Monday, November 30, 2020

BDS activists flood Ramallah square with Israeli milk

By Ruairi Henchy - March 03, 2015
Section: [Main News] [BDS]
Tags: [BDS] [Ramallah]

Photo by Lazar Simeonov.

Palestinians emptied Israeli dairy produce into the streets of Ramallah on Monday February 2 to highlight the call for a boycott of Israeli goods.

Activists from “Boycott Israeli Goods”  delivered a truckload of Israeli milk and yogurts to Ramallah’s central al-Manara square at around 5 pm as people were leaving work. Dozens of onlookers spontaneously began to pour the milk and yogurts out on the ground, although a few local youth made away with cheese and chocolate yogurts.

“This is the way we’re going to use Israeli produce from now on,” one onlooker told the Palestine Monitor. “These products help Israel to hurt Gaza,” he said in reference to Israel’s periodic assaults on the besieged coastal enclave, the most recent of which left 2205 Palestinians and 71 Israelis dead according to OCHA.

Since Israel’s Operation Protective Edge last summer, a 50-day onslaught during which the Palestinian Ministry of Interior in Gaza claims Israel dropped the equivalent of six nuclear bombs on the captive population of Gaza, there has been a sharp upturn in BDS activism across the occupied West Bank. 

Many Palestinian businesses and supermarkets in the West Bank were pushed to finally initiate a boycott of Israeli products due to Israel’s mass indiscriminate killings in Gaza. However, due to the difficulties in finding alternative products and customer demand, the boycott was largely reversed within a month or two of the end of hostilities. The supermarket chain Bravo, has been a notable exception in continuing to boycott Israel.

The wider boycott campaign was reinvigorated in recent weeks though, when the Palestinian Authority (PA) announced an official boycott of six major Israeli producers. This move was instigated not so much out of concern for the ongoing suffering of Palestinians in Gaza, but rather as a retaliatory political move for Israel’s continued withholding of Palestinian tax revenue.

Israel has withheld the tax money for three months now, in an effort to force the PA to renounce their accession to the International Criminal Court (ICC). Participants in Monday’s action told the Palestine Monitor of their frustration over the freezing of tax revenue, as it has led to PA employees going on reduced pay or without salaries entirely for almost three months. Around 170,000 Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza are employed by the PA in some capacity.

Boycott activist Abdullah Kmail told AP of Monday’s action in Ramallah: “We entered the second phase of the campaign which is confiscating and damaging these goods.” He went on to say that activists plan on visiting Palestinian businesses in the coming days in an attempt to build the boycott across the West Bank. 

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