President Rivlin: "BDS is a clear expression of anti-Semitism which seeks to harm Israel and question its very existence."
(Communicated by the President’s Spokesperson)
President Rivlin this morning (Wednesday, 23 March 2016) met at his residence with representatives of the Lev HaOlam (Heart of the World) project which worked in cooperation with the local residents and small businesses’ committee of Judea and Samaria to help businesses deal with boycotts targeting Israeli products from the area. Each month the organization purchased a range of products from around 20 different companies in Judea and Samaria, and exports them in packages to more than 1,000 consumers around the world who have chosen to help support the businesses. There were recipients in countries including China, the Netherlands, USA, Singapore, Australia, and Japan.
President Rivlin welcomed the participants from Israel and abroad, and said, "There can be no doubting the connection between us and the land of Israel. We have returned to our homeland. One of the most important factors in finding peace between us and our neighbors the Palestinians, is the creation and building of trust, crucially, this pertains to our very ability to live and work well in cooperation in this land. The factories and companies participating in the project, in which Jews and Arabs work together, are an example of that trust, and we don’t just see it in Jerusalem or Haifa, but also in Judea and Samaria."
On the issue of boycotts targeting Israeli products from Judea and Samaria, the President said, "Boycotts stem from an objection to the very existence of the State of Israel. BDS is a clear expression of anti-Semitism which seeks to harm Israel and question its very existence."
The President added, "I am very pleased to receive from you today, produce of this land, the product of cooperation. The work of Lev HaOlam encourages solidarity and the desire to bring about a vision for our shared lives here. The people of Israel has returned to its lands, and wants to live in its land in peace and harmony. To create and develop in partnership with all those who live here."
The President was presented with a hamper of various products marketed by Lev HaOlam, which included, handmade jewelry from Shilo and Tekoa, chocolate and honey from communities in Har Hebron, cosmetics in Itamar, and more.
Arjenna Klaus from Holland, one of the recipients of Lev HaOlam packages said, "As a European I am deeply ashamed that again Jewish products are being labeled. I am ashamed that in Europe, when it comes to Israel there are double standards, and the Jewish state is singled out. Have we not learned from our history? The world and especially Europe needs a strong Jewish state, Israel is and should be our strongest ally. Instead of labeling Jewish products, Europe should support in every way the Jewish state, and not demonize it. There are many people in Europe and around the world, who love Israel and who are against any form of boycott. "