New Campaign Against Boycott of Arab Businesses

11 February 2016

NIF grantee Zazim, a platform for online and offline organizing, is leading a campaign against the boycott of Palestinian-Israeli businesses.

After several Arab citizens closed their businesses in protest against government policies last October, a settler group called the Samaria Residents Council accused them of supporting terror and called for a boycott of Arab-owned businesses. The Council specifically asked residents of mixed Jewish-Arab cities to report on the striking businesses. As a result, the boycotters published a blacklist of businesses in Acre, targeting eight Arab-owned stores and restaurants.

Palestinian-Israeli journalist Shahin Nassar explained: “Many of [these Acre businesses’] clients are Jewish residents of the city. As in every time when tempers flare because of the security situation, there are calls for sanctions against Arab citizens. . .This is pure racism. Every person has the right to their political opinions, and such calls are a threat to Israel’s democracy.”

In response to the boycott, Zazim sprang into action and called on the government to cut state funding to the Samaria Residents Council. A statement launching the campaign added, “What’s most disturbing is that they’re doing this with everyone’s tax money – including the owners of the restaurants which appear on the list of business to boycott.”

Zazim is working to ensure that Israeli government will not use public funds to support racism. This campaign is just one example of Zazim’s organizing work, which is committed to key issues related to human rights, social justice, environmental protection, government transparency, and independent media.