Israeli Arabs have launched a wide-ranging boycott on Israeli products in a show of protest against Tel Aviv’s ongoing expansion of its illegal West Bank settlements.
Palestinian retailers in the West Bank are to put up lists of settlement-made items in their outlets, notifying shoppers which products they should shun.
Representatives of community-based organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are scheduled to attend a conference in Nazareth on Thursday to formally launch the boycott campaign.
According to the organizers of the movement, the list of settlement-produced goods includes more than 1,000 items ranging from fruits and vegetables to computers.
Among the companies listed to be banned are Ahava Dead Sea health products, Beigel & Beigel pretzels, Super Drink soft drinks and Openheimer chocolates, Ma’an news agency reported.
"We are launching a campaign … to show solidarity with the Palestinian people and to wage a battle against the settlements and the occupation," chairman of the Kafr Kana public committee Mansour Dahamshy said.
"We need to help the Palestinian economy to sustain itself and not leave it dependent on settler-owned companies… As it stands, the settlers take advantage of the Palestinian people."
The boycott is backed by the Monitoring Committee of the Israeli Arab Leadership — an extra-parliamentary umbrella organization made up of local Arab authorities along with prominent Arab organizations and parties.
In an interview with The Jerusalem Post, chairman of the committee Muhammad Zidan said the boycott had been part of the commission’s agenda since 1998, but was being reinforced more intensively.
"The leadership of the Palestinian Authority has called for the boycott, and similar campaigns are gaining traction in Europe. As part of our commitment to a sovereign Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, we choose to help the Palestinian economy by forcing out the settlers and ending the occupation," Zidan said.
Meanwhile, Israeli right-wing lawmakers protested the move, saying it was impossible to differentiate between the boycott of goods manufactured in the West Bank and a complete boycott of Israeli goods.