Shir Hever, an economist from the Alternative Information Center, talks to the RealNews Network‘s senior editor, Paul Jay, on the growing and increasingly effective boycott movement.
Shir Hever: Basically, it’s a movement that comes from people who support it not because they love Palestinians. It’s not because they feel a special affinity with the Palestinian people in particular — although that also exists of course — but mostly because these people feel that there is a connection between what happens in Palestine, what happens in the Middle East, and their own lives. Because… Israel is a kind of factory for repression and mechanisms of repression that are being sold to other countries in the world, and mechanisms that are used against Palestinians are often replicated and used against citizens of other countries by their governments because they have already been tested on Palestinians as kind of guinea pigs, if you want. And so the boycott movement is also a way for people to voice their dissatisfaction with their governments. Why are their governments enabling Israel, allowing Israel, to continue to violate international law, to develop and create weapons of mass destruction illegally, to deny Palestinians citizenship and democracy and to incarcerate a million and a half people in the Gaza Strip in conditions of utter poverty where their only means of sustenance is aid from the international community? Why should the international community allow this?…
Paul Jay: So far, the boycott movement, what effect is it having on the Israeli economy?
Hever: The effect is hidden by the Israeli various bureaus of statistics and the manufacturers association for example. There was one survey for example that showed 21% of Israeli exporters reported on average 10% loss of income because of the boycott which was related specifically to the attack on Gaza in 2008-2009. But this report was censored. This report was removed from… was never published, was only leaked to the media once and it’s impossible to get it because the manufacturers association know if that information reaches people who support the boycott movement, that will empower them and give them more confidence to continue their efforts.
This interview is the final part in a three-part interview. Parts one and two are also well worth watching.