Monday, 20 April 2009

Shame on Obama and Israel for wrecking UN's Durban 2 anti-racism initiative

The first sentence of the 63rd paragraph of the Durban 1 conference was too much for Israel and the US and they went down in history as the only countries to refuse to sign the declaration. This is the real back story to the Israeli campaign to prevent any mention of its oppression of the Palestinian people.

President Obama, do you really believe that an oppressed people denied their rights - affirmed and re-affirmed by international law - for 60 years, do not have the right to be heard or to defend themselves when they are being massacred?

The US indicated as recently as last week that it would be attending the Durban II conference, to the consternation of Israel.

Obama, coming out of the Summit of the Americas conference in Trinidad, has tried to explain US objections to the language of the draft declaration for the conference:

“raised a whole set of objectionable provisions” and raised the risk of a repeat of the 2001 Durban Conference, “which became a session through which folks expressed antagonism toward Israel in ways that were often times completely hypocritical and counterproductive.” “We expressed in the run-up to this conference our concerns that if you adopted all of the language from 2001, that’s not something we can sign up for. Our participation would have involved putting our imprimatur on something we just didn’t believe in,”

The US State Department said that even though the US did succeed in forcing the removal of all mentions of Israel, the draft was still unacceptable because it endorsed the Durban 1 conference of 2001.
World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance
Declaration
Having met in Durban, South Africa, from 31 August to 8 September 2001

63. We are concerned about the plight of the Palestinian people under foreign occupation. We recognize the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and to the establishment of an independent State and we recognize the right to security for all States in the region, including Israel, and call upon all States to support the peace process and bring it to an early conclusion;

The full declaration is available at the UN site

From New York based writer and filmmaker Parvez Sharma in Geneva, a Muslim who happens to be gay, invited to speak at the Durban 2 conference - and was spat at by two Israelis. Huffington Post (thanks ibi)

Poor Israel? Sure, and I am Barack Obama!

...Cleary Ahmadinejad made provocative comments which were in poor taste. But the complete lack of discussion of Israel's continuing genocide of the Palestinian people, its use of banned weapons of mass destruction like white phosporous on Palestinian civilians, the shameful loss of Palestinian life and its skewed ratio with the loss of a few Israelis are not topics of discussion here.

Western hypocrites in UN walkout after Ahmadinejad says Israel is 'totally racist'

This is the official translation of Ahmadinejad remarks on Reuters:

"Following World War II they resorted to military aggressions to make an entire nation homeless under the pretext of Jewish suffering," Ahmadinejad told the conference, on the day that Jewish communities commemorate the Holocaust.

"And they sent migrants from Europe, the United States and mother parts of the world in order to establish a totally racist government in the occupied Palestine," he said, according to the official translation.

"And in fact, in compensation for the dire consequences of racism in Europe, they helped bring to power the most cruel and repressive racist regime in Palestine."

Undoubtedly the western powers used the Holocaust, to which they were all party, as a pretext for creating Israel, but the phrase 'pretext of Jewish suffering' does have a dismissive tone to it and could even imply that the suffering never took place. And there is no denying the attempts by the Iranian leader in the past to deny the Holocaust.

But not recognising the Israeli state and calling for it to be wiped off the map is not in itself anti-semitic or genocidal. Israel should indeed be replaced with a Palestinian secular state for Jews and Arabs.

Having said that, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad does the cause of Palestinian liberation movement no favours by giving the West and Israel a pretext to destroy this UN conference on racism.

More quotes from the speech (BBC):
The victorious powers [of the world wars] call themselves the conquerors of the world, while ignoring or down-treading the rights of other nations by the imposition of oppressive laws and international arrangements.

Following World War Two, they resorted to making an entire nation homeless on the pretext of Jewish suffering. They sent migrants from Europe, the United States and other parts of the world in order to establish a totally racist government in the occupied Palestine. In compensation for the dire consequences of racism in Europe, they helped bring to power the most cruel and repressive, racist regime in Palestine.

It is all the more regrettable that a number of Western governments and the United States have committed themselves to defending those racist perpetrators of genocide, whilst the awakened consciences and free-minded people of the world condemn aggression, brutality and the bombardment of civilians of Gaza.

[Conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan were] a clear example of egocentrism, racism, discrimination or infringement upon the dignity and independence of nations.

Today, the human community is facing a kind of racism which has tarnished the image of humanity. In the beginning of the third millennium, the word Zionism personifies racism, that falsely resorts to religion and abuses religious sentiments to hide hatred.

