Edelstein: BDS harms the Palestinians just as much

The anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement harms Palestinian Arabs just as much as it does Israelis, if not more, Knesset Speaker MK Yuli Edelstein warned on Tuesday.

The comments came in Britain, where he and a delegation of MKs met Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond.

Edelstein is being accompanied by MKs Yoav Kish (Likud), Hilik Bar (Zionist Union) and Revital Swid (Zionist Union).

During the meeting, the two discussed, among other things, the Palestinian issue, the situation in Gaza, and the Iranian issue.

Edelstein thanked his host for Britain's friendship, saying it is one of Israel's closest friends in Europe and the world, and also thanked Britain for its opposition to boycotts of Israel.

"The boycott is counterproductive, because anyone who wishes to boycott goods produced in Judea and Samaria ultimately harms the Palestinian workers who earn their wages working for those companies,” noted Edelstein.

One good example of Edelstein's comments is the SodaStream factory, which was forced to shut down its factory in Mishor Adumim due to boycott calls, resulting in hundreds of Palestinian Arab employees losing their jobs and income.

During the meeting with Edelstein, the British Foreign Secretary claimed that Israel is violating international law with its presence in Judea and Samaria.

The Knesset Speaker rejected this notion and said, "11 years ago we left Gaza and evicted thousands from their homes and what we got is not peace but terror. The situation was exacerbated by our withdrawal from Gaza".

Edelstein noted that unfortunately most of the funds that reach Gaza are invested in rockets and terror tunnels instead of in the welfare of the population.

Regarding Iran, Edelstein told Hammond that he had no confidence in a country whose leaders have been for years calling to destroy Israel.

"Holocaust denial and cartoon shows which ridicule the Holocaust and were organized by the Iranian leadership did not receive any public condemnation by anybody, despite my requests on the matter,” he said. “The big money going to Iran today is worrying, because some of it might reach Hezbollah and Hamas and could be used against Israel."

The meeting comes in the wake of recent tensions between Britain and Israel on the subject of Israeli construction in areas beyond the Green Line, particularly eastern Jerusalem.

Last week, British Prime Minister David Cameron spoke in parliament and said Israel's construction in “occupied” eastern Jerusalem was “shocking”.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu later responded and said Cameron did not know the facts about Jerusalem.

"My friend David Cameron, who is undoubtedly a friend of Israel, seems to have forgotten some basic facts about Jerusalem," said Netanyahu, who continued to note that rather than an "occupier" in Jerusalem, Israel is its protector.

"Only Israeli sovereignty prevents ISIS and Hamas from igniting the holy sites, as they do throughout the Middle East," he added.

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/208760

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