June 29, 2010

Palestinian boycott of settlement goods made in Palestine but not all of Palestine

There's a selective boycott going on in the West Bank. Palestinian shops are rejecting goods made in Jewish West Bank settlements whilst accepting goods from the largest of the colonial settlements in Palestine: Israel. Here's The Guardian:
Israeli factories based in settlements on the West Bank have been forced to cut back production as a growing Palestinian boycott movement begins to take effect.

The boycott, endorsed by the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, was given further momentum this week when a campaign to clear supermarket shelves of produce originating in settlements was rolled out in Ramallah.

"The objective is to ensure the Palestinian market is free of Israeli settlement produce by the end of this year," the Palestinian prime minister, Salam Fayyad, said at the launch of the Store to Store campaign at the Alameen supermarket.

A team of volunteers will inspect 66,000 stores across the West Bank in the coming weeks, awarding certificates and window stickers to those free of settlement produce.

After a period of grace, shopkeepers retaining such produce in their stores could be liable to a fine of more than £9,000 or up to five years in prison under a law already passed but not yet enforced by the Palestinian legislative council.

"This is the daily expression of rejection of the occupation," Fayyad said. "It will help ensure that the Palestinian economy is self-sufficient. There will not be a store in Palestine which cannot carry our stickers."

The pro-boycott campaigners are careful to draw a distinction between produce from West Bank settlements, which are illegal under international law, and produce originating from within Israel. The latter will continue to be sold in Palestinian shops.

The campaign has been attacked by Israeli politicians, businesses and commentators. "The Palestinians are opposing economic peace and are taking steps that in the end hurt themselves," the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, said last month.

It's good to know that Netanyahu cares so much about the Palestinians.

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