Efforts must be made to put an end to the abuse by Zionists and their supporters of political and international means... Governments must be encouraged and supported in the fight aimed at eradicating this barbaric racism and moving towards reforming the current international mechanisms.

You are all aware of the conspiracy of some powers and Zionist circles against the goals and objectives of this conference... It should be recognised that boycotting such a session is a true indication of supporting the blatant example of racism.
The west can't stand to hear some home truths on Zionism.

United Campaign Against Police Violence report back - picket the Met 30 April

Protesters march through London last Saturday (11 April) to demand justice for Ian Tomlinson (Pic: » Angela Stapleford)

The march of over 500 people last Saturday was the perfect launch pad for the fightback against police brutality in Britain.

The first campaign meeting on Wednesday 15 April was attended by around 60 people and included the Tomlinson family solicitor, representatives from the Riggs and Douglas families that saw loved ones die in police custody (United Friends and Families Campaign), plus representatives from G20 Meltdown, Stop the War Coalition, the Newham Monitoring Project, Inquest, the Green Party and the Socialist Workers Party, among others.

It was agreed to name the campaign the United Campaign Against Police Violence and an open steering committee has been set up which held its first meeting on Saturday and was attended by Inquest's Helen Shaw, the NMP and the Green Party's London Policy Co-ordinator.

The campaign is now planning for a launch rally on 5 May to be followed by a national demonstration on 23 May. Shami Chakrabarti the director of Liberty has indicated she would like to speak at the meeting, as has Jeremy Corbyn and Bob Crow. More details to be announced soon.

Bob Crow, the general secretary of the Rail Maritime and Transport union is backing the campaign as is Mark Serwotka, leader of the civil service workers' union the PCS.

This coming Saturday will see the campaign leaflet fans at Millwall football club, as Ian Tomlinson was a big fan. Bob Crow a Millwall fan will be joining the leafleters.

This Friday 24 April Ken Livingstone and the Greens on the London Assembly are backing a mass turning off of lights across London between 8.30 and 9.30 as a mark of respect for Ian and in protest at police violence.

The main action to focus on will be taking place on Thursday 30 April when the campaign is asking supporters to join them in picketing the Metropolitan Police Authority meeting at the London Assembly.

The campaign has decided not to call for a public inquiry as much of what happened to Ian is already in the public domain.

The United Campaign Against Police Violence says:

• Remember Ian Tomlinson
• No more deaths in custody
• Defend the freedom to protest

More posts to follow with details on all of the above and how you can get involved with the campaign which is still in the early stages.

Tamils escalate protests to end slaughter in Sri Lanka

Parliament Square has been blocked by Tamil protesters urging the UK government to put some muscle behind calls for an immediate ceasefire by implementing sanctions on the Sri Lankan regime.

Reports say 100,000 civilians are trapped in an area no bigger than 20 sq km and now the Sri Lankan government is giving rebel fighters 24 hours to surrender, threatening in the process to kill thousands more civilians.

Hunger striker Parameswaran Subramaniyan has been surrounded by demonstrators to protect him from police attempts to remove him from Parliament Square. Protesters hope to block Westminster Bridge despite the heavy police presence that has seen our boys in blue on previous occasions attack protesters, as is their way.

The Tamil Tigers' struggle for self-determination for the Tamil minority in Sri Lanka has been criminalised in the UK by designating the group as a terrorist organisation.

See Yuri Prasad's excellent article Sri Lanka's War

Western governments turn back on UN fight against racism


More western countries are joining the Israel/US-inspired boycott of the United Nations conference on racism. They are using the fact that the conference intends to discuss Israeli racism towards Palestinians as an excuse to try and undermine this important event. The Australian, New Zealand, Canadian, German and Netherlands governments have now brought shame on their respective countries by joining the boycott.

We reported on the conference's intention of drawing attention to the racist nature of zionism, the political philosophy that underpins the Israeli settler state, on 3 March:

UN Durban Two conference to say zionism equals racism

Bloomsbury Theatre rejects IDF 'dance troupe'

An IDF 'dance troupe' is set to appear at a theatre in Britain as part of 'celebrations' marking the creation of the state of Israel, according to the Guardian.

The Zionist Federation is not releasing any information on the whereabouts of this sick event which will be a bit like watching war criminals dancing on the graves of Gazan children. The Bloomsbury Theatre turned down the original booking for the event when they were informed of the IDF's participation.

