In recent weeks, the subject of the boycott on the products of settlements has again become prominent on the Israeli public agenda. The Gush Shalom movement is calling such a boycott for a decade and more already. We call upon the public not to purchase these products, and we maintain a detailed list of these products, which we publish on our website and distribute at public gatherings and the doors of supermarkets. Tens of thousands of Israelis already participate in our boycott campaign, and we welcome all people and groups who join in - as recently did public figures of the Arab sector in Israel.
We are opposed to the establishment of settlements and to their continued existence. The raison d'etre of the settlements is to prevent the end of the occupation and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, which makes them the main obstacle to achieving peace and the main cause for continued conflict, hatred and bloodshed. Establishment of settlements is a clear violation of International Law, which specifically prohibits an occupying power from transferring its civilian population to the occupied territory. Establishment of settlements is also an act of theft: settlements built on private land constitute theft from private landowners, the establishment of settlements on state land is theft from the entire Palestinian people, as all state land in the occupied territories is the property of the future state of Palestine. There is a large section of the Israeli public which opposes the settlements, and there is no reason why they should support the settlement project from their own pocket even by a single penny.
Most of the industrialists who moved their plants over to the settlements did not do so for ideological reasons, but because of generous government subsidies. When they find out that location in a settlement causes them to be exposed to boycott and causes damage to their business, they will go away from there - there are actually more and more such cases. Anyone who boycotts the products of the settlements takes a completely legitimate and democratic action, which undermines the occupation and promotes peace.
The Netanyahu Government's protest against the boycott proclaimed by the Palestinian Authority against settlements products is the epitome of chutzpah which deserves to be registered in the Guinness Book of Records. The settlement are located on land stolen from the Palestinians by main force, for the express purpose of the denying to the Palestinians the achievement of their basic national aspirations. What can be more natural, as well as justified, than that the Palestinians would boycott these settlements and their products? "
On Wednesday, May 12, Avnery was present at the Knesset gallery during the intensive debate held that day between supporters and opponents of the call to boycott products of the settlements.
Gush Shalom: http://zope.gush-shalom.org/home/en
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