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Labeling Israeli products to raise awareness: Commentator

A Palestinian activist sticks a leaflet calling for the boycott of Israeli products to a shelf selling Israeli dairy products in a supermarket in the West Bank town of Bethlehem. ©AFP

Press TV has interviewed Mark Glenn, a political commentator in Idaho, about a warning by the United States that products imported from the Israeli-occupied West Bank should not be erroneously labeled as “made in Israel.”

The following is a rough transcription of the interview.

Press TV: Now that the world is realizing the extent of Israeli violence and brutality against the Palestinians, just how much would products labeled with “made in Israel” have an impact on the Israeli economy, hence forcing them to change their policies towards the Palestinians?

Glenn: When we consider the fact that the United States at least on paper contributes to as much as 25 percent of Israel’s economy just because of the direct aid, it is actually negligible the amount of effect that boycott on fruits and things like that that are made in the West Bank being sold in the West is actually going to have.

But I think there is a lot of value in terms of perception management that the Palestinian fight that has been going on now for over half a century, you know we are constantly, especially today, Holocaust Remembrance Day, we are always being told about the fight and the suffering of oppressed people all over the world but somehow the Palestinians and others who find themselves in Israel’s jaws somehow escape notice.

So in a sense that any kind of a substantive effect can be done in terms of actual dollars or shekels, I think that that is negligible but in the sense that it raises the awareness of the huge injustice that is taking place over the last half century, I think in that respect it is very good.

Press TV: And of course how much are anti-Israeli boycott movements around the world gaining momentum? And what are the obstacles in their way?

Glenn: They are gaining momentum. The obvious obstacle that stands no way of anything having to do with Israel is the campaign of screeching and hollowing that takes place on the part of Israel’s supporters but nevertheless things like this are good as I said. Personally what I look forward to are the days in the future when no Israeli leader can leave the country for fear that if they step outside of the border of Israel that they stand being arrested and brought up on charges for war crimes and then having the charges stick.

So again it is the sense of perception, of management perception and awareness that leads to these things. Look what happened with South Africa. There was a campaign that was brought against South Africa because of the campaigns that she maintained against the indigenous people there and the same thing can be applied to Israel and with the same success if people will simply stick to their guns and not be bullied away by Israel’s supporters.

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