Gaza Solidarity is trying to get information on the new venue and will naturally be posting details if we, or anyone else in the pro-Palestine movement, have any joy.

IPCC chief in pocket of Home Office

A parliamentary committee will be talking to the Independent Police Complaints Committee's Nick Hardwick today. Don't expect him to get a grilling from the the very same parliamentarians that granted all those powers to the police in the first place. The IPCC is of course financed by the Home Offfice and it's lack of independence will no doubt be on display today as it tries to explain, if asked, its cosy relationship with the police and government.

Hardwick says we need a national debate on policing. No, what we need from his IPCC is for it to do its job and help to bring violent and criminal police officers to account.

But isn't it remarkable what a difference a week makes as media outlets, and others, apparently fall over themselves to start focusing on police behaviour instead of demonising peaceful protesters.

In addition to our new converts in the media in the fight against police brutality, we also have Tory politicians like Boris Johnson calling for a speedy and transparent inquiry. Government and politicians are racing to catch up with a mood of outrage.

In truth the 'concern' from the establishment and wider business community is more with the damage the killing of Ian Tomlinson, and the exposure of the accompanying widespread police violence, has done to the credibility of the police among those previously supportive of the legitimacy of the police as the state's main internal guarantor of order. And all this happening as social upheaval breaks out across the world in tandem with the spreading 'great recession', although in some countries it will surely be a depression.




Galloway declares war on Charity Commission attempt to criminalise solidarity with Gaza

See George Galloway's declaration of war on the Charity Commission for its blatant attempt to undermine and destroy the solidarity work of Viva Palestina. We questioned the motives of the Charity Commission in our report of the 26 March: George Galloway right to attack Charity Commission over Viva Palestina aid


Letter from Respect MP George Galloway to the Charity Commission



To the Charity Commission,

I have been travelling for many weeks in North Africa and the Middle East, Europe, and North America. I have returned to a London address I seldom visit to find a blizzard of correspondence from you. Your correspondence, when read together, as I have just done, seems to represent a wildly disproportionate and inappropriate reaction to our recent delivery of aid to the suffering Palestinians in Gaza, and must raise the question: Why?

The peremptory letters from you, and by you I mean the Charity Commission, are full of bluster and threat, issuing absurd deadlines to people it does not seem to occur to you are not even receiving your letters, either because they are working abroad (Ms Razuki and Mr Al-Mukhtar), travelling abroad on high profile political business (myself), or you are writing to them at the wrong address.

In my own case, Easter Saturday opened with your, latest, threat to go before a High Court judge in a bid to force me to appear before you. That will not be necessary. I look forward to telling you to your faces what I think of you. Which is this.

I have become increasingly concerned about the abuse of your powers displayed in your brazenly obvious political double standards. About your attempts, under the guise of regulating British charities, to police the democratic efforts of political activists in Britain in a way never envisaged by parliament. About your preparedness to waste large sums of public money in political stunts, either at the behest of others or in the hope that you are properly anticipating their wishes. And above all, in the context of this issue, your almost laughably obvious prejudice against the Palestinian cause and against Britain's two million-strong Muslim community.

Just one example will suffice for now, although I have more, much more.

During Israel's 22-day attack on virtually defenceless Palestinian civilians in Gaza - condemned by virtually everyone in the world from the United Nations to the Pope and including the British government – an organisation The Zionist Federation took out a full page advert in the Jewish Chronicle on 9th January asking readers to send "care packages" to "our soldiers fighting on the front line” in Gaza and to send charity vouchers to a British registered charity Operation Wheelchairs Committee (charity number 263089) for the same purpose.

Although this was immediately drawn to your attention you appear to have done absolutely nothing at all about such an abuse of charitable status. The Zionist Federation is presumably not a registered charity any more than Viva Palestina was. The Zionist Federation appeal was for money for “care packages” with donations possible online to www.zionist.org.uk and to the charity Operation Wheelchairs Committee. By the logic of your actions towards Viva Palestina, surely you should have immediately declared the Zionist Federation to be a charity with all that that entails. But you did not do so. Why? In any case, the Operation Wheelchairs Committee is a charity, soliciting for funds in this advert to support a foreign army involved in a widely condemned military action, in which thousands of civilians were killed, maimed and orphaned. Yet the Charity Commission did nothing. No freezing of bank accounts, no press! releases, no carefully briefed "concerns", no threats of High Court judges.

