I think these dudes are taking the David and Goliath thing a bit too far. First, we have the BDS movement which calls for boycott and divestment from Israeli companies and products until the Occupation ends. As a corrollary, the British government has decided to mark imported products of the Occupied Territories as distinct from Israeli products so that consumers may know the origin of such items. Presumably, this would allow those who object to the Occupation to refuse to purchase such products.
This has sent the entire Likud Knesset delegation into spasms of apoplexy. In their indignation, they penned a threatening letter (pdf) on December 21st to the Speaker of the House of Commons. It has to be read to be believed:
…In light of this decision [to distinguish between Israeli and settlement products], we are recommending the citizens of Israel to reconsider using the services of companies that operate in Great Britain…
We hope it will not be necessary to take any further action to make it clear how seriously we view this recommendation that in effect promotes a boycott of Israeli produce.
Wow, a boycott by extreme right-wing Israelis against Britain. That’ll surely bring the British economy to its knees. Not to mention the hordes of Israelis who will clamor to buy British products to differentiate themselves from these numbskulls.
This Knesset letter originates in the “Pure Chutzpah” school of Israeli discourse. Someone says or does something that impinges on your God-given right, jump up and down, scream bloody murder, accuse them of anti-Semitism or whatever. Note that the letter also refuses to distinguish between settler and Israeli produce and refuses to understand that placing an identifying label on settlement produce isn’t anything like a “boycott of Israeli produce.” Do I hear duplicity anyone?
H/t to Brian Klug and David Newman.