The PLO Central Council met last week in Ramallah, but one of its resolutions – to boycott all Israeli products – is an empty one, as economists from the Palestinian Authority are well aware. It is true that one can do without many of these products (who on earth needs Israeli chocolate and chewing gum, or mineral water from the Golan Heights or Ein Gedi?).
[...] But there are many products that have no replacement, and importing them from abroad will make them more expensive. What about meat, for example: A Palestinian economist told me that 97 percent of the meat and chicken that Palestinians consume is purchased from Israel. Can anyone envisage the Palestinians giving up meat and becoming vegetarians immediately? [...]
But even if abstaining from most of the products has not harmed Israel’s economy, the activity on behalf of the boycott is important. A boycott allows large-scale participation by people in the act of rebellion, without lifting a stone or firing a shot.