Did Hezbollah’s Chief Financial Officer Defect to Israel?

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The Irish Times gave a right of reply to Israeli ambassador Boaz Modai. He was responding to an earlier op-ed calling for a boycott of settlement products.

The average wage earned by Arab Palestinians in agricultural and industrial centres is double the average West Bank Palestinian income. A ban on goods would have a negligible impact on the Israeli economy (Jewish settlers could easily move to Israel proper and re-invest there). But it would have a devastating impact on the Palestinian economy, such as higher unemployment and diminished purchasing power.

The last thing the West Bank needs is damage to its cohesion and stability. This is a classic example of pernicious “gesture politics” that would only lead to suffering for people on the ground; maybe this explains why even the Palestinian Authority does not support this idea of a boycott.

Speaking of boycotts, Israel HaYom‘s Gil Nadal argues that an EU boycott of settlement products would violate existing World Trade Organization agreements.

Rest O’ the Roundup

Natan Sharansky discussed the Arab Spring with the Times of Israel:

“The free world has to understand: We cannot decide for these people to be a democracy or not. We cannot guarantee the survival of the dictators. We cannot guarantee the creation of free society.” Therefore, Sharansky insists that the West support Egypt’s young democracy — which needs the West’s help to survive — but should tie all aid to Egypt to the strengthening of a free society there and the acceptance of peaceful coexistence with Israel.

Turkey intercepted a Russian plane bound for Syria and confiscated suspected military cargo. Daily Telegraph coverage.

Tony Karon (Time) weighs in on the Israel-US-Iran file.

(Image of Sharansky via Flickr/andydr)

For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream.

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