Saturday, February 02, 2019

  • Saturday, February 02, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon

Al-Monitor has an article about how upset some Palestinians are at the new Atarot Mall, opened up by Rami Levy, meant to attract both Jews and Palestinian Arabs:

A new shopping center in the Atarot Industrial Zone, between Ramallah and Jerusalem, has Palestinians grappling with how to respond to it. Atarot Mall, built by the Israeli supermarket magnate Rami Levy on the western side of the separation wall, is promising high-quality goods at low prices and jobs for Jews, Muslims and Christians. Many, however, see the mall as a threat to Palestinian-owned shops in East Jerusalem and have called for Palestinian merchants and consumers to boycott it.

The shopping center, inaugurated Jan. 11, is part of a chain that also has branches in Israeli settlements on the West Bank and in Jerusalem. What differentiates the Atarot branch is its location on Route 60, the highway that separates the northern and southern parts of the West Bank and is used by Palestinians as well as Israeli settlers. Also of note is that Palestinian merchants from Jerusalem have purchased or rented space in the mall, which will have a reported 50 stores.

The shopping center embodies Levy’s policy of promoting economic coexistence and normalization between Jews and Arabs. He has pursued these policies through Rami Levy Hashikma Marketing, Israel's third largest supermarket chain, which hires Muslim, Christian, and Jewish workers and caters to both the Arab and Jewish communities.

In an article and video posted Nov. 20, 2017, to the website for Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), Levy said, “In Judea and Samaria we have four branches. … I think that coexistence needs to come from here. To show that it is possible to live together, to work together, and serve each other in a fair and moral way.”

Levy, who invested 200 million shekels ($54 million) in the new shopping center, which took two years to build, told COGAT that 65% of the merchants will be Jews and 35% Palestinians. “We treat everyone here equally,” he said. “Everyone wants to make this center a success.”
So of course...
Various Palestinian parties have called for boycotting the mall. In a Jan. 8 statement, Fatah asserted, “Buying and renting shops or shopping there is a betrayal of the homeland.
We've seen this before. Rami Levy supermarkets have similarly been blasted by the Palestinian Authority - and Arabs shop there anyway, despite threats.
Rita Abu Ghosh, media coordinator of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, told Al-Monitor, “The BDS movement considers anyone taking part in the mall to be working with the occupation and must be boycotted.”

She said that BDS in cooperation with the National Labor Authority, a Jerusalem-based NGO comprised of political, national and religious figures, had succeeded in dissuading prominent merchants from Jerusalem not to open stores in the mall. One of them owns a large electronics company that was supposed to occupy an entire floor, and another owns a mobile phone business.

Abu Ghosh remarked that BDS also contacted several owners of small shops, such as those selling bread, shoes or clothes, but the majority refused to withdraw from the mall because of the potential benefits, such as expected high demand for their goods, or for fear of having to pay hefty fines should they withdraw from their lease agreement.
Once again, BDS and Palestinian "leaders" are acting to hurt Arab owned businesses and Arab consumers.

This shows once again who cares about coexistence and who doesn't.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

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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 14 years and 30,000 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.


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