Thursday, September 4, 2014

Western Progressives Successfully Prevent Israel's SodaStream From Employing Palestinian Workers

Mr. Miller is professor emeritus of political science at the University of Cincinnati.

The full article is available online at:

The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement against Israel appears to have won a Pyrrhic victory over SodaStream, resulting in 900 Palestinian workers, who received Israeli wages and benefits, being thrown out of their jobs. SodaStream is putting a good face on the “potential” closing, saying it is not submitting to the terror-aligned BDS campaign. But two hundred Palestinian workers have already been let go, and to many observers in Israel, the handwriting is on the wall.

In the front ranks of the campaign against SodaStream has been the
sanctimonious Oxfam, which proudly reminds us that it does not support BDS, but it is for boycotting SodaStream.

Now the left can celebrate sending 900 Palestinians into poverty, people who made four times the going rate for wages in the Palestinian Territories—that is if they could have found jobs in an economy with 40% unemployment. In the Berkeley hills, the peace and justice crew and the gaggle of assorted leftists are opening fine bottles of California wine, looking out over their million-dollar views, and clinking crystal glasses in celebration. Meanwhile some of these 900 former factory workers will find their way into the territories’ sole thriving industry, terrorism.

The leftist retort is that the settlements are illegal and they impoverish the Palestinians. Like most things that come from the left, the legality or illegality of the settlements is far and away more complex than stated, especially in the SodaStream case, which operates in Area C, an area legally under joint Israeli/Palestinian administration.

The factory was a glimmer of hope where hope is a rare commodity. It was a cooperative venture between Palestinians and Israelis, a reminder of what could and should be. Economic integration between Arabs and Israelis is the road to both peace and prosperity, just as it was in medieval Wales, where the market place brought Welshmen and Englishmen together in a common, vital interaction that assuaged their differences and over centuries transformed them into one people.

Even Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has spoken against BDS as
hurting the Palestinians. But the left knows better. For them, ideological purity is more valuable than alleviating the socio-economic conditions of the Palestinians. Oxfam cherishes its work in alleviating hunger, while in the Palestinian territories, it has just condemned 900 people and their families to the economic conditions it works to prevent.

Well done, BDS. You have helped extinguish that ray of hope that might lead to peace.

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