Palestinians Continue to Bite the Hand That Feeds Them

Opening soon: The first Israeli-palestinian-Arab mall, which will open in Atarot. And while commercial reasons are the driving motivation, another motivating factor is to help the palestinians.

I believe that the site is suitable for any population – Jews, Muslims, and Christians – and this will bring coexistence.

How big is the potential? “230,000 Arab residents with blue identity cards live around the project, in addition to the Jewish communities. There is no shopping center around there that can serve them,” Levy says.

Levy: “After everything that is happening and because of the situation, there are many Palestinians interested in developing economically and setting up businesses or coming to buy there. It’s a population that has been ignored and deserves service without having to travel 30 minutes or more in a car to reach a mall.”

Some of the chains signed by themselves, others preferred to independently take a franchise holder from the Arab sector, and still others made opening the store contingent on our bringing them a franchise holder from the Arab sector,” Zagrun says.

Zagrun adds, “It was important for us to bring in players who were not Israeli chains, but which sell in the Arab sector, for example Silverado, a gold jewelry chain with eight branches in East Jerusalem and Ramallah; Giovani Paolo, a men’s wear store that has operated for 40 years on Salah a-Din Street in Jerusalem; and Tag, a store in Ramallah that markets Gant brand clothes and is now also opening a store with us. The local community, at least, believes in the project and thinks that it will create jobs and improve the quality of life for the residents. We’re hearing from people in the field and the renters that signed leases that if peace doesn’t come from politics, it will come from business.”

It’s possible that in the future, the center will have to serve only one community, not both of them.”

Which one of the communities? “If I had to choose one of the communities as a developer, I’d choose the Arab community – the potential there is greater.

Wow, sounds good and something the Palestinian Authority would be thrilled about and get wholeheartedly behind. After all, they want what is good for their people.

Just kidding.

Palestinian activists have called for boycotting the first Israeli-Palestinian shopping mall, which was built by supermarket chain owner and developer Rami Levy in the industrial zone of Atarot, north of Jerusalem. The mall, which is expected to open soon, cost NIS 200 million and has more than 50 businesses.

The activists took to social media and other platforms to call on Palestinians to boycott the new mall and other shopping centers in Israel. They also distributed leaflets in east Jerusalem that said that boycotting Israeli commercial centers was a “religious, national and moral duty.”

The new mall, the activists claimed, is part of an Israeli scheme to Judaize Jerusalem and destroy its Arab economy.

“By purchasing Israeli goods, we are funding the Israeli occupation,” read a statement issued by a group called the National and Islamic Forces in the Occupied City of Jerusalem.

The statement warned that by doing business with Israelis, Palestinians would be “contributing to the siege of Jerusalem, solidifying the city’s isolation, and detaching it from its surrounding environment.”

The statement was published by the Palestinian Authority’s official news agency Wafa and its ruling Fatah faction, a sign that the PA endorses and supports the call for boycotting the new mall.

However, the boycotts urged the Arab residents of Jerusalem to confront Israeli “schemes to destroy the economy of Jerusalem. We are confident that the occupier won’t find a partner in its plan to besiege the city and destroy its economy.”

This is why they can’t have good things – they boycott them.


David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media

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