The UK’s Ban on Hamas Is a Belated Step in the Right Direction

Nov. 29 2021

Twenty years after Britain outlawed Hamas’s military wing, the home secretary, Priti Patel, has decided to proscribe the entire organization. Stephen Daisley applauds this decision, but observes that London does not yet seem to recognize the dangers of what Hamas represents:

It’s been a rough old week for Hamas. . . . One minute, you’re going about your business, trying to drive the Jews into the sea, and the next you’re being treated like you’re the bad guy.

Comprehensive proscription of Hamas is emblematic of Britain’s approach to Israel and the conflict. It took twenty years for ministers to realize how illogical it was to ban only the ones holding the guns. How long will it take before ministers grasp how illogical it is to pretend that Hamas’s Islamist extremism can be condemned without confronting the fact that, the last time they were given the chance to vote on the matter, the Palestinians chose Hamas?

Banning Hamas in its entirety will only render more ridiculous those ministerial statements about “urging the parties to work with mediators towards an immediate ceasefire” the next time Israel responds to rocket attacks on its territory. How would Britain have reacted if, during the 2017 London Bridge attack, Israel had released a statement urging the parties to reach an immediate ceasefire? Something else rendered ridiculous is the rote insistence that, while Hamas is a gang of thugs, the Palestinian Authority is a legitimate authority. This is an outfit that has been accused of inciting against Israelis and which pays stipends to the families of those who are imprisoned, killed, or injured carrying out attacks on Israel.

Yet Labor and Tory governments alike scold Israel to make peace with the Palestinian Authority, even as every Israeli offer of peace and statehood is rebuffed and proposed peace talks are rejected out of hand.

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Read more at Spectator

More about: Hamas, Palestinian Authority, Palestinian terror, United Kingdom

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