About 15 years ago Gush-Katif-grown cherry tomatoes were labeled as such in Europe to alert consumers to the potential of buying from — gasp — settler farmers. It wasn’t long before other Israeli farmers asked that the stickers be removed. Solidarity with their co-tillers of the soil (and sand)? Disgust with the singling out of some Jewish grown produce to be boycotted? A desire to have everyone together within the cooperative marketing mechanism of Israeli grown food? No, no, and no. The Gush Katif tomatoes were better than tomatoes from other farms, and when the consumer saw them clearly marked they took the opportunity to buy them, leaving the tomatoes grown in other regions on the shelf. Realizing this, other Israeli farmers insisted on mixing all the local produce together and not singling out the Gush Katif produce so that their product had a chance at being sold, too.
It will be interesting to see how ‘little Israel ‘exporters react to the new EU boycott of goods from Judea and Samaria. Will they realize that what starts with some Jews ends with all? Or will they revel in less competition?
Ultimately it’s the consumer who will decide again — money talks and now we’ll know exactly where our hard earned shekels/dollars/euro are going.
If you believe that settlements are an indicator of peace and not an obstacle; that Jews also have the right to live in Judea; that terror and anti-Semitism cannot dictate policy; and that the double standards of a conflict ridden world have gotten out of hand — well, you know what to do. Look for the label, and buy away.