One of the great ironies of the hateful BDS campaign is that it greatly harms the Palestinian people. This was demonstrated once again this week, but with a piece of good news. BDS was defeated, and Palestinians were able to return to their jobs.
SodaStream had always prided itself on hiring both Israelis and Palestinians at its factories. Despite the fact that SodaStream is an island of peace and co-existence, this did not stop the radical BDS campaigners trying to get SodaStream’s West Bank factory shut. Last February, BDS scored a “victory”, when they managed to get the factory closed, causing 350 Israeli Jews, 450 Israel Arabs and 500 Palestinians to lose their jobs.
At that stage, one would have thought that Western supporters of BDS might start asking themselves some hard questions. How does causing 1,500 Jews and Arabs who work together to lose their jobs make peace more likely? Isn’t a factory where Muslims and Jews work together, form friendships, and contributing to the common good of the world, what we should be striving for? And by what merit do you in the west have the right to decide that these people should “make the sacrifice” and lose their jobs, as part of the “struggle for Palestine”?
But there was some good news this week – 74 of the Palestinian workers who lost their jobs then received their permits to be able to work in the Sodastream factory in southern Israel. The workers are delighted – Ali Jafar, one of the workers at the facility, told the Jerusalem Post that “Sodastream is our second home.” Sodastream CEO Daniel Birnbaum said that “We are delighted to welcome back our 74 devoted Palestinian employees, who are able to join their 1,500 friends at our Rahat facility in the Negev.” One third of the employees at the Rahat facility are themselves Israeli Bedouin Arabs.
Though it sounds ridiculous, the BDS campaigners are probably upset that Palestinians have gone back to work. There, in a line, is everything you need to know about this radical movement, that seeks to divide, rather than to unite, Palestinians and Israelis.
Contributed by Aron White, CAMERA intern