The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) is supporting the call of Israels Minister of National Infrastructure, Uzi Landau, for a review of past Israeli agreements signed with Mahmoud Abbas Palestinian Authority (PA) as a result of recent PA efforts promoting foreign economic boycotts of Israel. Mr. Landau recently said in an interview that, Not only are we not insisting on separation between us, we are turning the other cheek and putting up with boycotts (Maayan Miskin, Min. Landau Calls to Revisit Israel-PA Agreements, Israel National News, January 12, 2011).
A 2010 PA law threatens a prison sentence for any PA Arab who buys Jewish-made goods manufactured in Judea, Samaria or the Golan Heights or works there. In addition to requiring PA Arabs to boycott Israel or face arrest the PA says it plans to require Israeli companies that sign contracts with it to boycott all Israeli products made east of the 1949 armistice line.
The PA law stands in violation of the part of the 1993 Oslo Accords called the Protocol on Economic Relations between the Government and the PLO Representing the Palestinian Nation, known as the Paris Agreement of 1994, which calls for no trade borders between Israel and PA economies. Thus far, there has been no official Israeli counter-boycott or other measures taken in response to the new PA law.
Until now, and despite PA moves to boycott Israel, Israel continues to abide by the agreements by trading with the PA, giving PA merchants access to the Israeli market, allowing PA Arabs to work in Israel, and promoting initiatives to boost the PA economy. Israel also sends water, electricity, and gas to Gaza and continued to do so even after the Hamas takeover of the region. According to Mr. Landau, the government has decided to issue an additional 5,000 work permits for PA Arabs, 11% of whom are currently employed by Israelis.
In response to the lack of official action over the months, a grassroots counter-effort, known as Israelis Help Israeli Businesses, has been formed to encourage the Israeli public to purchase Israeli products and to boycott Palestinian ones.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, We commend and support Uzi Landau for raising this serious matter and pursuing it at a time that the Israeli government and Knesset has been avoiding it. How is it possible that matters have reached this pass, whereby Israel continues to abide by agreements that the PA flagrantly and deliberately violates? This demeans the sanctity of agreements. It sends the pernicious message that the PA can violate any aspect of any agreement it wishes without incurring any consequences from Israel, let alone the rest of the world.
Israel should implement the responses outlined by Minister Landau without delay. The Obama Administration should publicly condemn and immediately cease all aid the PA which in any case should have been cut long ago in response to continued PA failure to arrest terrorists, outlaw terrorists groups and end the incitement to hatred and murder within the PA-controlled media, mosques, schools and youth camps that feed terror.
The U.S. should now cut aid to the PA. There should not be any U.S. taxpayer-funded aid to any country or regime anywhere in the world that is boycotting a U.S. ally.