It will only take the reader (I am publishing this letter as widely as I can) a moment's thought to imagine what the Charity Commission's attitude would have been if a British - Muslim - Charity had taken a full page advertisement in a different British newspaper raising money for "care packages" for "our soldiers fighting on the front line” in Gaza.

Not only would you have gone into overdrive and immediately begun freezing their assets, the hue and cry in the press you would have fed, would have seen the charity's trustees under arrest.

This is an incontestable example of your persistent bias. Because in contrast to your inaction on a British charity raising money for the Israeli army and in the absence of such a hypothetical Muslim charity, you have launched this hysterical campaign to try and wreck the work of Viva Palestina instead.

Without any knowledge of the intentions of Viva Palestina and on the basis of press reports, you pronounced, as is your wont, that we were in effect a charity, to give yourselves locus in our affairs. You misunderstood - I believe deliberately - the structure of our Gaza convoy, purporting to believe that we - the subscribers (whatever that means) - were holding more than a million pounds about which you expressed "concerns", when in fact, as you have been told but continue to ignore, this was never the case.

You first frightened the banks into refusing our attempts to open a bank account. When we finally found a bank which would allow us to open an account you intimidated them into freezing it, I believe exceeding your powers. You then began procuring documents - possibly illegally - about us from the Islamic Bank. As a result of your press briefings about your "concerns" newspapers began to refuse to accept advertisements from us, donors turned away, and the public were encouraged to believe that Viva Palestina was something to be avoided - conjuring-up an undisclosed but lurking suspicion about it.

In all this you acted not as the public would expect a Charity Commission to do, but rather as a self-appointed state policeman of the activist sector, a mission-creep towards a style of work which simply must be contested.

Here are the facts. Accept them and save the public purse a lot of money it can't afford. And get off the backs of Britain's Muslims and the Palestinian people.

I am not a trustee of Viva Palestina. You say I am a "subscriber" though you do not say what that means. I have nothing to do with Viva Palestina's finances, I am not a signatory to its frozen bank account. I will attend the meeting with you, because I intend to launch a parliamentary campaign, and take it to the country, to put you back in your place.

I did inspire the creation of Viva Palestina and I am very proud of that. If those running it listen to me they will refuse to take anything off their website at your behest. The example you cite of an item which should be taken down, could just as easily have been any one of a hundred items. And would become so, once your right to dictate the activities of a political campaigning organisation was conceded.

For that is what Viva Palestina was, and is. Its constitution - its actual constitution not the one you wish it had - makes this abundantly clear. So does everything it says and does. If all that renders Viva Palestina not eligible to be a charity, then that's fine. Let me emphasise this as strongly as I am able. Viva Palestina does not want to be a charity.

It is you, for transparently political reasons, who insisted that charitable status should be sought. You registered Viva Palestina as a charity in record quick time and without the great bulk of the information you normally required. And then you froze the record-quick new charity's bank account so that it could not operate. These are police state tactics, entirely inappropriate and without any basis.

Viva Palestina simply provided a focus for an aid convoy from Britain to Gaza. It was de-centralised. Each participant was responsible for raising their own money, bringing their own vehicles, filling their own vehicles with their own aid, making their own donations in Gaza. You have been told this but continue to misrepresent the position. The money raised by Viva Palestina itself - a much smaller amount - was publicly declared to be intended as a donation to a British charity for work in Gaza - Interpal, with which you are depressingly familiar for having harassed it for years on repeatedly debunked smears.

The vast majority of the participants in the convoy, and the vast majority of those who helped them with money and aid, were British Muslims.

Having exerted that mighty effort, those British Muslims now find that their peaceful democratic response to the crisis in Gaza has been criminalised by you, and their aid confiscated. This all follows the high-profile police raid on vehicles from the Muslim community in the North West heading to join the convoy the night before its departure. This raid, blazed across the media, saw the arrest of ten Muslims headed for the convoy. All ten of them were later released without charge, but not before sowing the seeds of tremendous bitterness in the communities from which the men came.

This is dangerous as well as foolish. There are extremists on the edge of the Muslim community even now saying "I told you so" to those who had been naive enough to think Britain was still the kind of country where efforts like ours could be appreciated and, at least, be free from the kind of arbitrary and unjust actions taken by you. These actions undermine the confidence of British Muslims in the democratic system in Britain and are therefore dangerous and against the interests of our country.

