Label Palestinian Business, Not The Settlements!
Nobody, walks into a retail store and asks if any of the items they are purchasing are made in the West Bank. So, whats with these EU labels? I am sure EU Ministers have a load of “Nike” brand items hanging in their wardrobes. “Nike”, who's Third World Sweatshops, brings in higher profits for them, than developing nation subcontracts do. They have faced allegations of abuse, poor pay, unsafe, unsanitary, rat infested, hazardous working conditions, child labor as young as 4 and 5 year old's, physical, mental and verbal abuse.
Nike's is the worlds biggest sportswear company with European revenues in the neighborhood of $30.6 Billion a year, and provides the EU with a piece of its cake. Israel, also does business in the EU and the EU also gets a piece of its cake. So, why do we get labeled?
Nike, gets away with using these labor practices in the Third World, because that is the Third World labor practice. This being said, would the EU be okay with it, if the “Settlements” adopt the business practices of the Palestinians? They say, the Settlements are in Palestinian territory, so there is no reason to object to the settlements using Palestinian business practices. The Settlements do not do this. Palestinian employees in the settlements enjoy the same benefits and salary scales under Israels labor laws, as Israelis do and in comfortable working environments. Has the EU asked the Palestinians that work in the Settlements, if they would prefer them being run by Palestinians, because, that it just what these labels seem to want to accomplish?
At a time when the EU is buckling under the pressure of existential crises, terror threats, a euro crisis, the Ukraine crisis, the Greece crisis, the refugee and illegal migrant crisis, and the undermined democracy crisis, why does labeling Israeli made products reach the top of their charts? It is understandable, that the EU came about to compete with the dollar and the yen. Doing so, has forced them to become a political powerhouse the past two decades. Israel - EU trade amounts to approximately €30 billion in 2014. EU exports of goods to Israel include, machinery, transport equipment, chemicals, and other semi-manufactures. EU imports from Israel include, chemicals, machinery, transport equipment, metals and fuels, cooperation on transport and energy, the police body Europol, European Center for Nuclear Research and the European Space Agency. Exports from the settlements to the EU is about, $230 million including fruit, vegetables, cosmetics, textiles and toys are exported each year, accounting for approximately 2% of all Israeli exports to Europe. Jaffa Oranges, also produces avocados, sweet potatoes, pomegranates are grown and packaged in the Jordan Valley. Ahava, of Mitzpe Shalem, Cosmetics, does $150 million annually with Europe. Delta Galil Industries in the Barkan Industrial Zone, provides cotton textiles for Victoria Secret's, Walmart, Calvin Klein, Nike and Columbia, to name a few. Why would the EU want to risk this relationship with Israel, labeling Israeli products? How does it help the Palestinians, and the EU? It would not hurt Israel, they will take their market elsewhere. The EU should learn from the Arab Boycott of Israel, it will not hurt the settlements.
Abbas, the PLO, Hamas are not going to deliver the peace the EU is seeking, it is just not there to happen. They do not have the ability to do it, and the EU knows it. The Arab boycott of Israel these past couple of decades did nothing to hurt Israels economy, it grew in spite of it. The EU labeling is not an incentive for the Settlements to do as the EU demands. The Arab boycott of Israel with discrimination against Jews, has greatly contributed to recent misunderstanding about the labeling boycott and the nature of legislation needed to deal with it. Various legal prohibitions against alleged discrimination have been enacted in the course of anti-boycott action in the past several years.
Palestinian workers are forced to seek employment in Israeli settlements, as the Palestinian Authority has failed to create viable alternatives. Daily wage in the West Bank amounted to 94 shekels, and 61 shekels, in the Gaza Strip, while in the settlements it is 196 shekels per day. Palestinians also accept work in the settlement because of a lack of job opportunities in the Palestinian market. Judea, Sameria and the Golan provide an economy and standard of living that the Palestinians can enjoy over life under the PA. The Golan currently operates 226 bus rides a day. In the settlements, Palestinians are employed in construction, agriculture, manufacturing and service industries. The Golan, is rich in productive agricultural, wine, plastic, electronics,software, food, cosmetics, irrigation, and is currently drilling for oil, that gives the Palestinians job opportunities in the settlements, they cannot find in the PA..
The some 400,000 Israeli residents of Judea and Sameria, relieve the overcrowded metropolitan centers of the country its attraction of economic and quality-of-life factors, including middle class, suburban-style detached housing units at relatively cheap prices help the economic growth of the entire nation. Goods produced in Israeli settlements are able to stay competitive on the global market, in part because of massive state subsidies they.
receive from the Israeli government. Settlers sell goods worth some $500 million a year to the Palestinian market. Israel has built 16 industrial zones, containing roughly 1000 industrial plants here.
Should, the EU be serious about improving the lives of the Palestinians, they would be working with the settlements to do just that, because it is the settlements and not the PA that Palestinians enjoy a higher standard of living. Abbas cannot deliver this. The EU has not been sensitive to the needs of the Palestinians, not just at work, but at home, on the street, their families, education, welfare and health care to name a few. The EU should use the money they are spending on promoting a labeling boycott, on the Palestinians for training, education, scholarships to universities to advance their education for better jobs, establish opportunities for Europe's Corporate 500, to open up shop here in the Arab communities that can eventually replace the UNRWA camps for a better life. This has a far greater chance for achieving peace. This will improve their lives, that will give these people no reason to murder and throw stones.
The EU should be working with Israel's government ministry's that cover all the areas, that assist the Palestinians in providing human services and economic development in the Palestinian communities. Do not teach separation, promote coexistence. Life under Israels direction, beats life under the PA and any other Arab nation. Palestinians understand whats going on in their neighboring nations, they do not want that. They want what the Arabs in Israel have. The EU needs to accept a Palestinian peace partner, that will bring their people a world of good, share values with Israelis, work, live and enjoy life in a real peace with Israel. This is something that is much needed that the peace partners do not have now.
EU has not done much in the way for Palestinian Independence. It has not provided assistance for its sustainability, establish a functional democratic government, and has not placed the devices for it to establish a growing economy. So, just what is the EU's real objective in Judea and Sameria?
We can beat this, and improve business in the EU while doing it as well. All we need to do is, produce A witty, creative TV and print media advertising campaign for Settlement products and services sold in the EU. TV is the most inexpensive way to reach most people. Television advertising is crucial to building a brand identity and achieving good brand recognition in the marketplace. We need to rid Israels negative brand and place it into positive light, Israels products do just that. They improve lives, identify with life style,and there is something made in Israel that can be found in almost every home throughout Europe. Let the viewers understand that we are a “First World Nation, enjoy life as Europeans do, share the same common values, and we want nothing more than to see “Peace” in this world.
Should, the EU truly want to be helpful with this, it can do for the Middle East what the US did for Europe after WWII. The US redevelop the war torn nations of Europe, reestablishing its economy, established democracy, and functional governments. The US made its former enemies, Germany, Italy and Japan world leaders with robust economy's. We can use a few nations in the Middle East like those of Germany, Italy and Japan. The EU can do the same for the Arab world in turmoil, as the US did for Europe after WWII. Not only would this be an economic reward for the EU and the Arab world, it would accomplish what the labeling was set out to do, bring “Peace”.