Belgium Invests in Anti-Israel Incitement in the Name of Human Rights

Aug. 17 2020

Last week Israeli diplomats complained to their Belgian counterparts over Brussels’s funding of anti-Zionist nongovernmental organizations with such goals as “mitigating the influence of pro-Israel voices”—some of which have ties to terrorist groups. The editors of the Jerusalem Post comment:

Belgium would not fund other similar groups, such as Catalan or Kurdish separatists, under the same logic. . . . We hope that Belgium’s decisions reflect not having enough information about where the funding goes and the way in which some Palestinian groups use the money they receive through legitimate charities in Europe to disseminate extreme anti-Israel content produced in Ramallah and spread around the world.

Unfortunately, many Palestinian groups, such as the PFLP, [an unrepentant terrorist group with a bloodstained history], have wrapped themselves in a false flag of human rights, and even children’s and women’s rights, so they can systematically hijack international forums to advance their extreme anti-Israel agenda.

[Channeling funds to such groups] is not countries show respect for one another’s sovereignty, [especially if] they claim, [as Belgium does], to want to have a future of fraternal relations. Belgium needs to understand that the goals of these groups are clear: when they use maps that do not show Israel or celebrate “martyrs” who murdered civilians, they are not partners to work with to advance human rights.

In the past, Israel tended to ignore this funding and not challenge it, not seeing the full forest of implications that it had on the education of future generations. We now know better.

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Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Belgium, Israel diplomacy, NGO, PFLP

Will Costco Go to Israel?

Social-media users have mocked this week new Israeli finance minister Bezalel Smotrich for a poorly translated letter. But far more interesting than the finance minister’s use of Google Translate (or some such technology) is what the letter reveals about the Jewish state. In it, Smotrich asks none other than Costco to consider opening stores in Israel.

Why?

Israel, reports Sharon Wrobel, has one of the highest costs of living of any country in the 38-member Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

This

has been generally attributed to a lack of competition among local importers and manufacturers. The top three local supermarket chains account for over half of the food retail market, limiting competition and putting upward pressure on prices. Meanwhile, import tariffs, value-added tax costs and kosher restrictions have been keeping out international retail chains.

Is the move likely to happen?

“We do see a recent trend of international retailers entering the Israeli market as some barriers to food imports from abroad have been eased,” Chen Herzog, chief economist at BDO Israel accounting firm, told The Times of Israel. “The purchasing power and technology used by big global retailers for logistics and in the area of online sales where Israel has been lagging behind could lead to a potential shift in the market and more competitive prices.”

Still, the same economist noted that in Israel “the cost of real estate and other costs such as the VAT on fruit and vegetables means that big retailers such as Costco may not be able to offer the same competitive prices than in other places.”

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Costco, Israel & Zionism