I understand from my colleagues that you have now frozen more than £100,000 intended to help the suffering Palestinian people. Shame on you. I suppose it is too much to hope that you might have that on your conscience. But be sure I intend to let as many people as possible know, here and abroad, what you have done.

Viva Palestina's work has effectively come to a halt since your intervention in its affairs and in my absence. This was, I'm sure, your intention. Viva Palestina has not spent any money improperly. It would not do so. Indeed it could not do so. It has spent hardly anything at all - thanks to you. But it intends to get its money back from you. Viva Palestina have instructed lawyers to deal with you and a barrister will accompany us to the meeting with you. If necessary we will start a new organisation free from your wrecking efforts. But we want this money back, please be sure about that. There are Palestinians dying as a result of the malignant, sinister, cynical actions taken by you. Trust me you'll be hearing more about this.

Yours faithfully

George Galloway MP
Gaza Solidarity will contacting the Charity Commission for an explanation of their behaviour.

Europe's Hope Fleet gets ready to break siege of Gaza


The Free Gaza Movement will again challenge Israel's illegal closure of the Gaza Strip and collective punishment of its civilian population by sailing the HOPE FLEET, a flotilla of passenger and cargo ships, to Gaza at the end of May 2009 - to be followed by freedom riders this summer. We are turning to you, our friends & supporters, to help make Hope come alive. Our small yet committed group has already made five successful voyages to Gaza, delivering needed human rights workers & humanitarian supplies, taking out Palestinian students and medical patients, and helping to lessen Gaza's terrible isolation from the world. We are confident that with the universal outrage over Israel's massacres in Gaza we will be able to send a flotilla of ships to shatter the siege and deliver a message of international hope and solidarity to the people of Palestine.

March 30th, 2009 marks the BDS (Boycott/Divestment/Sanctions) Global Day of Action against Israeli violence [1]. Responsible BDS actions were used to end apartheid in South Africa. Today, Israeli policies of racism, ethnic cleansing and the brutal military occupation of Palestine demand equally determined & direct action to overcome them. When our governments fail to act, we - the citizens of the world - must stand up and make our voices heard. Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights grants all people the right to leave and return to their own country - a right that Israel summarily denies Palestinians.

We are looking for ships wishing to join the Hope Fleet and sail to Gaza in late May, and we are looking for high-profile people, including parliamentarians and celebrities, who want to join us and demand that a besieged Gaza cannot forever remain an open-air prison with no access to the world. The Free Gaza Movement will continue to challenge Israel's brutal policies. We will go to Gaza again, and again, and again, until the Israeli siege is broken and the people of Gaza have access to the rest of the world.

If you are interested in joining or supporting this action, please email Iristulip@gmail.com. We will begin collecting names and information as we ready for this historic voyage. With your help, we will make the HOPE FLEET a reality.

From the Palestine News Network

Rami Abdu, coordinator of a convoy "Hope,” said that 10 ambulances will be part of a convoy that also includes dozens of trucks loaded with humanitarian and medical assistance, particularly for those with special needs, in coordination with the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

Abdu said in a statement today, “Fully equipped ambulances will participate in the European convoy bound for Gaza.” Danish, Swedish and French associations are providing the ambulances and medical needs for two Palestinian hospitals.

He pointed out that the “ambulances and aid trucks which will participate in the convoy will head toward the Italian city of Milan from where it will launch on a large cargo ship to the port of Alexandria in Egypt and then to the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing.”

Wheelchairs for hundreds of the Palestinians wounded and disabled during the major Israeli attacks are included in the convoy as well as equipment for the visually impaired and the deaf. A high level of doctors and consultants will also join the convoy.

Rami Abdu added that preparations are still underway while a large number of European parliamentarians and officials are expected to participate.

Israel's economic crisis its worst ever

The main challenge facing the new right-wing government in Israel is not going to be the moribund peace process with the Palestinians, but rather the crisis now haunting the Israeli economy.
 
Some economists label the current crisis as the "harshest in Israel's history."
 
Manifestations of the present deepening crises includes decreasing exports, mainly due to the world-wide recession, growing insolvency and bankruptcy, rampant unemployment, shrinking investments and huge losses incurred by  both the public and private sectors.
 
Added to this is what one Israeli economist called "widespread pessimism" throughout the Israeli economic organs due to the international financial crisis.
 
