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Another Palestinian BDS fail

Maurice Hirsch, Adv.  |

For many years, the Palestinian Authority and other sundry actors have been actively trying to promote a Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) campaign against Israel. While calling on the rest of the world to boycott Israel, the Palestinians themselves maintain substantial levels of trade with Israel.

 

Speaking at an exhibition of Palestinian products in Ramallah, Fatah Central Committee Secretary Jibril Rajoub commented:

“This activity is significant, and we hope that it will be part of a heightened and comprehensive effort – geographically and socially among all the Palestinians – to develop their understanding and create an awareness for distancing and boycotting the Israeli products.” 

[Official PA TV News, Oct. 31, 2022] 

While Rajoub calls to boycott Israel and Israeli products, monthly trade reports published by the PA Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), prove that without trade with Israel, the Palestinian economy would completely collapse.

 

According to the reports analyzed by Palestinian Media Watch that cover the last 5 years, goods purchased by Palestinians from Israel constituted more than half of all the goods imported to the Palestinian market.

 

In August 2022, for example, all Palestinian imports totaled USD 729.6 million, of which 56% came from Israel.

“Imports increased in August, 2022 by 7% compared to July, 2022. It also increased by 30% compared to August, 2021 and reached USD 729.6 million.
 

Imports from Israel increased by 4% in August, 2022 compared to July, 2022 and it represented 56% of total imports in August, 2022.”

[PCBS, The Preliminary Results of the Palestinian Registered External Trade In Goods for August, 08/2022]

While the percentage of goods bought from Israel was high, it is dwarfed by the percentage of Palestinian manufactured goods sold to Israel.

 

According to the reports analyzed by PMW, goods sold by Palestinians to Israel, constituted over 90% of all the goods exported.

“Exports increased in August, 2022 by 26% compared to July, 2022. It also increased by 12% compared to August, 2021 and reached USD 154.9 million.
 

Exports to Israel increased in August, 2022 by 24% compared to July, 2022 and it represented 91% of total exports in August, 2022.”

[PCBS, The Preliminary Results of the Palestinian Registered External Trade In Goods for August, 08/2022]

Since the Palestinian purchases from Israel account for only a very small percentage of Israel’s exports, which exceed trillions of dollars, if the Palestinians were to stop buying from Israel, the impact on the Israeli market would be miniscule. But if the Israeli market were to respond in kind to the BDS call, and stop buying Palestinian produced products, the Palestinian economy would face substantial difficulties, losing the ability to market over 90% of its produce.

 

In the past, PMW has often noted the hypocrisy of the Palestinian calls to the rest of the world to boycott Israel, while they themselves continue to buy Israeli products.

 

Jibril Rajoub also serves as Head of the PLO Supreme Council for Youth and Sports, Chairman of the Palestinian Football Association, Chairman of the Palestine Olympic Committee, and Chairman of the Palestinian Scout Association (PSA).