Major success for the anti-settlements campaign: Multilock to close West Bank factory

Posted: December 22nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: In the News, The Settlements | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments »

Maariv and the financial paper The Marker report that the Israeli company Multilock is leaving the West Bank because of human rights organizations’ pressure. The locks company will move from the Barkan industrial zone, located on the road to Ariel, to a site in the town of Yavne.

This is from Maariv (translation by Israel News Today):

About two years ago, Assa Abloy, the giant Swedish lock manufacturer which owns Multilock, announced its decision to close the factory in Barkan and relocate it within the boundaries of the Green Line.  The company’s public announcement came after human rights organizations and the Church of Sweden, whose representatives visited Barkan, issued a sharply-worded report warning the company’s management that Assa Abloy and its managers were liable to be personally persecuted for violating the international law that forbids building settlements on occupied territory.  After a few days, Assa Abloy announced that it had instructed Multilock to close the factory.


The Barkan industrial zone has about 120 Israeli factories of various sizes, and Multilock is not the only company that has encountered political trouble due to the location of its factories.  The international company Unilever faces a similar problem to that of Assa Abloy, because the Beigel Beigel factory, which it owns, is located in the Barkan industrial zone.

Unilever tried to sell its share of the factory (51%) for about two years unsuccessfully.  The sale attempts were also politically motivated, following criticism and boycott threats against Unilever.  Two months ago, Unilever announced that it was purchasing the share of the Beigel family in the company (49%) in order to move the factory to inside the Green Line.

The Barkan Wines company also left the Barkan industrial zone for similar reason at the beginning of the decade.  It wanted to expand its exports and therefore moved its activity to Kibbutz Hulda, which is located within the Green Line.

5 Comments on “Major success for the anti-settlements campaign: Multilock to close West Bank factory”

  1. 1 Maayan said at 8:19 am on December 22nd, 2010:

    That’s great. Any progress on making the Palestinians agree to any sort of compromise peace deal, or, you know, giving up on a desire to destroy Israel as a Jewish state?

  2. 2 noam said at 8:27 am on December 22nd, 2010:

    I believe Netanyahu is working on it right now.

  3. 3 maayan said at 11:44 am on December 22nd, 2010:

    He tried. He froze settlement construction openly. Slowed and practically froze eastern Jerusalem construction since the Biden incident. He protected the PA from Hamas. He opened check-points and eased movement so the Palestinian economy could improve. He continued insane Israeli support for the PA security army trained by the Americans. He tried to protect that PA minister who got caught forcing an office worker to sleep with him even though she was married. He permitted his government to continue referring to Abbas as a potential partner for peace and a “moderate.”

    Oops, I forgot! He also stood there as the head Likud politician and explicitly accepted the idea of a Palestinian state next to a Jewish one.

    It’s true that Netanyahu didn’t kiss the feet of Abbas while begging him to come to negotiations, but he did many other things.

  4. 4 Eran Levy said at 4:16 pm on December 22nd, 2010:

    No, I suppose Abbas should kiss the feet of Netanyahu while Israel continues to rob Palestinian land and keep the Palestinians under siege. Just out of curiosity, what exactly could the Palestinians do to convince you that they do not intent to destroy Israel? Offering a peace settlement based on the 1967 borders, an *agreed* solution to the refugee problem and a compromise in Jerusalem is obviously not enough, because that has been done (the Arab peace initiative, which Israel refuses to even discuss). So would joining the Zionist movement be good enough? Or should they convert to Judaism? Or just cease to exist?

  5. 5 maayan said at 10:41 pm on December 22nd, 2010:

    Cease to exist? Are you kidding? Erakat just told the world there are 11 million Palestinians in the world (9 times the generally agreed-upon figures from 1948) and 7 million who have a “right of return” (10 times the UNRWA generous estimates of Arab refugees from 1948).

    With the same arrogance that Erakat made this demand, the PA is threatening Israel that it shouldn’t attack Gaza for the Hamas rocket launches. This is the same PA that asked the Israelis, according to Wikileaks, to protect them from Hamas a couple of years ago. This is the same PA that is trying to author or have others author UN resolutions bypassing 242 and 338 which were agreed to in Oslo.

    So the issue of ceasing to exist doesn’t seem to be a Palestinian problem. The problem seems to be their desire to see Israel as a Jewish state cease to exist. A claim made evident every time they try to explain why they don’t want to acknowledge Israel as a Jewish state.

    But that’s neither here nor there. I challenge you, Eran, to show me where the Arab Initiative – an initiative that has never been formally presented to Israel by an Arab, which might explain one of the key reasons Israel has never responded – offers a solution to the refugee problem and a compromise on Jerusalem. The last time I read it, it demanded:

    “Complete withdrawal from the occupied Arab territories, including the Syrian Golan Heights, to the 4 June 1967 line…establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state on the Palestinian territories occupied since 4 June 1967 in the West Bank and Gaza Strip with East Jerusalem as its capital”

    Where is there a solution for Jerusalem in there? This is the arrangement the Jordanians enjoyed pre-1967 when the Jewish Quarter was razed and no Jews were permitted into the Old City or the Kotel.

    The Initiative also states:

    “Attain a just solution to the problem of Palestinian refugees to be agreed upon in accordance with the UN General Assembly Resolution No 194. ”

    194 is a back door to full “return” of refugees to Israel. Don’t believe me? Read what Erakat wrote in the Guardian last week. He uses 194 as a principal element in his argument that 7 million Palestinians may move into Israel. That the Arabs use the word “just” doesn’t mean that they intend it to be “just” for Israel, but rather to the Palestinians. Also, 194 doesn’t specify Palestinian refugees but “refugees.” As you may recall, there were some Jewish refugees as well, completely ignored by the very countries which hastened their departure.