Palestinian call to a comprehensive boycott of Israeli productsCheck out Ernie Halfdram here for his take on boycotts generally.
(Ramallah) Rashid Hilal
Sunday, 11 February 2007
The labor movement and the Stop the Wall Campaign issued an appeal on Sunday to international and Arab trade unions to boycott Israeli goods until the ongoing assaults on the Palestinian people come to an end.
At a press conference in Al Bireh City just outside of Ramallah, labor official Haider Ibrahim said, “The unions and the popular campaign appeal for an inclusive boycott of Israeli products and for continued resistance to the Apartheid Wall.” He said that the Wall has nothing to do with the security claim with which the Israelis have sold the idea, but is rather part of a larger political project.
Ibrahim asked that Palestinian workers escalate their boycott of Israeli materials to include all of those available on the market. He appealed to the Arab League to support the nonviolent action against occupation.
He added that non governmental organizations should join forces for a unified political boycott alongside the product boycott undertaken by the unions.
The Coordinator of the Stop the Wall Campaign, Jamal Juma', said that product boycotts are historically effective. He used the examples of Apartheid South Africa and the Canadian and Brazilian labor movements of the past.
Writer and political analyst Samih Shabib added that Israel would lose three billion dollars annually if Arab countries joined the boycott. The agreement signed in 1994 between Israelis and Palestinians has been greatly destructive to the Palestinian economy, Shabib pointed out. Palestinian store shelves are filled with Israeli goods. He said, “We must include agricultural products and manufactured goods, and put it into the public consciousness that we do not consume Israeli made anything.”
He also said that there is no willing Israeli partner to deal with any real issues and that the time is ripe for the people to put an end to the practices of occupation that have so devastated the Palestinian population since 1948. The unemployment rate on a national level is 40 percent, and the Wall makes it higher as villages are cut off from lands and places of employment, while land confiscation and attacks on industry and agriculture severely hinder economic sustainability.
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