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The BDS campaign is hurting Palestinians

When Dr Brendan O’Brien cites a 2013 UN report that indicates a less than equitable share of financial resources were being received by Israel’s Palestinian citizens who “were allocated less than 6.25% of the state budget even though they make up 20% of the population”, he used this statistic to justify his support of the Boycott, Diversify and Sanction campaign (Letters, May 27).

Initially one might outraged at this perceived injustice; however, when has to ask who does the BDS campaign benefit?

It most certainly doesn’t benefit the Palestinian community of Gaza or the West Bank as claimed by the Irish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, this is illustrated by the loss of Sodastream, which left the West Bank to relocate to Jerusalem after last year’s BDS action.

Carrie Sheffield reporting in Forbes magazine (February 22) argued “that the impact of BDS is more psychological than real... and has had no discernable impact on Israeli trade or the broader economy”, before pointing out the campaign actually impacts negatively on the very community it is supposed to be supporting.

Instead Ms Sheffield shows BDS hurts “the Palestinian economy, which is much smaller and poorer” than Israel’s.

This is borne out by the loss of the Sodastream jobs, which “paid between three and five times the local wage”.

Perhaps his argument is another example of eurocentric arrogance which puts theory before logic even though it means further suffering for the Palestinian community.

Dr Kevin McCarthy,


Co Cork


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