(November 26, 2018 / JNS) The BDS movement has demonstrated a willingness not only to hurt Israelis but also Palestinians, as economic data shows what would happen were there to be massive boycotts against the Jewish state, especially amid Israelis and Palestinians working together such as in the Jordan Valley.
“The key to peace and coexistence in the region is first and foremost the economic development of agriculture and industry in the Jordan Valley, Judea and Samaria,” Minister of Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan told JNS.
Some 25,000 workers—18,000 of whom are Palestinians—are employed in joint economic areas located within Judea and Samaria, according to data from Israel’s Civil Administration.
Palestinians working in Israeli jobs make up 11.7 percent of the Arab workforce in the West Bank in 2014, with their total earnings in Judea and Samaria the previous year consisting of 12.3 percent of the GDP of the entire Palestinian Authority, according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics.
BDS against the Jordan Valley’s farmers has caused remarkable devastation for them and their families. David Elhayani, head of the Jordan Valley Regional Council, said the livelihood of Jewish and Palestinian families has been hurt as a result.
“Boycotts against our products means boycotts against Palestinians and Israelis families alike,” he said. “The economic warfare waged against our farming communities only increases suffering for all parties involved and does nothing towards creating dialogue.”
According to the Jordan Valley Council, the “export of peppers from the Jordan Valley also suffered a serious blow following BDS activity in Europe. Farmers in the Jordan Valley were forced to divert pepper exports from Western Europe to Russia and Eastern Europe, where prices are 50 to 30 percent lower.”
“This dramatic drop meant that farmers of the Jordan Valley, both Jewish and Palestinian alike, saw a significant reduction in their income,” they added, “with an estimated total loss of 100 million shekels.”