Ariel mayor to UK: Settlement product boycott harms Palestinian villagers

Ariel mayor to Gordon Br

In a letter sent Sunday to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Ariel Mayor Ron Nachman entreated the UK leader to reconsider policies such as the government-sanctioned boycott of West Bank products, and continued threats of arrest directed against Israeli politicians. "Thousands of Palestinians from the nearby villages are employed in [Ariel's] industrial zone, providing them with the means to support themselves and their families," said Nachman in the letter. The Palestinians, he continued, benefited greatly from the proximity of the settlement-city, in part due to its upgraded infrastructure. "This is Ariel's contribution to peace." The letter went on to call the academic boycott issued by the UK against Ariel University Center "unfortunate," adding that such boycotts of Israel painted the boycotters in the worst possible light. "Even before Operation Cast Lead, organizations in the United Kingdom appealed to their courts to indict Israeli military officials. Of all the countries in Europe, it was England that took the lead in this effort," it was stressed in the letter.