Letter: 'boycott would hurt Palestinians and Israelis'

 Shalom and Salaam from the Holy Land -

 I read with disappointment about Rev Canon Garth Hewitt, Director of Amos Trust encouraging BT to distance itself from Bezek International, the Israel Telecommunications company.  Sadly his actions and those of so many others is not a call for peace to the region, but rather is a call to further frustrate and limit the growth of the Palestinian peoples.  By protesting companies that provide services to all residents in the Land of Israel, these misguided individuals are hurting all residents, and especially the Palestinians whose own telecommunications company works closely with Bezek to provide comprehensive telecommunications services to the Palestinian population, both inside PA areas as well as those living in the West Bank.

Rev. Hewitt claims to hold a banner for human rights, and yet this call is not for equality or better living.  In fact, if his desires were fulfilled, the Palestinians will no longer receive phone or other media services that are provided by Bezek.  Is this the enhancement of human rights the reverend is promoting?  This boycott of Rev. Hewitt, as well as the many other boycotts against Israeli companies which are based in the settlements negatively affect the very people they wish to assist. Before promoting a boycott, check the facts.  Learn how these Israeli companies provide employment to vast numbers of local Palestinians, employment that they would otherwise not have.  

Too often ill-informed individuals claim to be on a Crusade to improve the lives of the poor Palestinian.

But by standing on a principal of no Israeli companies functioning in the Settlements, these human right activists are limiting Palestinian growth and quality of life.  Is this the victory they seek?  Instead of joining the band wagon of Israel bashing, come to this land - visit the various areas of Israel - including those areas in the settlements that provide employment, medical assistance, educational opportunities and much more to the Palestinians. Maybe then the Reverend and many others of his ill-informed ilk will understand how the two peoples of this land are dependent upon one another and need to work and live together.


Judy Auerbach

Tour guide for all of Israel

Efrat, Israel

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