According to "TheMarker," which describes itself as the first and foremost source of reliable, real-time news and commentary on Israeli technology and business, thousands of companies, mainly small firms, are facing bankruptcy, resulting in thousands of employees being  laid off.
 
In many cases, workers have barricaded themselves inside their factories, demanding government intervention.
 
Banks are also reporting huge losses. For example, Bank Leumi Le-Israel, Israel's largest bank, this week reported NIS 1.2 billion (roughly $300 million) in losses in the fourth quarter of 2008.
 
Leumi chairman Eitan Raf was quoted as saying that "we are worried."
 
"We definitely expect a difficult year or more ahead. As leaders in the Israeli economy, we are worried."
 
Raff urged the new Israeli government to take a more active role in aiding the banks.
 
"Without the government, the financial powers won't be able to handle this alone."
 
Another bank, Bank Discount, also reported a sharp fall in its revenue in the fourth quarter of 2008.
 
Rising unemployment 
Since the beginning of 2008, tens of thousands of Israelis lost their jobs as a result of the deep recession.
 
In December, 17,500 workers were laid off. According to "Ynet"
www.ynet.co.il/english/articles   employment services data showed 3%- rise in the number of job seekers in December compared to the previous month.  The total number of jobless workers in December reached 24,000.
 
The same source reported that a total of 205,000 job seekers were registered at the employment Services in the last month of 2008.
 
The unemployment crisis is reportedly concentrated in the "high-tech sector" where thousands of engineers and technicians have lost their jobs.
 
For example, in November-December, as many as 690 software engineers were laid off compared to a monthly average of 100 engineers losing their jobs in the previous ten months.
 
In the past nine months, there has been an overall rise of 8.7% in the number of unemployed workers in the Zionist state.
 
The big ones suffer 
Some of Israel's biggest firms are also feeling the crunch. Africa-Israel, one of Israel's biggest and best known real estate developers reportedly lost NIS 2.7 billion shekels ($640 million) in the fourth quarter due to a sharp fall in property value.
 
The company said it would post additional losses totaling NIS 1.3 due to the decline in the value of other property around the world as well as reduced activity in the wake of the global financial crisis.
 
The company, controlled by diamond dealer Lev Leviev, has lost hundreds of million of dollars due to the real estate crisis in the United States.
 
Africa-Israel had substantial investments in Jewish settlements especially in the northern parts of the West Bank. This drew angry reactions from some pro-Palestinian quarters who called for a worldwide boycott of the company.
 
Africa-Israel had sought successfully to open Jewelry outlets in Dubai, prompting pro-Palestinian activists to pressure the government of the Arabian Gulf emirate to close down the two businesses.
 
Meanwhile, a world-wide movement aimed at encouraging boycott of Israeli products seems to have made some successes as Israeli exporters are beginning to feel the effects of boycott from several quarters.
 
This week, the Israeli paper, the Jerusalem Post, reported that Israeli exporters were losing foreign markets and customers because of the global economic crisis and "a growing anti-Israel boycott of locally-made products" follow the recent genocidal Israeli onslaught on the Gaza Strip which killed and maimed thousands of Palestinians, mostly innocent civilians, including as many as 400 children.
 
"In addition to the problems and difficulties arising from the global economic crisis, 21 per cent of local exporters report that they are facing problems in selling Israeli goods because of an anti-Israel boycott, mainly from the UK and Scandinavian countries," said Yair Rotloi, Chairman of the Israel Manufacturers Association.
 
The Jerusalem Post cited a survey conducted among 90 exporters from a variety of sectors which found that 53% had lost foreign markets and customers as a result of the global economic crisis. Sixty two per cent said they were having trouble collecting payments form foreign clients, while 49% said their customers had asked to pay debt in installments.
 
Another important factor undermining Israeli exporters and manufacturers is an inconspicuous but effective campaign to boycott Israeli consumer products among the Palestinian population of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
 
The Palestinian territories occupied by Israel in 1967 are traditionally considered the third biggest market for Israeli products after Europe and North America.
 
However in recent years, and due to Israel's Nazi-like treatment of Palestinians, many ordinary Palestinians have been quietly refusing to buy Israeli-made consumer products and switching instead to imported products, especially those made in Turkey.
 
Moreover, the perpetual crisis haunting the Palestinian economy, mainly due  to the Israeli siege to the  Gaza Strip  and roadblock system in the West Bank,  has seriously impoverished many Palestinians and therefore affecting their ability to buy costly and luxurious Israeli products

Thanks to the Palestine Information Center