‘Elder of Ziyon’ responds to the Guardian’s Ben White on BDS.

The article published on CiF Watch yesterday concerning the Co-operative Group’s decision to upgrade its boycott policies towards Israeli firms was, of course, just one of many. Among those also tackling the subject was Elder of Ziyon, who – along with Harry’s Place – then became the subject of an article on ‘electronic Intifada’ by BDS groupie and Guardian writer Ben White. 

‘The Elder’ responded: 

Ben White, who is apparently a writer specializing in hating Israel, wrote an article in Electronic Intifada criticizing my post pointing out the hypocrisy of the British Co-op boycott of Agrexco, which I noted also effectively hurts the livelihood of most Palestinian Arab farmers. In his critique, White unwittingly shows exactly the hypocrisy that I am talking about.”

Read the rest here

This is an article I wrote last year about the BDS movement’s targeting of Agrexco and the reality of cooperation between that agricultural export company and Palestinian and Arab Israeli farmers. 

In 2010 the government of the Netherlands donated 6 million Euros to two projects designed to “address food security concerns, high unemployment rates as well as to maintain and develop the full economic potential of the Gaza agricultural sector”. However, the Dutch government’s partner in these projects – an NGO known as the Palestinian Agricultural Development Association (PARC) – turns out to be active in the BDS campaign. In January 2011 it issued a press release which included the following statements:

“The last attempt by Agrexco to export to Europe limited quantities of strawberries and flowers from the Gaza Strip, exploiting the illegal Israeli siege of Gaza and the inability of Palestinian farmers there to export except through Agrexco, was aimed at beautifying the image of the Israeli occupation and covering up all its ugly crimes against the Palestinian people, and especially through the ongoing Israeli siege of the steadfasting Gaza Strip.

On this occasion, PARC salutes all activists and international supporters for the BDS campaign and especially our French friends and partners who were able to frustrate the Agrexco attempt to conduct a joint press conference with a few exploited Palestinian producers.”

(Coincidentally, it just so happens that another recipient of funding from the government of the Netherlands is none other than ‘electronic Intifada’.) 

As ‘Elder of Ziyon’ correctly points out:

“To see what real Palestinian Arabs want, look at their companies who attend Israeli trade shows  and fairs to increase their market. Look at those who visit the ports at Ashdod and Haifa to better understand import/export procedures.”

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