ADL Says Belgium Boycott of Israeli Goods "Inappropriate and Misguided"
New York, NY, July 14, 2003 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today called on the Belgian government to condemn a nationwide boycott of Israeli products being led by a coalition of nongovernmental organizations in Belgium. The League described the boycott as a misguided attempt to place undue pressure on Israel at a "particularly inappropriate" time, as Israelis and Palestinians are making progress toward a cessation of violence and return to negotiations.
The ad signed by 15 Belgian NGO's calling for a boycott of Israeli products:
"Israeli Fruits Have a Bitter Taste
Oppose the occupation of Palestine. Don't buy Israeli fruits and vegetables."
"Throughout the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, economic boycotts were a weapon employed against countries and companies engaging in business with Israel," said Abraham H Foxman, ADL National Director. "The continued use or threat of boycotts against countries and companies doing business with Israel and against Israeli products runs counter to efforts at ending the violence and easing tensions in the region. Moreover, it is particularly inappropriate in this case given the progress made in renewed negotiations and security coordination."
In a letter to the Belgian Minister of Trade, Annemie Neyts, ADL urged the government to speak out against grassroots efforts to boycott Israeli products and to promote economic trade "as a means to ameliorate the dire economic situation in Israel and the Palestinian Authority."
Oxfam-Solidarity is one of the leading groups in a coalition that initiated the boycott.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.