Not too far from Jerusalem, the SodaStream factory, which makes soda machines, employs 1,300 people, about half of them Palestinians. The Palestinians make as much as ten times what they would make if they worked for a Palestinian company, instead of an Israeli one. Even those paid minimum wage under Israeli law are better off. In addition, they don’t have to waste time going through Israeli checkpoints in their daily commute, a bus provides transportation to and from home, they get two free meals a day on the premises, and the factory has a synagogue and a mosque for the religious needs of its workers. Sounds a little like the good deal I would get, if I lived in central California and was hired by Google.
If you really want to promote peace and good relations between Jews and Arabs, this is good a way to do it. The people working here would rather keep their families fed than blow themselves up for Allah. Nevertheless, there are activists in the anti-Israel BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement who think working for an Israeli company sends the wrong message, and it would be better to close the factory. If you ask me, this is a case where rigidly sticking to their ideology has made the activists stupid. SodaStream is doing more to help the Palestinians than they are. Just ask Scarlett Johansson.
And here’s some more bad news for the BDS crowd. The New York State Senate has just passed a bill making it illegal for New York universities and colleges to give money to academic organizations that boycott Israel. Evidently they realized that institutions of higher learning are supposed to promoted freedom of speech, freedom of thought, etc., and boycotting one of the most advanced countries in the world sends the opposite message.
Does anyone remember how in the last decade, BDS stood for Bush Derangement Syndrome? It looks like the meaning has changed, but those who practice BDS are still deranged today. Like I said in the past, anti-Semitism is a mental disorder.