The Knesset Finance Committee plans to discuss the Palestinian Authority’s call to boycott Israeli goods, committee chairman Nissan Slomiansky (Bayit Yehudi) said Tuesday.
Slomiansky called the meeting after reading the findings of a Knesset Research and Information Center report from July indicating that the PA owes NIS 2.089 billion to Israel for electricity and advances on tax payments.
The Palestinian Ministry of Local Government wrote a letter to West Bank businessmen saying that shops that do not sell Israeli goods will not have to pay a business-license fee for a year and get a 10 percent discount on electricity – which is provided by Israel – for six months, Channel 2 reported last week.
According to the Knesset report, Israel sold NIS 16.4b. in goods to the PA in 2012, making the PA Israel’s second- largest export destination, after the US. Israel only bought NIS 3b. in goods from the PA and spent NIS 4.3b. per year on paying Palestinian workers for Israeli companies.
The Knesset Research and Information Center found that 11.2 percent of Palestinians work for Israelis.
The report on the Palestinian Authority’s budget and funds it owes Israel, which Slomiansky ordered, is available in full on the Knesset’s website, and also includes data about the PA ’s economy and aid it receives from the EU .
“This research shows Israel’s folly in allowing the PA to celebrate at the expense of Israeli taxpayers,” Slomiansky said.
In addition, the Bayit Yehudi MK remarked that “there is no limit to the audacity and absurdity that the PA owes nearly NIS 1.6b. to the Electric Corporation, while at the same time it subsidizes Palestinian companies that boycott Israel.”
Slomiansky called to put an end to the boycott “before we become inferior to the residents of Chelm.”
Chelm is a town in Poland that, according to Ashkenazi Jewish legend, is inhabited by fools who come up with nonsensical solutions to all of their problems.