World Bulletin / News Desk
Years and years of campaigning for the boycott of Israeli goods produced by Jewish settlers in occupied parts of the West Bank has finally grown from being a small-scale protest to a major blow to the Israeli economy.
Last year, boycotts on products like dates and grapes grown in the occupied Jordan Valley caused a $29 million loss for illegal Jewish settlers in the region. As reported in the Washington Post, income from exports dropped 14%, mainly due to big supermarket chains in Europe deciding to boycott the products.
David Elhayani, head of the Jordan Valley Regional Council, told the Washington Post, “In effect, today, we are almost not selling to the (Western) European market anymore.”
Zvi Avner, head of the agriculture committee in the Jordan Valley, said that sales of peppers and grapes to Western Europe have dropped by about 50% and fresh herbs by up to 40%.
Israeli educational institutions have already been boycotted by a top union of academics in the US, with a Dutch pension giant PGGM also deciding to boycott Israeli banks last week. Many feel that a trend is slowly starting to develop in the West against Israel, similar to that which brought down the apartheid regime in South Africa.
In 2009, the UK gradually started labeling or completely boycotting settler products. Together with Scandinavian countries, the UK has made the 550,000 odd illegal Jewish settlers in the West Bank very nervous. Michael Deas, a Britain-based coordinator for the international boycott movement, told the Washington Post that supermarkets in the UK were concerned for their reputation if they continued to sell settler products. Marks & Spencer, Morrisons and Waitrose are among many British firms to stop selling settler goods in recent years. Germany’s Kaiser Supermarket has also made a moral decision against selling settler products.
Negotiations between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority are being brokered by US Secretary of State John Kerry, who has been successful in foreseeing the release of some Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails as part of a lasting peace deal. However, in the protests against Israel’s continuing illegal settlement building program, the storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound by Jewish settlers and Israeli security forces, as well as the annexation of the Jordan Valley by Israel, just as many Palestinians have also been arrested – including 450 children as cited in a study for 2013.
Israel started withholding around $130 million a month in tax and customs revenues in December after the Palestinians announced that they were joining the International Criminal Court, a move finalised on Wednesday.
U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday issued an executive order creating new sanctions authority to punish individuals and entities engaged in cyber attacks.
At least nine people have reportedly been killed in Nigeria's northwestern Kano State
At least nine people were killed on Tuesday when hurricane-force winds lashed northern Europe in one of the most severe storms in years, forcing flights to be cancelled and disrupting road, train and marine traffic.
Russia and Ukraine agreed last year on a "winter package" for supplies with a price discount of $100 per thousand cubic metres and advance payments, but that accord expired on Tuesday and has yet to be replaced.
Sarkozy arrived Wednesday at financial section of high court of Paris to be interrogated over charges of breach of trust, complicity and concealment.
Police quiz Crimean Tatar Mejlis deputy head Umerov for seven hours and search his house.
Ethiopia is making preparations to evacuate its nationals from Yemen
U.S. State Department official who asked not to be named said Washington was ready to work with whoever was democratically elected in Nigeria and offered a positive.
Eritrean Foreign Ministry has refused claims that alleged Iranian support to Houthis group was being channeled through the Horn of Africa nation.
With officials touting victory in a month-long battle, state television said Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi was visiting the city, which the Islamist militants captured last June as they seized most of Iraq's Sunni territories.
First independent Crimean Tatar network ATR stops broadcasting after failing to get permission from Russian authorities.
President Obama said he would ask the U.S. Congress for $1.3 billion per year in military aid for Egypt and said he would lift holds on aircraft, missiles and tanks for Cairo in place since October 2013, the White House said in a statement.
German airline confirms co-pilot of crashed Germanwings plane informed company of severe depression episode.
Many tunnels have been discovered in Anbar province, an Iraqi govt official says.
According to the military assessments, between 1,000 and 1,500 rockets could hit Israel daily in the next full-blown conflict, killing hundreds of people and potentially paralysing key installations like airports, sea ports and power stations.