British Minister Suggested a Boycott of "Settlement" Products to the "Palestinian Authority"
We have said before that the United Kingdom is a great enemy of Israel. Of course, I realize that many British people in all four components of the kingdom, England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, are sympathetic to Israel, even very sympathetic. But the British government has been hostile to Jews and Israel for many years, although this hostility is usually covered by a mist of slick hypocrisy, sanctimonious posing and the like. Yet the hostility goes back to the beginning of British mandatory rule in Israel, designated as the Jewish National Home by the San Remo Conference and the League of Nations. Since then the UK govt has perpetrated several velvet-gloved assaults on the Jews and Israel. Among the highlights are the 1939 "White Paper on Palestine," the refusal to bomb the railroad tracks leading to the death camps like Treblinka, etc., the use of the British armed forces to keep Jews out of the Jewish National Home during the Holocaust, when the Jews most needed a home, the pressure by British diplomats on southern European countries not to let Jewish refugees embark from their ports to escape Nazi genocide, the acquiescence by Britain's Foreign Office in the 1941 Farhud massacre of Jews in Baghdad, the post-WW2 refusal to let Jewish Holocaust survivors into the Jewish National Home, the encouragement to Arab states and the palestinian Arab leadership to fight against the rise of a Jewish state [as envisioned in the Jewish National Home principle]. The last item entailed supplying weapons to Arab armies and actual intervention in combat against the Jewish forces by British tanks, artillery, fighter aircraft, and ground forces.
The rise of Israel and its survival and demonstrated ability to defend itself caused great disappointment among highly placed persons in London and throughout the Empire. The failure of conventional warfare by the Arab armies in 1948-1949 led to an intensified psychological and cognitive warfare effort against the Jews and the Jewish national state. This effort culminated in production of the "palestinian people" notion, a people invented for political/diplomatic purposes, a people that had never existed in history as a people or nation. The harm done to Israel and the Jews by this invented notion is incalculable. Of course, it cannot be easily proven that British psywar experts invented the "palestinian people," but there is much evidence for this assertion.
Now British diplomacy shows once again that the UK is as hostile and dangerous for the Jews as are the Arab states as a group. The Palestinian Authority deputy minister of the economy, Abdel Hafez Nofal, revealed that the British minister of trade had suggested to him that the PA institute a boycott of products of Israeli settlements, that is, products of any Israeli community or factory or plant across the 1949 armistice line from the pre-1967 Little Israel, the rump of the Jewish National Home territory left to the Jews after the War of Independence. So a British minister recently prodded the PA into ordering a boycott by its population of Jewish products made in the wrong place, that is, on the wrong side of the armistice line. To be sure, since Arab workers too work in many of the Jewish-owned plants, we could say that the products are also Arab in part. Here is the quote:
. . . Abdel Hafez Nofal, 56 years old, Palestinian deputy minister of the Economy. He is "Mr Boycott": "Everything started when the English minister of Trade said to me, 'We have decided to boycott the products of the settlements. And you?'"It is not fully clear whether, when the British minister said "We have decided. . .", that the "we" referred to the British or to the EU. In any case, it is likely that the UK took the lead in the EU in pushing for a boycott.
[Il Sole- 24 Ore, 22 October 2010; p12]
. . . Abdel Hafez Nofal, 56 anni, vice ministro palestinese dell'Economia. "Mister Boycott" è lui. «Tutto è incominciato quando il ministro del Commercio inglese mi disse: "Noi abbiamo deciso di boicottare i prodotti delle colonie. E voi?"
So here we have another British effort for greater peace and greater international understanding. And treating Jews like the British govt thinks that they ought to be treated. Of course, Britain, like the Arabs, does not want to admit any wrongdoing against Jews. But if the UK admitted its ugly Holocaust record of refusing refuge to Jewish refugees from the Nazis, that might be a contribution to Middle East peace. And if not to peace, then to a greater understanding of history.
The statement by the PA economics minister may not be totally accurate. This is because neither the EU nor the UK has an explicit, formal policy to boycott goods produced in Jewish communities across the Green Line [the 1949-1967 armistice line]. However, it's obvious that both EU and UK are tending in that direction.The EU requires products from Judea/Samaria to be labelled as such but does not require a distinction between goods made by Jews and goods made by Arabs. On the other hand, the UK government has a "voluntary" agreement whereby foodstuffs made/grown by Jews in Judea-Samaria are labelled differently from foodstuffs made/grown by Arabs in the same area.
Further, the constant vilification of Israel in UK media --not all to be sure, but significantly on the BBC which is a state body with its policy on foreign affairs dictated by the Foreign Office-- indicates the direction of UK state policy. The Guardian, Independent [sic!] and several other UK papers specialize in vilifying Israel, often using traditional Judeophobic themes. Then several ostensibly non-governmental bodies in the UK, such as the university teachers union, advocate a boycott of Israeli universities, whereas the Trades Union Congress [TUC], I am informed, advocates a boycott of settlement products. I have no doubt that these non-governmental bodies are not only influenced by hostile UK media but by govt officials as well as govt operatives within their ranks.
Both the previous Labour govt and the present "Conservative" govt are capable of favoring a boycott of settlements as well as a total boycott of Israel, as some loud-voiced academics already advocate. These "civil society" groups provide a moral cover for any anti-Israel move by the govt itself now or in the future. The British govt may have already taken a decision to implement a boycott of settlement products at some opportune moment in the future. In such an eventuality, it would be helpful if the Palestinian Authority were already implementing such a policy so that the UK govt would not seem to be "more Arab" or "more palestinian" than the Arabs/palestinians. If such a decision has already been taken and conveyed to the PA, as Minister Nofal asserts, then his statement would be both accurate and instructive.
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The palestinian Authority's boycott policy in action [here].
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The notion of a "palestinian people," previously unknown to history, including to Arab historians, has its parallels in other states/peoples/nations without a history created for political convenience by Great Powers. Consider "Panama" which was simply part of Colombia, created in order to facilitate building of the Panama Canal by the USA, and Pakistan, formed by Britain out of mainly Muslim regions of India, to fulfill the demand of the Indian Muslims for a separate state so as not to be ruled by Hindus who were the majority in India.
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Other links on British hostility to Israel and Jews.