Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 26 July 2014

Boycott the Israel boycott

There was acrimony behind the scenes at the TUC Congress in Liverpool with trade union bosses almost coming to blows.

And the reason? A diplomatic row demanding the boycott of Israeli goods.

They demanded a call to halt arms sales to Israel and for an end to the so-called 'blockade' of Gaza.

It concluded with support for a boycott of goods that originate from 'illegal settlements' - even though this will undoubtedly hurt Palestinian fruit-pickers and labourers.

Firstly, Britain only supplies about 1% of Israel's arms and, even at that, usually grudgingly.

Secondly, the 'blockade' of Gaza was caused by the Palestinians' own acts of aggression even after Israel had unilaterally pulled out of the territory.

Thirdly, there is nothing to stop Egypt freely opening its border with Gaza to help administer humanitarian aid to their beleaguered Arab brethren with whom they have no axe to grind.

If 'conscientious' protestors want to boycott all things originating from the Jewish state, they should stop using their mobile phones with cameras which were invented in Tel-Aviv and refrain from 'Googling' as the Google logo was designed by an Israeli woman, not to mention everyday baby wipes, which came from a kibbutz in Israel.

Yes, they may survive without a few Jaffa oranges, but what about all the indispensable inventions which we wouldn't have if Israel didn't exist?

I for one say: 'Boycott the boycott.'

COLIN NEVIN

Bangor

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