Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon participated this morning (Sunday, 2 May 2010) in a discussion at the Economic Affairs Committee of the Knesset, on the issue of “Examination of steps to be taken in response to the Palestinian Authority’s decision to boycott Israeli products originating in Judea and Samaria.”
At the start of his address, Deputy FM Ayalon said that “We do not differentiate between Jerusalem, Kiryat Tivon or Ariel. As far as we are concerned, this boycott is part of a continuous planned and budgeted campaign of incitement and delegitimization against Israel by the Palestinian Authority.
“The current measures are at the political level, but we must continue to monitor the issue. Should this matter shift from a political battering ram to an economic problem, then we must be prepared to take additional measures. The boycott issue tops the agenda of political talks held by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the MFA staff.”
Ayalon added that the Palestinians are currently at the peak of an effort to be accepted as observers at the World Trade Organization, which maintains the issue of free trade, and removal of obstacles hindering free trade, as its standard. Ayalon ventured that the continuation of the boycott would distance the Palestinians from their goal of acceptance to the World Trade Organization.
Deputy FM Ayalon noted that the boycott issue was raised with the donor countries. “We approached the Europeans, and enquired if it was their intention that part of the budget targeted at establishing institutions and the rule of law in the Palestinian Authority would be used to encourage boycotting and promulgate hatred?”
The Deputy Foreign Minister added further that “We are currently at the start of the talks between the Palestinians and ourselves, and I therefore presume that the issue will be raised during the proximity talks. If the boycott continues, it may damage the progress of the talks and the foundation of trust between us.”
(Communicated by the Deputy Foreign Minister’s Bureau – 2 May 2010)