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Boycott Campaign Hurts Jordan Valley Farmers


Israeli farmers are being hurt by a boycott campaign designed to punish Israel.

The international Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) campaign targets Israeli farms and businesses in areas like the Jordan Valley. It was launched by pro-Palestinian activists in 2005 to force Israelis to abandon that land, and it's been hurting ordinary people.

"In a few years, or even this or next year, we won't be able to sell to any European community our product and then we will need to find other places to do that or to decide to step out of it," Israeli farmer Niva Benzion said.

She now sells most of her produce to eastern European countries and Russia.

Israeli farmers in the Jordan Valley rely heavily on exports, which dropped by more than 14 percent last year, adding up to a $29 million loss. 

The farmers have been hurt mainly by western European supermarket chains in Britain and Scandinavia, which have stopped selling the produce or labeled it as grown in Israeli "settlements."

Jordan Valley residents say the BDS campaign also hurts nearly 6,000 Palestinian Arab workers employed on their farms.

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