Friday, February 1, 2013

What the Palestinians want

GUEST: Dalit Baum, co-founder of Who Profits from the Occupation, a research initiative of the Coalition of Women for Peace in Israel, speaks to us about boycotting specific settlement products like SodaStream.

Our conversation with Dalit was full of information that I hadn't known. The law passed restricting Israeli citizens from advocating a boycott had other aspects to it. The law also threatened any Israeli company that purposely restricts commerce with the settlements in the West Bank. Could SodaStream have their corporate charter revoked by pulling their manufacturing out of the occupied settlements? Maybe boycotts should be geared towards all of Israel, rather than just the companies located in the illegally occupied areas. Israeli policy is the problem. The state supports and encourages the apartheid treatment of Palestinians. 

I asked Dalit, an Israeli citizen, what her goals were for the boycott of SodaStream. Would it be enough for the company to close their factory in the West Bank? She said that boycott decisions were made by Palestinians, not by Israelis. It's a point that we must remind ourselves of again and again. The boycott follows what the Palestinians want, the same as the boycott against South African apartheid in the 1980's.

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