“Pro-Palestinians” Versus Real Palestinians. By Evelyn Gordon. Commentary, January 31, 2014.
The Orwellian World of Israel’s Opponents. By Seth Mandel. Commentary, January 31, 2014.
Sodastream is a factory, not a settlement. By Yaacov Lozowick. Yaacov Lozowick’s Ruminations, January 31, 2014.
Demonizing Israel; Demonizing ScarJo. By Jonathan S. Tobin. NJBR, January 28, 2014. With related articles and video.
want to understand the difference between people who are actually
pro-Palestinian and those who routinely but falsely claim that label, it’s
worth reading the Forward’s interview
with SodaStream CEO Daniel Birnbaum. The headline, of course, was Birnbaum’s
admission that having a plant in a West Bank settlement is “a pain in the ass,”
and he would “never” locate there today. But the most striking comment was his
answer to the question of why, in that case, he doesn’t shut the West Bank
plant and transfer its operations to SodaStream’s new facility in the Negev,
which has ample capacity:
reason for staying is loyalty to approximately 500 Palestinians who are among
the plant’s 1,300 employees, Birnbaum claimed. While other employees could
relocate on the other side of the Green Line if the plant moved, the West Bank
Palestinian workers could not, and would suffer financially, he argued.
will not throw our employees under the bus to promote anyone’s political
agenda,” he said, adding that he “just can’t see how it would help the cause of
the Palestinians if we fired them.”
other words, Birnbaum is concerned about real live Palestinians whose families
need to eat. That’s a concern noticeably absent among the usual
“pro-Palestinian” types, who couldn’t care less about ordinary Palestinians’
welfare unless it happens to serve their primary goal of attacking Israel: See,
for instance, the shocking indifference by “pro-Palestinian” groups to the
literal starvation of Palestinians in Syria (since Israel can’t be blamed for
it), or the Dutch and German governments’ efforts to halt sewage treatment and
landfill projects that would primarily benefit Palestinians because Jewish
settlers would also benefit. But it’s a concern ardently shared by ordinary
Palestinians themselves, as a 2010 poll showed: By an overwhelming majority of
60 percent to 38 percent, Palestinians opposed the idea that they themselves
should refuse to work in the settlements. Real Palestinians care about feeding
their families, and they don’t want to be barred from jobs that enable them to
that’s exactly what boycotting companies like SodaStream would primarily
accomplish. Though SodaStream says it won’t leave, other Israeli companies have
decided they don’t need the hassle and relocated inside the Green Line,
throwing their erstwhile Palestinian employees out of work. Countless others
choose not to locate in the West Bank to begin with, as Birnbaum admits he
would do today.
20,000 Palestinians work in the settlements. Eliminating their jobs would cause
the number of unemployed people in the West Bank to jump 14 percent–hardly a
helpful proposition for an economy already suffering 19 percent unemployment.
same disregard for actual Palestinians also characterizes other forms of
anti-Israel boycotts. Take, for instance, the effort to impose an academic
boycott on Israel. As one Palestinian pharmacy professor, who understandably
feared to give his name, told the New
York Times this month, “more than 50 Palestinian professors were engaged in
joint research projects with Israeli universities, funded by international
agencies,” and “without those grants, Palestinian academic research would
collapse because ‘not a single dollar’ was available from other places.”
proponents claim that by reducing Israelis’ academic freedom, they seek to “enlarge”
Palestinians’ academic freedom. Yet in fact, as this Palestinian professor
admitted, Israeli academia is the lifeline keeping its Palestinian counterpart
alive. So how would killing off academic research in Palestinian universities
“enlarge” Palestinians’ academic freedom? It wouldn’t, of course–but the
“pro-Palestinian” crowd doesn’t care about that.
fact, the only thing these self-proclaimed “pro-Palestinians” do care about is
undermining Israel–which is why it’s high time to stop dignifying them with the
name “pro-Palestinian.” They are anti-Israel, pure and simple. And that’s what
they should be called.