Monday, March 30, 2009

The boycott begins to be felt by Israeli industry

Israeli poll indicates 21% of exporters have felt effects of boycott

author Monday March 30, 2009 09:25author by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC News Report this post to the editors

A report published Sunday in the Hebrew-language business paper 'The Marker', 21% of Israeli exporters say that they have been directly impacted by a boycott of Israeli products since the beginning of 2009.

Article from 'The Marker' business paper
Article from 'The Marker' business paper

The poll was conducted by the Israeli Union of Industrialists, and the percentage was extracted from a sampling of 90 companies from a variety of industries, including high tech, construction, textiles and food products.

The global call to boycott Israeli products, which began in 2005, gained traction in January 2009 after Israeli forces invaded the Gaza Strip with massive force, killing 1400 people, over 400 of whom were children. Across the world, Palestinians in diaspora and human rights advocates joined together in protests, marches and actions, focusing attention on a boycott of Israel. Some groups have called for a boycott of products exported from Israeli settlements and businesses that make profits from the Israeli military occupation, but other boycott groups have called for all Israeli products to be boycotted.

The activists involved in the Boycott movement say that they were inspired by the model created in opposition to South African apartheid in the 1980s, and argue that there are many similarities between the South African system of apartheid, which discriminated against the indigenous African population of the country, and the Israeli occupation, in which different laws apply to the indigenous Palestinian population than to the Israeli population, which has, for the most part, moved into the country over the last 60 years.

The groups point to other parallels between the Israeli occupation and South African apartheid, including pass laws, forced removal of populations, checkpoints and discriminatory laws and practices. According to the Stop the Wall campaign, “Apartheid began and is rooted in the very establishment of the colonial Israeli regime, set up as a state for Jews only, both in law (de jure) and in the implementation of its goals on various levels (de facto). This includes those mechanisms that are used to justify its practices to avoid its legalization. Apartheid is characterized by forcible transfer of populations, land control, labor exploitation, humiliation, and mass murder.”

Some of the companies that are being boycotted in the campaign include Motorola, which produces fuses for the M80 series of rockets, Caterpillar, which produces the D9 bulldozer which is used in the demolition of Palestinian homes, Connex and Alstom, which won the bid to construct a high-speed rail through Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem – destroying the homes of all Palestinians along the route with no compensation or legal recourse, Agrexco, which exports fruit and vegetables under the trade name Carmel which come from Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

Some of the actions that have already taken place since January include the dumping of Israeli products from supermarket shelves in Paris, blockading of ports in South Africa, mass protests in Jordan and Turkey against Israeli imports, and many more.

The Israeli website:

has been maintaining and updating a database of companies that either profit from the Israeli occupation or export products that come from Israeli settlements. The global BDS Movement has called for a boycott of these companies.

A full analysis and translation of the recent poll of Israeli exporters will be produced by the Alternative Information Center in the coming days.

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