Our calls to boycott the Arabs have been compared to the Nazi boycott of the Jews. There are major differences. Jews constituted 1.2% of German population in 1932. The boycott amounted to sentencing Jews to sustenance labor since a population so small and spread so thinly is economically inefficient. German Jews could not easily emigrate for a better life: only half of them had moved from Germany before 1939. Even so, Germans had a right to refuse to buy Jewish products and services. One is entitled to spend his money as he wishes.
Israeli Arabs constitute from 19% of Israeli population on the average to a third in the younger age groups. Israeli Arabs settle in compact enclaves. Arab communities run autonomous black market economies. The Arabs can be economically viable – on their natural level – independently of Jews. Alternatively, Israeli Arabs can sell their property in Israel at fair value, move to any Muslim country, and buy there comparable property much cheaper. Instead, Arabs parasitize on the Jewish economy.
Israeli employers can import Nepalese to work for $50 disposable income a month. That would displace all Israeli labor in low-skill sectors such as agriculture and services. The Israeli government, as any other, mitigates the entrepreneurial drive for profits with a concern for its citizens, and restricts labor immigration and institutes a minimum wage. Such restrictions on free employment drive up prices and represent a major indirect tax. Israeli consumers willingly pay for products and services at a higher price than the price which would be established in a free market with free movement of foreign labor and no minimum wage limits. Israeli consumers willingly subsidize Israeli low-skill workers. Why not Nepalese? Because Israeli Jews somewhat care about their neighbors, and not a bit – about the poor Nepalese. Why then the Arabs? Almost no Jew cares about their well-being. The Israeli government enfranchises Arabs to benefit from it minimum wage and shields them from foreign – say, Nepalese – competition – for no rational reason. Many Arabs work in the black market economy at below the minimum wage, but their real wages are still pegged to the minimum wage benchmark.
A liberal option to end Jewish consumers’ subsidies to Arabs is to open Israel’s borders to temporary workers who would not be entitled to minimum wage and pension benefits. Jewish employers would prefer hard-working, anti-Muslim, and nice Nepalese to Arabs even at similar wages, but imagine the boost to the Israeli economy from the influx of people who work for $200 a month and leave after a few years. Imagine services provided at $1 per hour. The Nepalese would quickly displace the Arabs in every occupation short of terrorism. The free market can work political miracles.
The boycott is not a barbaric instrument. Patriotic consumer programs encouraging citizens to “Buy local” are common in many countries. While some argue that Israeli Arab citizens enjoy equality and should not be discriminated against, a boycott of Palestinian products is unobjectionable. Israel is the only state in the world that imports goods from an entity that routinely attacks it. Jewish soldiers and civilians die from Palestinian bullets while Jewish consumers crunch Palestinian carrots. An economic boycott of Palestine would be a military tool designed to extinguish popular support for Arab militants. Palestinian producers and traders pay taxes to their Hamas-led government and to Hamas directly. Jewish consumers’ money buys bullets to kill Jews.
Politically correct societies condemn discrimination but accept preference. It is okay for a Christian to donate to Christian charity that doesn’t benefit Jews or Muslims. Jewish consumers don’t refuse Arab goods, but canlegitimately give preference to Jewish goods. People go to one supermarket and dislike another, or buy milk from one farm, and not similar milk from another producer. Consumers necessarily prefer and discriminate. Various groups call for boycotting products of factories not ecologically- or labor-friendly. Some call for buying products made by minorities or handicaps – at the expense of other producers. Religious preference – or call it discrimination – is arbitrarily singled out for prosecution.
In the 1920s, Zionist leftists spearheaded Avodah Ivrit, the movement to buy Jewish-made products. They acted on socialist grounds, seeking to reform Jews into a working class. Fine. We also object to Jewish employers exploiting poor Arabs at low wages. Their wages must be raised to levels comparable to Jewish wages. Incidentally, at comparable wages Jewish employers would hire Jews rather than Arabs. US leftists boycott the goods from low-wage countries where the Western corporations allegedly exploit the population at sustenance wages. Jews, likewise, could boycott Israeli companies – down to restaurants – that employ poor, underpaid Arabs.
In the 1940-50s, the Jews pushed the Arabs out of Israel because the Arabs were too many, around 40% of the Israeli population. Today, Arabs constitute 34% of the Israeli population in the 0-9 age group. An economic boycott is the least drastic means of re-establishing Israel’s Jewish identity.