occupation. But for Palestinians, this is a problem, to say the least.

How much contact do boycott proponents have with average Palestinians, not those who work in offices in Ramallah? If they were to come to Husan and dozens of other villages like it in the West Bank, the European and American activists would find that Palestinian entrepreneurs and workers want and need more contact with Israelis, not less.

"We small-time entrepreneurs in Palestine cannot survive without working with Israelis, and the benefits are mutual," Samir states. "For us, the boycott, the moukata'a, is ridiculous. Nobody here likes the Israeli occupation, but cutting ties would be a death wish."

It appears to many Palestinians - and to this journalist - that most BDS proponents in the West either have never been to Israel and Palestine, or do not know much about the ties between the two peoples that exist for better or worse. Or perhaps they care more about trying to damage Israel than they do about improving Palestinians' lives.

In his busy building supply depot in Husan, Mahmoud Ibrahim al-Shushe, 51, sells materials and tools made in Hebron, Palestine's industrial capital, as well as in Israel, Europe, China and India. Supplies are imported through Israel and Jordan.

"We have relationships and mutual interests with Israelis from Beitar and elsewhere," he explains in careful English. "We must nurture these relationships and commercial exchanges. You know, the occupation is very difficult, and I wish it would end tomorrow. But even if it did, we would maintain and grow the same relationships. Our future is with Israelis - for me, my wife and my seven children."

He adds with a trace of anger, "The boycott is absolutely not the way to end the occupation. The people in Europe and the U.S. don't know what they are talking about." I'm inclined to believe he's right.

Two older men arrive - contractors from Gilo, I am told. They are clean-shaven, without skullcaps, and are not carrying pistols – not visibly, at least. Coffee is poured immediately, cigarettes lit, and conversation flows, all in fluent Arabic. The gestures are very clear: These Palestinians and native Arabic-speaking Israeli Jews are very comfortable with each other. I wonder what the boycott proponents would think of this little scene.

In fact, what would Palestinian Authority officials say? My friend Nadal, who works in Ramallah, but is from the Husan/Gush Etzion area, says PA officials are in a very uncomfortable position.

"Because the boycott, the moukata'a, has become the focus of the fight against the occupation, the PA feels forced to support it, even though they know that so many Palestinians would starve without work with Israel," he says. "They certainly cannot make statements against the boycott."

How to solve this situation? Bring the boycott advocates to Palestine, to villages like Husan. Here, they could speak to hundreds of Palestinian contractors and workers, ordinary people who want an end to the occupation, yes, but who also want more access to work with Israelis.

Samir and his family, and others like them, would be hurt more than Israelis would by a boycott. Enabling their economic survival is more important than winning politically correct propaganda points for international media consumption. The international community has – or must find - other tools to pressure Israel to ease or end the military occupation of the West Bank. Focus on these other means, and let the boycott fade away.
The article betrays a great deal of naivete. To think that the BDSers give a damn about Palestinians and would drop their attempts to destroy Israel if they thought they were hurting Arabs shows that the writer knows nothing about what animates the haters.

But it is still quite rare for a journalist to actually do real reporting from an area that has more reporters per square kilometer than anywhere else on Earth.

EoZTV Podcast

Podcast URL

Subscribe in podnovaSubscribe with FeedlyAdd to netvibes
addtomyyahoo4Subscribe with SubToMe

search eoz



follow me

Follow by Email


Share on Whatsapp


For $18 donation

Sample Text

EoZ's Most Popular Posts Ever


Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 12 years and over 25,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


Donate to fight for Israel!

Monthly subscription:
Payment options

One time donation:

subscribe via email

Follow EoZ on Twitter!



The Jerusalem Report:"A seemingly indefatigable one-man operation, armed only with a computer, chutzpa and stamina."

