To combat the BDS movement, an Israeli organization based near Shiloh in the West Bank, purchases products from small businesses throughout Judea, Samaria & the Golan Heights, then markets them abroad.
By Michael Bachner, TPS
A West Bank-based organization is taking action to protect businesses in the West Bank and the Golan from boycott campaigns by purchasing goods produced in small businesses there and marketing them to thousands around the world.
The initiative was made by the Lev HaOlam (Heart of the World) organization, founded two and a half years ago by Nati Rom, who lives in a hilltop community east of Shilo in the West Bank.
“We saw that there were no efforts using the story of the West Bank to combat the boycott movement working so hard against us,” said Rom in an interview to Tazpit Press Service (TPS).
“Our goal is to fight the international boycott,” Rom said. “We buy products from small retailers on Israel’s frontline, including from the West Bank and the Golan, who suffer from the international boycott and we help market their products around the world. People subscribe to our project and receive a beautiful package at their doorstep every month.”
Each package contains a variety of products ranging from food such as chocolate, wine, honey, snacks and organic herbal tea to handmade jewelry, all-natural cosmetic products, souvenirs, and home decoration accessories.
“We have more than 1,000 partners all over the world, mainly Jews,” Rom told TPS. “We are currently the biggest buyer in the West Bank. We have customers from dozens of countries including Sweden, the Netherlands, Norway, Germany, Italy, Australia, and the United States.”
Rom considers the many European customers to be a means of combating the recent decision by the European Union (EU) to label products from the West Bank and the Golan Heights.
“We have lots of partners from Europe who won’t be silent while the EU parliament decides to label Jewish products and while Jews are afraid to walk around with a yarmulke,” he said. “Our community and Facebook page make us a proactive community acting against BDS or any other anti-Israel organization.”
Rom said that Lev HaOlam also fights BDS through other means. “We started a grassroots movement which includes thousands of supporters around the world. We brought 2,000 people to rally for Israel at Dam Square in Amsterdam and we demonstrate at a different location every month to expose the truth.”
“We have held pro-Israel demonstrations in many locations, including Miami, Germany, Finland, Singapore and Sweden,” Rom recounted. “If they boycott, we will just buy more. If they spread hate, we will spread love.”
“We are looking now more than ever for people all over the world to join us,” Rom concluded. “This is how we can win together and reclaim the land of the West Bank. The more people support us, the more we will be able to buy larger quantities of goods and to support more businesses.”
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