25 MPs from around the world say nations must protest anti-Jew boycotts
Twenty-five members of parliament from around the world signed a declaration on Sunday stating that “never again will nations stand silent in the face of boycotts against the Jewish people.”The signing ceremony took place during a tour of Judea and Samaria that included a visit to the Barkan Industrial Park. The MPs met with family members of Kim Levengrond-Yehezkel and Ziv Hajbi, who were killed in a terrorist shooting at the park in October 2018.
The MPs are in town for three days to take part in the Israel Allies Foundation’s annual conference. Among attendees are the foreign minister of Venezuela, Jorge Arreaza; the population minister of Estonia, Riina Solman; and the president-elect of Guatemala, Alejandro Giammattei.Foundation president Josh Reinstein said this year’s conference is focused on responding to the recent European Union court’s decision that EU countries must identify on their labels products made in West Bank settlements. Many of these parliament members serve as chairmen of the Israel Allies Caucuses in their parliaments and are charged with advancing pro-Israel legislation and combating anti-Zionist or antisemitic bills.The Israel Allies Foundation works with the US Congress and parliaments around the world to mobilize faith-based support for Israel. Most of its participants are Evangelical Christians.“God himself gave this country to us,” said MK Miki Zohar [Likud] during the signing ceremony. The MK accompanied the group on their West Bank tour, along with settler leader and Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan.“There is only one truth and it’s written in this book, this wonderful book, the Bible,” Zohar continued. “Tell your countries the truth. The truth will always win.”
MP Kenneth Meshoe of South Africa said “the signing ceremony meant a lot to me as a Christian parliamentarian who believes what has been done to Israel is the epitome of injustice. For me, to stand for righteousness and justice means a lot.”Similarly, Sen. Lucio Malan from Italy told The Jerusalem Post that “the policy of boycotting or labeling the products that come from Israel, especially from Judea and Samaria – the so-called ‘West Bank’ – is especially harmful to Palestinians and to any kind of real process of peace.“These companies create tens of thousands of jobs, including places where the Jews and Palestinians work side-by-side with the same rights and wages, and those are the places where peace is built,” he continued. “If there were more of these factories, there would be more peace with good employment and less terrorism.”According to Yigal Dilmoni, CEO of the Yesha Council – the umbrella organization of the Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley – as many as 20,000 Palestinian workers are employed in Judean and Samarian and Jordan Valley factories, vineyards and farms, where they earn two and a half to three times as much money working for Jewish employers than if they worked in their own villages. If BDS forces an Israeli farmer or factory owner to shut down or relocate his business, these Palestinian workers lose their jobs, he told the Post in a separate interview.On Monday, the delegation will meet with Blue and White head Yair Lapid, as well as with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. They will also attend panel discussions on the legal ramifications of the EU labeling decision, the importance of the US-Israel relationship and the often-challenging lives of Palestinian children.“Through faith-based diplomacy, we are tackling politically-based antisemitism,” noted Reinstein. “Our chairman’s conference provides these legislators the opportunity to learn the facts on the ground first hand and return to their parliaments equipped to address antisemitic actions.“We will not stay silent while they once again label Jewish good in Europe,” he concluded.
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