Algemeiner: "Fiercely intelligent and erudite"

Omri: "Elder is one of the best established and most respected members of the jblogosphere..."
Atheist Jew:"Elder of Ziyon probably had the greatest impression on me..."
Soccer Dad: "He undertakes the important task of making sure that his readers learn from history."
AbbaGav: "A truly exceptional blog..."
Judeopundit: "[A] venerable blog-pioneer and beloved patriarchal figure...his blog is indispensable."
Oleh Musings: "The most comprehensive Zionist blog I have seen."
Carl in Jerusalem: "...probably the most under-recognized blog in the JBlogsphere as far as I am concerned."
Aussie Dave: "King of the auto-translation."
The Israel Situation:The Elder manages to write so many great, investigative posts that I am often looking to him for important news on the PalArab (his term for Palestinian Arab) side of things."
Tikun Olam: "Either you are carelessly ignorant or a willful liar and distorter of the truth. Either way, it makes you one mean SOB."
Mondoweiss commenter: "For virulent pro-Zionism (and plain straightforward lies of course) there is nothing much to beat it."
Didi Remez: "Leading wingnut"

Interesting Blogs


Abbas liar Academic fraud administrivia al-Qaeda algeria American Jews Amnesty analysis anti-semitism antisemitism apartheid arab refugees Arafat archaeology art ASHREI B'tselem bahrain Balfour bbc BDS BDSFail Bedouin Beitunia beoz book review Brant Rosen breaking the silence Campus antisemitism Cardozo Chakindas Chanukah Christians circumcision Clark Kent Community Standards conspiracy theories Cyprus Daled Amos Daphne Anson David Applebaum Davis report DCI-P Divest This double standards Egypt Elder gets results ElderToons Electronic Intifada Embassy EoZ Trump symposium eoz-symposium EoZNews eoztv Erekat Erekat lung transplant EU Euro-Mid Observer European antisemitism Facebook jail Fake Civilians 2014 Farrakhan Fatah featured Features fisking flotilla Forest Rain Forward free gaza freedom of press palestinian style future martyr Gary Spedding gaza Gaza Platform George Galloway George Soros German Jewry gideon levy gilad shalit gisha Goldstone Report Good news Grapel Guardian gunness Haaretz Hadassah hamas Hamas war crimes Hananya Naftali hasbara Hasby 2014 Hasby 2016 Hasby 2018 hate speech Hebron helen thomas hezbollah history Hizballah Holocaust Holocaust denial honor killing HRW Human Rights Humanitarian crisis humor huor Hypocrisy ICRC IDF Ilan Pappe impossible peace incitement Indonesia international law intransigence iran Iraq Islamic Judeophobia Islamism Israel Loves America Israeli culture Israeli high-tech J Street jabalya jeremy bowen Jerusalem jewish fiction Jewish Voice for Peace jihad jimmy carter John Kerry jokes jonathan cook Jordan Joseph Massad Juan Cole Judaism Judea-Samaria Judean Rose Kairos Karl Vick Keith Ellison ken roth khalid amayreh Khaybar Lebanon leftists Linda Sarsour Linkdump lumish mahmoud zahar Malaysia max blumenthal Mazen Adi McGraw-Hill media bias Methodist Michael Ross Miftah Missionaries moderate Islam Mohammed Assaf Mondoweiss moonbats Morocco Mudar Zahran music Muslim Brotherhood Nakba Nation of Islam Natural gas Nazi Netanyahu News nftp NGO NIF Noah Phillips norpac NYT Occupation offbeat Omar Barghouti Only in Israel Opinion oxfam PA corruption PalArab lies Palestine Papers pallywood pchr PCUSA Peace Now Peter Beinart Petra MB poetry Poland poll Poster Preoccupied Prisoners propaganda Proud to be Zionist Puar Purim purimshpiel Putin Qaradawi Qassam calendar Quora Rafah Ray Hanania real liberals reference Richard Falk Richard Silverstein Right of return Robert Werdine rogel alpher roger cohen roger waters Rutgers Saeb Erekat Saudi Arabia saudi vice self-death self-death palestinians sex crimes SFSU shechita sheikh tamimi Shujaiyeh Simchat Torah Simona Sharoni SodaStream South Africa Speech stamps Superman Syria Tarabin Temple Mount Terrorism This is Zionism Thomas Friedman TOI Trump Tunisia Turkey UCI UK UN UNDP unesco unhrc UNICEF United Arab Emirates Unity unrwa UNRWA hate unrwa reports UNRWA-USA unwra Varda Vic Rosenthal Washington wikileaks work accident X-washing Y. Ben-David Yemen YMikarov zahran Ziesel zionist attack zoo Zvi

Blog Archive